There are election results, and then there is the post-voting spin contest. Especially in the case of Iowa, the latter is arguably more critical.
Marco Rubio finished a “strong” third, only one percentage point behind second-place The Donald. Already the Establishment types are pinning their hopes on Marco as the guy who will restore sanity to the election and become a reasonably presentable GOP nominee. The Chicago Tribune wants to believe that Trump wasn’t even a factor last night, even though he did beat Rubio. Behind the scenes, Toast! will be pressured to drop out and endorse Rubio. He’d probably rather eat live frogs.
What to make of the Clinton-Sanders virtual tie? Some spinners are smugly saying that Sanders had to win big to remain viable, so Clinton is the big winner, even though (as of this morning) the race is still too close to call as far as news media are concerned.
Mr. Sanders showed strength in unexpected ways that could signal trouble for Mrs. Clinton, performing surprisingly well in rural counties and small caucus precincts, and even making some gains among Hispanic Democrats, his advisers said on Tuesday morning.
Mr. Sanders won several counties that Mrs. Clinton carried in 2008 in conservative-leaning southwestern Iowa and in the northern part of the state, including Cerro Gordo County, where Mr. Sanders drew three times as many people as Mr. Clinton as the two men held dueling rallies last Wednesday night.
Many of Mrs. Clintonâ€™s friends and former advisers from Arkansas and the White House planned to meet her in New Hampshire to provide moral support and energy to her campaign team. Her backers said the results in Iowa should not be given too much weight.
Her backers said the results in Iowa should not be given too much weight. Spoken like a campaign that just had a wakeup call. My sense of things is that Sanders may be winning the post-election spin contest. However, it remains to be seen if he can win any primaries other than New Hampshire.
This breakdown shows that Sanders had the overwhelming support of younger participants, while older voters went for Clinton. It also shows that people still consider Clinton to be the one who is safely electable. That’s a bubble Sanders needs to burst if he’s going to win after New Hampshire.