By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
This time last week, the whole country was watching to see what Iowans were going to do. This week, the candidates are in New Hampshire. Some are hoping that this is the spark that elevates them towards their goal. For some, this will be the end of their presidential dreams.
On the Republican side, Senator Ted Cruz won Iowa (followed by billionaire Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio), but history shows that the Iowa Caucus is not the best predictor of the eventual GOP nominee. In 1980 former CIA Director George H W Bush won Iowa. Former Governor Ronald Reagan finished second followed by Senator Howard Baker; but Ronald Reagan went on to win the GOP nomination and the presidency. In 1988 Senator Bob Dole won Iowa. TV evangelist Pat Robertson finished second, followed by Vice President George HW Bush. VP George HW Bush won the nomination and the Presidency. In 1996 Senator Bob Dole won Iowa. Writer and commentator Pat Buchanan came in second followed by Governor Lamar Alexander. Sen. Dole won the Republican nomination.
In 2000 Governor George W. Bush won Iowa. Publisher Steve Forbes finished in second followed by Ambassador Alan Keyes. Gov. Bush won the nomination and the presidency. In 2008 former Governor Mike Huckabee won Iowa. Former Governor Mitt Romney came in second followed by former Senator Fred Thompson. Senator John McCain came in fourth; but ultimately won the GOP nomination. In 2012 former Senator Rick Santorum won a narrow Iowa victory over former Governor Mitt Romney. Congressman Ron Paul finished in a strong third. Gov. Romney would win the GOP nomination. GOP Presidents in 1984, 1992, and 2004 ran unopposed in their party primaries. Candidates who finished everywhere from first to fourth have gone on to win the nomination in the modern era.
On the Democratic Party side, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton essentially tied. Some fortuitous coin tosses allowed Clinton to claim the victory; but the margin of victory was essentially non-existent. While Sanders is expected to win the neighboring New England state, Clinton hopes to cut in to his margin of lead going in to South Carolina, where she hopes to do well with Southern Black voters.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) as well as Republicans: former US Senator Rick Santorum, US Senator Rand Paul, and former Governor Mike Huckabee suspended their Presidential campaigns.
Santorum, Senator Pat Toomey, and former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal have all endorsed the surging campaign of Marco Rubio this week. Sen. Santorum told his supporters: “I am so thankful for all your support. It just wasn’t our year. Please join me now and support Senator Marco Rubio for President!”
After revelations that the Ted Cruz campaign told their Iowa precinct captains to tell Dr. Ben Carson supporters that he was dropping out of the race and to come caucus for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump tweeted, “Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.”
Cruz said, “It is no surprise that Donald Trump is throwing a temper tantrum.” Cruz said that his young daughters are better behaved than Donald Trump.
All of the GOP candidates, minus Carly Fiorina who was excluded, participated in a debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, February 6.
The Alabama Presidential Primary is on March 1.