Welcome to the “Over-reaction Tuesday” of the political world. The 24-hour news channels will be filled with “post Iowa Caucus analysis” for at least the next two or three days–as “experts” pore over the results of voting done by about 15% of eligible voters in that state in an archaic and exclusionary format. But that certainly won’t prevent everyone from making broad pronouncements….
Some observations and thoughts:
DEMOCRATS—Hillary is in trouble. It’s Groundhog Day for her, 2008 all over again….
REPUBLICANS—Don’t believe polls. We were supposed to witness the Trump juggernaut. Instead, Donald Trump had to accept second place with a smile….
Craig Robinson is editor in chief at the Iowa Republican. He comments on Walker’s slipping poll numbers and what he can do to improve them. Walker’s speaking time was relatively limited during CNN’s three hour long GOP debate this week.
Nervous vendors to his campaign are waiting to be paid more than $100,000 for outstanding debts, according to a person at one of the firms who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the firm’s financial relationship to Walker’s campaign.
Some of Walker’s biggest financial supporters have spread their largesse from the start, an indication that they’re not committed to him for the long haul.
But Walker was nearly inaudible in his remarks, the fault of too-weak speakers in the tailgate tent. It didn’t matter much anyway: it quickly became apparent that many of the hundreds of attendees who had packed into and around the tent, sponsored by the Iowa GOP, couldn’t see the main stage, and thought — and hoped — they were watching Trump instead.
“We want Trump! We want Trump!” chanted a pocket of students to Walker’s left as he spoke.
On his right, as Walker wrapped up, a woman warned a group of people who were pushing toward the front to calm down. Trump, she said, wasn’t here yet.
His day didn’t get any better when he wended his way through the crowd after the speech — he faced tough, skeptical questioning from several voters over teacher pay, ethanol and global poverty. One voter mistook him for Marco Rubio.
Walker, the governor of neighboring Wisconsin, dropped 15 points in the state in the last two months in Qunnipiac’s poll. In July, Walker led the pack at 18 percent. This time, he’s near the bottom of the field of 17, at 3 percent. He earned similar support in last weekend’s NBC News/Marist poll, at 5 percent.
Eleventh if one counts Don’t Know/No Answer –
“Bob Vander Plaats, a key Iowa social conservative who is yet to endorse a candidate, recalls a conversation during the heady days of Walker’s rise. “One of his people called me,” he says, “and said how excited they were, and I said ‘I don’t wanna douse your excitement, but I don’t think you want to…
Meanwhile on Sunday’s Face The Nation Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate Magazine and Ben Domenech the publisher of The Federalist gave scant attention to Walker, and what they did offer was not anything that his campaign could applaud about.
BOUIE: And of those people, like I said earlier, I think Rubio’s the one who is going to potentially do best. Scott Walker — it’s really striking to see how much Trump has completely demolished Scott Walker’s standing in Iowa and New Hampshire and nationally.
Six months ago, we were all talking about Scott Walker as someone who was going to be the alternative to Bush or the alternative to Rubio, but it looks like he’s diminished from the field.
DOMENECH: And I think that’s in part because he’s just not a compelling candidate when he’s out there.
“He can’t seem to find his way on any given issue with a handheld GPS,” an Iowa Republican said of Walker. “He’s been on all three sides of every two-sided issue. For the last two months hasn’t made a single policy pronouncement that he or his staff hasn’t had to clarify or clear up within two hours. When you’re reduced to saying ‘yeah’ doesn’t mean ‘yes,’ you’re in trouble. ‘Unintimidated’ has given way to ‘uninformed’ and ‘unprepared.'”
“Not since, well, Tim Pawlenty has a candidate so hyped or seemingly invincible had their bubble burst in this way,” agreed another Iowa Republican, who like all participants was granted anonymity in order to speak freely. “He owes the Iowa GOP a big favor for canceling the Straw Poll to keep him from repeating Tim Pawlenty’s untimely demise.”
Craig Robinson, editor of TheIowaRepublican.com, said caucus goers in his state have been told Walker is a reform-minded governor, but of late “they’re seeing someone who is acting more like a politician, making calculated moves.”
“It takes discipline” to run for president, Robinson said. “When you say you’re going to build a 5,000-mile wall with Canada, that’s not disciplined. That’s crazy talk.”
Walker is contending he never said he supported building a wall along the Canadian border, but Robinson said Walker should have known how his comments would have been perceived and should not have made them.
The group backing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hopes focusing on the Palmetto State and Iowa can help the candidate gain traction after he fell out of the top tier of Republican presidential candidates.
Via Monmouth Poll.
Ketzner said: “Walker has had a rough summer. He made a great first impression but hasn’t capitalized during the spring and summer months. Iowa is a must-win state for him, and he needs to reignite his campaign soon.”
Walker, who has enjoyed a consistent lead all year in Iowa, dropped to third in the most recent CNN poll. He was backed by just 9 percent of likely caucus participants, below Trump at 22 percent and Carson at 14 percent.
It’s a dramatic fall for a guy who led in a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll with 17 percent as recently as late May. That was approaching the level of support—roughly 20 percent—that most party insiders agree could win the caucuses in a 17-candidate field.