Donald Trump leapt to the top of polls by insulting Hispanics (among other things), but in Iowa on Monday twice as many Republicans voted for Hispanic Presidential candidates than voted for Trump.
Although, truth be told, both U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida chipped away at Trump’s lead by loudly denying allegations that they are soft on illegal immigrants.
In any event, you should get used to Cruz and Rubio, who are now sure to be around for quite a while, in the GOP race reshaped by the Iowa caucuses. Cruz, by finishing first, has solidified his status as the top candidate of the religious right; Rubio, with a strong third, figures to be flooded with funding, endorsements, and attention from Republicans desperate to defeat Trump and Cruz.
Trump will also regroup and charge ahead; it’s too soon to say how much his disappointing finish (and brief, low-energy speech) will deflate his standing elsewhere.
There’s still a possibility that another candidate—Jeb Bush, John Kasich, or Chris Christie—will do well enough in New Hampshire to stick around with those three. But, that possibility looks far bleaker in the aftermath of their low-single-digit showings in Iowa.
It likely depends on how New Hampshire’s generally moderate or libertarian-conservative voters decide to view Cruz. If they see him as one of their own, as he has sometimes portrayed himself in the past, he could do well there, and leave little room for a Bush or Kasich surge.
But there is some early evidence—bolstered by his wildly winding red-meat Iowa victory speech—that New Hampshire Republicans will turn up their nose at Cruz, as the latest of a long line of evangelical-favored oddities selected by faux-first Iowan corn-rubes; joining the likes of Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Pat Robertson.
Meanwhile, we learned Monday that Democrats will have their own media-grabbing contest as well.
Though Hillary Clinton was able to claim an apparent razor-thin victory in Iowa, Bernie Sanders won the credibility of a serious challenger. He already leads in New Hampshire polling, and his national following is showering him with funding for a long-term campaign.
Sanders now needs to nail down that New Hampshire lead—and not let it slip away, as Barack Obama did in 2008—while starting the difficult process of winning over Southern black and industrial-state white voters he’ll need soon to turn his “revolution” into a serious nomination challenge.