Why that ‘landslide’ win in Iowa could spell trouble for Trump

webnexttech | Why that 'landslide' win in Iowa could spell trouble for Trump
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The Democrats’ and mainstream media’s choice for Republican nominee cleaned up in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night.Donald Trump won running away with slightly more than half the vote, 51%, and winning virtually every county in Iowa.
The mainstream news was ebullient in ways it won’t be once the general election throttles up.
“The Most Durable Force in American Politics” is “Trump’s Ties to His Voters,” crowed a New York Times headline.
“Trump’s landslide Iowa win is a stunning show of strength after leaving Washington in disgrace,” read a CNN.com headline.
Newsweek was also upbeat: “Donald Trump surged to a historic win in the Iowa caucuses, securing the largest margin of any non-incumbent in the modern era.” Trump is more like an incumbent But is Donald Trump really a non-incumbent?
Technically, yes.
Joe Biden is this year’s incumbent.
Practically speaking, however, Trump was the last Republican to serve as president of the United States before losing reelection in 2020.
Fully 65% of Iowans who caucused on Monday believe he won the 2020 election, according to entry polls reported by ABC News.
As for name recognition, Trump may be the most famous person in the world.
He has name ID without peer.
He also has access to big money.
That’s not automatic for most non-incumbents.
He had more support in Iowa in 2020 Further, Trump formed the movement that remade the modern Republican Party and that still dominates it today.
This is Trump’s party.
If you think of Trump as run of the mill, just another Republican competing to lead the ticket, then Monday’s result is a noteworthy triumph.
If you think of Trump as an incumbent, the ground beneath his feet is shaking.
In 2020, Trump won the Iowa caucuses with 97% of the vote.
That’s dominance.
That’s shooting everyone on Fifth Avenue while none of your voters blink.
That’s also running against no one, because no Republican of substance dares enter the race.
Trump’s closest rival that year was William Weld, the long-forgotten former governor of Massachusetts.
He had last held public office roughly 20 years before.
Weld would win 1 percent of the Iowa vote.
Trump has serious challengers in 2024 That’s not the field today.
Three legitimate challengers, Florida Gov.
Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov.
Nikki Haley and business executive Vivek Ramaswamy, have cut into Trump’s support, signaling some serious discomfort with Trump in the Republican base.
Taken together, the “not Trump” coalition of candidates won nearly half the vote in a state that ABC News calls “overwhelmingly white and rural.” In other words, these were ideal conditions for a Trump landslide.
But Iowa is not the national electorate.
And Trump’s Iowa triumph can hardly serve as a bellwether for the fall.
These are arguments that play into the hands of Nikki Haley, who is polling strongest among Republicans in head-to-head matchups against Joe Biden.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll shows her defeating Biden by 17 points.
The argument that helps Nikki Haley Haley is a magnet for independents, who did not vote in Iowa but will be casting votes aplenty in the Jan.
23 New Hampshire primary, where Haley’s polls are rising.
She has begun making a sophisticated argument that as Trump drags all of his chaos, indictments, hearings and high negatives into the general election, he won’t just risk losing his own race.
He’ll put in jeopardy every down-ballot Republican in every state in the country.
Such is Trump’s power to motivate Democrats to vote.
If the point of the 2024 election is to reaffirm your loyalty to Donald Trump, fine.
Vote for him.
Trump dashes Lake’s VP hopes: He should reconsider But if the point is to restore conservative values in the federal and state government and the broader culture, then Trump is a beat-up horse with a flagging track record.
The risk is high that Trump will lose the general election and take down the rest of the Republican ballot.
In 2022, MAGA-endorsed candidates lost elections all across America.
Democrats understood this.
They spent millions boosting MAGA candidates in the primaries so they could face them in the general.
Trump could hurt down-ballot races This should be a year Republicans win big.
Joe Biden’s favorability rating is sitting at historic lows, with only 38.9% of voters expressing their support, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average.
Trump is not much better at 39.9% But while Trump competes for the Republican nomination, Biden is building a massive war chest to unleash hell on Trump once he’s the nominee.
Democratic prosecutors in several criminal cases can be expected to tighten their noose on the GOP candidate.
If there is a fatal flaw in Make America Great Again, it’s this.
MAGA is unteachable.
In Arizona, the MAGA architects of Arizona’s remade Republican Party inherited a red state and handed much of it over to the Democrats.
They have lost in recent years the state’s two U.S.
Senate seats; the governor’s office, the secretary of state and the attorney general.
The biggest prizes in Arizona politics.
The problem with the MAGA movement On Monday night they were celebrating Trump’s win.
“WE DID IT, IOWA!” Kari Lake screamed in all caps on X, formerly Twitter.
“We showed the world that the #MAGA movement is stronger than ever.” And just to show that victory brings out the best in Trump Republicans, GOP and Turning Point operative Tyler Bowyer retweeted his own previously published threat to fellow Republicans: “Those who choose to attack our own side … are going to expose themselves.
Much different world than 2016.
Can’t get away with it now.” Charming.
Makes you long for the good old days when they merely told McCain Republicans to thump sand.
This could be a Republican Chernobyl Maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe we’re witnessing the rebirth of Donald Trump’s movement after losing three straight cycles.
But what if I’m not?
What if MAGA is a sure-fire formula for losing a fourth cycle?
Conservatives in this country will look at the smoldering ruin of successive Republican defeats authored by the Trumps and Lakes and Bowyers and know that this wasn’t merely a lost decade.
It was the Republican Chernobyl.
Phil Boas is an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic.
Email him at phil.boas@arizonarepublic.com.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Trump won Iowa, but it’s not the landslide that everyone thinks

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