January 15, 2024

Iowa caucuses tomorrow - my take

If you are in Iowa and are unsure about caucusing, please do.  This election is one of the most important in our lifetime.  I know everyone keeps saying that, but it's very often true.  To paraphrase what Ronald Reagan pointed out, America is always just one generation away from ruination.  The Left is ever-present in trying to do just that, and have ever pushed America closer to that point.  So yes, this election is important; very, very important.  Here's what is expected.

Most pundits and pollsters have president Trump well ahead of likely second place finisher Nikki Haley who is a few points ahead of likely third place finisher Ron DeSantis. Vivek Ramaswamy is expected to finish fourth in single digits, which is unfortunate.

I support president Trump, and I expect him to win by a wide margin.  Nikki Haley is not only the establishment elite's preferred candidate, but she has been highly inconsistent and ill-spoken in her positions on issues. She will likely come in second, but what matters is how far in second.  Trump needs to mop the floor with her in terms of caucus support. 

Ron DeSantis, no matter how well he does, is likely finished either after Iowa or after New Hampshire.  The one caveat I'd say is that if he can manage second place, he might hang around for a while. His smartest move possible, he missed; that would have been to bow out of 2024 and defer to president Trump. Instead he ran an ill-formed campaign, he made both strategic and tactical gaffes that could conceivably cost him the 2028 nomination too.  He should be in damage control mode at this point but he is not, which is making things worse.

Vivek Ramaswamy who clearly has Trump's back, despite trying to mount his own campaign,  has recently come under fire from Trump himself. I understand that it's politics, but it's optically punching way down for Trump, and does not suit Trump's campaign strategy.  Vivek is the most Trump-like candidate outside of Trump. Unless Trump is angling for Don Jr. 2028, co-opting Vivek's candidacy would be a wise move.  Vivek is well spoken, and agrees with Trump on most every issue and might make a great spokesperson for Trump at every opportunity.

Of course it could be a misdirection play; leading the media to think Vivek won't be the VP nominee when in reality he would be a great pick.  I don't think that's the case though. I think Trump sees Vivek as a fellow outsider billionaire who is a competitor in terms of prestige and he doesn't want to lend the platform to someone outside his family who might shine as much as a Trump. I don't know that, but I sense it.  It doesn't change Trump's politics one iota.  His positions are clear, and intelligent and that's why he needs to be the nominee.  But of all of the candidates, at this point, Ramaswamy is the only other candidate of presidential timbre. Maybe that's why the 'late hit' came from Trump. It doesn't matter. Ramaswamy did not engage and it was a smart move. At some level, he is probably angling for the VP slot and engaging Trump doesn't help that. And in the grander scheme of things, it's likely to be forgotten by both sides. That's for the best.

All that remains to be seen out of Iowa tomorrow is the final numbers. Trump will win (probably handily), Haley will likely finish second, DeSantis third and Ramaswamy fourth.  What matters is less the positions than the margins ahead or behind for each candidate. That will determine who stays in, and if anyone drops out. My guess is the numbers will bear out enough support for everyone that no one drops out before New Hampshire.


  1. I still have a sneaking suspicion that the poling is screwed and Vivek will out perform expectations. Not Trump beating but giving Haley DeSantis a kick in the ass. It would be great to see.

    1. I've wondered about artificially boosting or suppression in the polling. There's a lot of establishment types who want to see Haley prevail. There are probably also a lot of Democrats who want to see Trump win because they are assuming he is as damaged as their echo chamber belief system tells them.

      My preference would be Trump, then Ramaswamy then DeSantis then Haley. But in the end I think Trump, barring an act of God, has the nomination wrapped up.


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