Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Your Media Narrative

The story out of Iowa is that Marco Rubio won and therefore the GOP establishment won.  While these narratives have the effect of self-fulfilling prophecies, I have to say...WTF?

Rubio outperformed all expectations, which qualifies this as a win.  However, if you add up the vote totals for Cruz, Trump and Carson, you get 60% of the vote.

That means 60% of Iowa Republicans voted for the most loathed man in Washington, a loud mouth bully and a somnambulent neurosurgeon. Only 26% voted for Rubio or Bush.

Now, as I said, these narratives can become self-fulfilling.  Maybe Rubio vaults into second place in New Hampshire.  We have certainly seen that before.  But the media environment is much more fractured and decentralized with each passing year.  Rubio will now face the full brunt of Trump's fire, as the Donald has to win New Hampshire and South Carolina, or his campaign goes down in flames.  And Rubio has vulnerabilities that Trump is uniquely positioned to exploit, especially on immigration.

As for the Democratic side, both candidates won.  Both did what they needed to do.  News reports say that Clinton won, and that's all she needed.  She will lose New Hampshire, but if she can bounce back in South Carolina and Nevada, she can carry momentum into Super Tuesday.  I would argue that a longer campaign is good for Democrats, because the more debates, the better for Clinton.  She really shines there.  The more she has to supplicate for votes, the better she does.  

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