The 2016 elections officially got underway early this month as folks in Iowa gathered for their historic caucuses. On the democrats’ side, it turned out to be a real horse race as former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton defeated Senator Barry Sanders by less than .5% of the caucus vote. With that, each person is expected to get support from half the delegates at the state convention.
On the GOP side, the results were a little more conclusive, but not in favor of the candidate that was leading by a safe margin according to the polls taken just days before the event. When the smoke finally cleared from the Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas had defeated billionaire businessman Donald Trump with 28% of the vote. Trump received support from 23% of the caucus members, barely beating out Florida Senator Marco Rubio by tenths of a percentage for second.
The results have to be confounding for Trump’s camp that was expecting an easy victory. What went wrong? There is a few theories on that. First, there were a lot of voters during polling that had yet to make up their minds. The fact Trump decided to skip the Fox debate just days prior to the caucus may have prompted those undecided voters to break for Cruz or Rubio.
Secondly, Trump failed to carry the day with voters under 49-years of age as had been predicted based on his popularity with that group on as national level. Finally, it might have been nothing more than the normal aberrations that occur when polling is done. That’s why everything is stated with an expected margin for error.
If anything, the results in Iowa made clear that this election cycle is going to be close and highly competitive. Leaving nothing to chance, look for all candidates to step up their games as they move on to New Hampshire and South Carolina.