Trump’s big loss. But what about Cruz?

02 February 2016 5:45 pm

And so Donald Trump’s tweet has returned to haunt him.

Some time ago, he tweeted the quote from the late professional golfer Walter Hagen: "No one remembers who comes in second."

Tonight the Iowa Caucus results show that Trump, who everyone thought was a solid front-runner in the race for the GOP nomination, was beaten by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Mr Cruz, the ultra conservative Texas senator, won with 28 per cent of the vote, outdoing the 24 per cent chalked up by businessman Mr Trump. And Florida senator Marco Rubio came in third place with 23 per cent. And that makes Rubio easily the leader among establishment candidates.

Trump’s loss raises the possibility that his purported strength was really just an illusion. When push came to shove, he had no strength at all.

But as Nate Cohn points out in the New York Times, we could be looking at a protracted three way fight. For sure Cruz got a lot of support from very conservative voters - there was no primary state where “very conservative” voters represented a larger share of the electorate in 2012 than they did in Iowa – but Rubio put in a strong performance and nearly beat Trump for second place.

After all it is Iowa, just a giant corn field with a whole lot of pigs.

So how did Cruz win? It was the ultra conservatives that did it. According to The Wall Street Journal, it was the Evangelicals who powered his win. Evangelical Christians accounted for 64 per cent of GOP caucus-goers. That’s a big jump from the 57 per cent in the 2012. Mr Rubio on the other hand drew a large share of Republicans whose top priority was to pick a nominee who could win the general election.

It’s also important to remember that Cruz is a class warrior. Let’s remember, Ted Cruz denies the existence of man-made climate change. He opposes same sex marriage and wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service. He also wants the death penalty. And of course, he wants to repeal Obamacare.

One of the other things that strikes me about Cruz is the way he says the 2nd amendment guarantees everyone a right to guns. This is the man who claimed rape soared in Australia after the Australian government brought in gun laws.

Trump is a buffoon but Cruz is dangerous. We can only hope he doesn’t get the nomination.