The latest Republican polls show Trump still leading the way, followed by Cruz and Rubio respectively. Voters, Democratic and Republican alike, may have thought that Trump’s latest “stunt” would have damaged his popularity, but he persistently remains in the lead. Trump reportedly abstained from participating in the last Republican debate due to conflicts with Fox News and also their reporter Megyn Kelly.
His latest comments to Kelly incited outrage from conservatives. However, Trump claimed to have been treated unfairly by Fox News. So, he decided to host his own campaign event the same night of the last debate. In this separate event, other non-leading Republican presidential candidates joined Trump. In hindsight, missing the debate seemed to not be the best strategy for Trump, and he says he will not miss the next one. Indeed, a question has to be asked at this point: Who will vote for Trump?
That is, will Republican-voting minority groups and women vote for Trump? After all, they make up not an insignificant amount of the population. Yes, the Republican polls are still showing Trump in the lead, but that number may represent only a certain portion of voters. If Trump ends up winning the Republican nomination, it is also conceivable that originally Republican voters would support perhaps a more friendly Democratic option.
Additionally, Trump does not appeal to the moderates of the Republican voter population. Cruz and Rubio are more viable candidates to the moderates, but yet the polls show them as trailing behind Trump, which means Trump’s dominant attitude and blunt demeanor, could still be viewed favorably. It is this personality that Trump thought would win him an overwhelming victory in the Iowa caucuses. At least, he said he expected an “overwhelming” victory. Cruz visited the various counties of Iowa before the caucuses even began.
All of the effort was not merely routine: The winner of the Iowa caucuses could gain momentum as the top Republican candidate. On the Democratic side, there is an equal amount at stake. Hillary Clinton was long seen as the clear Democratic presidential nominee, even before debating began. However, Bernie Sanders has gained popularity with Democratic voters as well, and may give Clinton more competition than was originally suspected. So, for both parties, the Iowa voters played a critical role. On the Republican side, Cruz won the most delegates by a narrow margin. His voting rate was at 27.4 percent compared to Trump’s 24.3 percent. Rubio followed Trump closely, securing a solid third place.
Clinton and Sanders ran an even closer race. The two candidates were virtually tied with the amount of delegates they won. As expected, though not by a huge margin, Sanders was more popular with male and younger voters, and Clinton with female voters and the older generations.
All speculation aside, as primary voting begins throughout the country over the next few months, the front-running candidates will become clearer.