Today is the official start of all this.
As the rest of America watches, caucusgoers gather in the frozen tundras of Iowa. This is a huge deal not only for political junkies but also for each party’s future, especially the Republican Party.
According to whomever you speak to, they all believe that their side will win. It’s difficult to disagree with the Trump camp. The public polling indicates that Trump has a large lead in Iowa. The Des Moines Register/NBC News poll, released on Saturday, is the worst polling of the former president. Trump scored 48 percent. This is the only poll in recent memory that shows him with less than a majority, but still far ahead of his competitors.
DeSantis’ supporters believe that the march through all counties in the state, and the investment made to win it, will produce good results. For them, it is less about polling than the boots on the ground. After all, voting happens through polling, while caucuses differ from elections. This system offers more opportunities for success.
Haley’s camp believes, on the other hand, that her recent momentum isn’t over and she could be close to Trump, if not surpass him, today. Her debate performances were largely successful (her most recent performance against DeSantis in Iowa was her weakest), while the anti-Trump vote appears to be consolidating around her. Has she reached her limit?
The contest is still far from over, regardless of whether you’re pro- or against Trump.
Caucus Day is a theory for non-Trump candidates. They believe that the cold will make some people stay home, especially older caucusgoers who tend to lean towards Trump. Trump supporters who believe that he is winning may not be as motivated to show up today, thinking others will. Haley and DeSantis are hoping for this outcome, but it’s not impossible.
It’s not guaranteed. It’s more unlikely than probable. It’s not surprising that so many people say they will vote for Trump. It’s highly unlikely that some of those who tell pollsters that they support Trump do so because they believe he will win.
Most people are confident that Trump will win. It’s already going his way. It may be a trick of the eye for those in the anti-Trump camp to see the glimmer.
Trump supporters, on the other hand, are not yet out of the woods. Trump’s greatest problems will come in the future. Haley is gaining ground in New Hampshire and he is still facing multiple indictments in different states.
Indictments are the biggest factor. Trump is likely to be able to beat most of them. Fani Willis has been busy making sure that the judge will not take her case seriously. Alvin Bragg is a case that has little support from the left and right. Jack Smith is throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Only the Mar-a-Lago case poses a serious threat to Trump, as the evidence is most damning. If the DOJ’s claim that Trump intentionally withheld documents (and lied) from a grand jury is true, then he may be facing a guilty verdict. It’s not guaranteed.
Even so, polls suggest that if he is found guilty of any of the charges it will have a significant impact on both the primary and general. Even if Trump dominates the race right now, Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley will still be in it. They can use his legal issues to their advantage and outlast him. With all the other factors in play, a huge lead is not enough.
This race is unpredictable, and that’s why it feels so chaotic.