Trump Melts Down Over Iowa Caucus, But He Should Move On

During the Iowa Caucus the other night twitter was full of reports that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race. For some reason they felt it was necessary to announce that Carson was taking a few days off. Getting clean clothes, or something, is how they put it. immediately everyone was speculating that he was about to drop out of the race. There was so much speculation that the Carson campaign had to send a memo out telling everyone that they were still in the race.

This all happened about the time that the Iowa Caucus was getting going. Evidence has come to light that someone from ted Cruz’s campaign seized on the speculation that Carson was dropping out, and sent out emails to the “reps” at the caucus sites, encouraging them to announce this information and try to get Carson voters to switch over.

Maybe you didn’t know that was how the Iowa Caucus worked. People show up, and before they vote, someone speaks for each candidate. Every candidate had the chance for someone to speak for them.

Today, after an unexpectedly civil initial reaction from Trump losing to Cruz, he used twitter to sort of melt down about “fraud” and lies and deceit. See the tweets below (latest to earliest):
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So, a couple of things about this line of thought.

  1. We’re talking about the difference between Trump (or someone else) getting 7 delegates or the 6 he has now. Iowa doesn’t award all of their delegates to the overall winner, but splits them up based on what precincts they win. If this race comes down to one delegate at the primary, this might be something to bring up then. But it won’t.
  2. The Carson campaign had the exact same opportunity to speak to the voters that Cruz did. Easy to set the record straight. “No, sorry, Carson is just taking a couple of days off. He is still in the race.” Why did this not happen? Or did it?
  3. In essence, Trump is saying that Carson voters would move to Cruz rather than any of the other candidates, including himself. Assuming anyone actually switched their votes, do we know they didn’t choose another candidate? Was Rubio’s larger than expected numbers influenced by this Carson rumor? It’s all speculation.
  4. The only reason this is even a discussion is because someone in the Cruz campaign said the same thing that non campaign people were saying, and they said it in an official communication. They didn’t make it up, they repeated a rumor, and if it hadn’t gone through their official network, it wouldn’t be an issue. Cruz should figure out who made that choice (and who ever came up with the mailer that was so dumb) and take the necessary disciplinary steps. Cruz has already apologized to Carson.
  5. I’m about 99% positive that no Carson voter would ever vote for Trump. carson is the anti-Trump, in just about every way a conservative can be. If at some point Carson drops out, none of his voters will ever go to the Trump camp. So long term, this does not affect Trump at all. it’s 1 delegate in the first primary.

No one really knows what might have happened. Carson’s campaign released an ill timed announcement. (Ill conceived? Did anyone need to know this?) Someone in Cruz’s campaign made a poor choice, assumed the rumors were true, and acted without all the facts. In the end, would it really make a difference? One delegate.

What Trump should do (I can’t believe I’m giving advice to Trump…) is leave things as he did after his speech on Monday night and focus on winning NH and SC.

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