Donald Trump is polling well in Iowa, and as pointed out by Allahpundit at HotAir, new GOP registrations in Iowa are up quite a bit, and they don't appear to be typical Republican voters. Conversely, Allahpundit points out that Trump's ground game in Iowa, is not looking so great.
That is the current GOP race in a microcosm. Donald Trump is winning the publicity war, and he's attracting non-traditional Republican voters, possibly faster than he's offending traditional ones. He's also winning a non-traditional campaign battle and possibly losing, heavily in a traditional one. GOTV (get out the vote) efforts are a super critical part of a winning strategy. It's true in primaries but especially true in caucus states. And Iowa being the opening one, merits special attention.
This speaks more to what a winning strategy might be than the merits of the individual candidates. If Trump's strategy works in Iowa, he could be impossible to beat. But if he comes in anywhere but first, even a strong second, leaves him particularly vulnerable.
If I'm Ted Cruz, or any other candidate, I can speak to Trump's lack of planning, lack of organization and lack of foresight to even tend to a ground game, as a strong indicator that Trump's leadership skills are not what he claims they are. I would argue he's all sizzle and no steak. His campaign is about his personality and not his actual ability to plan and organize - and that's because, apparently he can't.
So, as Iowa goes for Trump, so may too go the nation.