The Iowa Poll: Where we stand on Saturday night

Mussolini and Hillary look to win the caucuses, 

On the GOP side, Trump has 28% to 23% for Ted Cruz and 15% for Marco Rubio. Ben Carson has 10%, and everybody else is in single digits. Jeb Bush only has two percent.

It's close on the Democratic side. Clinton has 45% to 42% for Bernie Sanders, who I suspect will soon be looked back upon as the flavor of the month once Clinton is indicted and the Democrats start scrambling for a credible substitute. Of course, the Obama Justice Department might decide not to indict Clinton, and the Democrats may try to "gut it out"  with regard to their darling's legal problems. But even then, Sanders' status as a protest candidate will, after his probable victory in New Hampshire, become, I suspect, increasingly clear. Martin O'Malley looks to be discredited by his vanishing act in Iowa, but I find it hard to believe that with all the baggage Hillary will be carrying somebody- maybe Joe Biden- won't jump in and try to provide the Democrats with a stronger option somewhere along the line.

Two scenarios for the GOP: I still am hoping that Republican voters get Trump out of their system. He's a silly candidate whom nobody with any judgment ought to even think of in terms of the Oval Office. But Republicans- especially in Iowa, but also elsewhere- do have a strong bit of lemming DNA which could keep Trump viable. If so,  I suspect that Cruz will quickly fall by the wayside and a great deal will depend on the speed with which Bush, Kasich, Fiorina, and Christie get out of the race and get in back of Rubio.

Or- and this is still what I think will happen, and what I certainly hope will happen- Trump will sputter out after the first few primaries and Republicans will get down to the business of actually selecting an opponent for Hillary or her substitute. That will probably mean Cruz surviving as the candidate of the Far Right and Rubio battling it out with him for the nomination as the candidate of the Center-Right. Again, a great deal will depend on the speed with which Rubio emerges as the rational alternative to Cruz, and Jeb, Christie, Fiorina, and Kasich get out of the way and preferably behind him.

One final thought: Ted Cruz is not well thought-of by his fellow members of the Republican caucus. He is said to not have a future in the Senate if he were to try to make it his career. Not a single U.S. Senator has endorsed him. If this develops into a two-way race between Cruz and Rubio, that could cost him.


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