Months ago, pundits began predicting a huge turnout for the Iowa caucuses. They were sure right about that. In fact, a record 185,000 Americans showed up on the GOP side, increasing the 2012 turnout by 5.4 percent, according to estimates from Edison Media Research.
Polls were also predicting a win for Donald Trump. They were wrong about that.
Is it because he missed the final debate? Is it because Cruz had a superior campaign organization and made a strong push to evangelical voters? Does it matter?
By now you know Ted Cruz won this first test in the 2016 presidential campaign with 27.7 percent of the vote. Donald Trump was second with 24.3 percent with Marco Rubio right at his heels with 23.1 percent.
Rubio’s rapid rise is surely a “wow” moment for the campaign.
But there’s one fact you might find even more astonishing: Ted Cruz received the most votes EVER for a GOP candidate in Iowa. With 99.9 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz’s tally stands at 51,649.
So not only were Iowa Republicans excited about getting out to vote, they were VERY enthusiastic about voting for Cruz in particular.
No matter whom you’re supporting in this race, the results may or may not be cause for celebration or concern. Here are the GOP results for the last few Iowa caucuses. Hat tip to The Wrap for this who says “for simplicity’s sake, we’re counting incumbents running unopposed as wins, since incumbents seen as vulnerable can always face challenges — like Ford did from Reagan in 1976”
2012: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney (Romney won the nomination but lost the general election to incumbent Barack Obama)
2008: Mike Huckabee (who lost the nomination to John McCain, who tied for third in Iowa and lost the general election to Barack Obama)
2004: George W. Bush (incumbent who ran unopposed and beat John Kerry in the general election)
2000: George W. Bush (who won the nomination and general election against Al Gore)
1996: Bob Dole (who won the nomination, but lost the general election to incumbent Bill Clinton)
1992: George H.W. Bush (incumbent who ran unopposed but lost the general election to Bill Clinton)
1988: Bob Dole (who lost the nomination to George H.W. Bush, who came in third in Iowa but beat Michael Dukakis in the general election)
1984: Ronald Reagan (incumbent who ran unopposed and beat Walter Mondale in the general election)
1980: George H.W. Bush (who lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan, who won the general election against incumbent Jimmy Carter)
1976: Gerald Ford (incumbent who won the nomination but lost the general election to Jimmy Carter)
So the next big question as far as I’m personally concerned is who’s going to drop out first, Ben Carson or jeb Bush?
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]