The conventional wisdom going into the caucus was that Trump would be at a disadvantage because his supporters were disproportionately people who hadn’t caucused before and they wouldn’t show up. Furthermore, “ground game” is very important in Iowa, and the NY Times article from a few weeks ago reported that Trump’s ground game sucked. I guess the NY Times article and the conventional wisdom were right.
Nevertheless, this night was almost the worst possible outcome for Trump. Obviously the worst would have been a third-place finish, but Rubio’s very close third-place finish gives him momentum going into New Hampshire.
Behind the scenes right now, the GOPe is going to put a lot of pressure on Bush to drop out and pass the mantle to Rubio.
Recent history shows us that Iowa selects a hard-core conservative Christian type like Santorum or Huckabee, and they go on to lose to the nomination to the guy who wins in New Hampshire.
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Meanwhile, the almost-tied result on the Democratic side gives hope that the Democratic Party will be divided for a while.