…and here’s why
I don’t support Donald Trump for president nor do I agree with his positions. But I will give credit where credit is due.
Donald Trump won Iowa.
Trump may have come second in the number of votes received, but remember this – he received the second most votes in the history of the Republican caucus in Iowa. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone who has never held public office or seriously ran for office.
What’s more is that he wasn’t really even trying to win the state. Besides boasting about winning, and his poll numbers, let’s look at the dollars and time spent trying court Iowa voters. That’s where the real story begins.
Take a look at the number of days Trump spent in Iowa – only 37. Compare that to Marco Rubio, 48, and Ted Cruz, 56. But the numbers are even more telling when looking at the number of campaign events held. Trump held 57, Rubio, 100, and Cruz, 152.
Now let’s look at the dollars. Trump spent $3.54 million while Rubio spent $4.53 million and Cruz, $2.9 million. But both Rubio and Cruz had Super PACs supporting them bringing their totals up to $11.73 million for Rubio and $7.43 million Cruz.
So Trump spent less time, held fewer events and spent less money, yet still managed to come in second place with a record number of votes.
So even though Cruz spent double the money and held almost three times the amount of events he only beat Trump by a mere 3.7 percent or about 6,000 votes.
Sounds like the Donald got a much better return on investment than Rubio or Cruz.
Furthermore Trump was never a good fit for Iowa to begin with. The last two winners were former senator Rick Santorum and before that Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both of those candidates are hard-core evangelicals. Something else to note neither of them went on to win the nomination or really even have impact on the race after Iowa.
Typically the media and polls set the expectations of a candidate’s performance. The mistake Trump made was setting the bar too high for himself. But rather than focus on what he did accomplish most pundits and talking heads focused on what he did not.