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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2643

Iowa Primary Polls: Republican Victory Evolves into Controversy

Hemantha Abyeywardena writes from London…

No sooner had political pundits across both sides of the divide flocked together to write down the political obituary of Donald J Trump in the aftermath of his defeat at the hands of Ted Cruz, the darling of evangelists of the American public, than the former saw an opportunity belittle the victory of the latter on the grounds of what he called electoral fraud.

The allegation centred on the fact that a staff member of Ted Cruz deliberately sent an email to the party faithful with the message of an apparent withdrawal of another candidate from the contest at the last minute, Dr Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon; as it turned out not to be true, Mr Trump wasted no time in grabbing the opportunity to attack Ted Cruz relentlessly in the hope of either nullifying the polls or recounting.
Dr Carson too demanded the dismissal of the official who was responsible for the fiasco.

The victory of Ted Cruz did defy the pollsters, who have been predicting an overwhelming victory for Mr Trump. The setback in Iowa dealt a huge blow to Mr Trump, who seemed to be perpetually inside a sphere of invincibility – judging by his fiery optimism and matching rhetoric.

His vitriolic attack against Mr Cruz over the victory reflects his determination to turn the disaster into a blessing, especially in the nest polls in New Hampshire, where his possibility of winning is far greater than that in Iowa. The involvement of his family in the next primary shows how serious he is in winning the next round: his oldest son even described Mr Trump as a ‘blue collar guy with a big balance sheet’, in order to highlight the latter as an ordinary American.

Although, Marco Rubio made an impressive progress during the Iowa primary, the contest still seems to be between Mr Trump and Mr Cruz. Since the outcome was far from what the pollsters were collectively saying for weeks, the alleged last minute manoeuvre by Mr Cruz at the expense of Dr Ben Carson, it will inevitably get more focus during the next few days both by Mr Trump and pollsters – for obvious reasons.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic camp, Hilary Clinton’s troubles does not show any sign of abating: her narrow victory over Bernie Sanders, the virtual unknown in the race, laid bare her vulnerabilities on many fronts. In this context, the latest episode of never-ending email controversy could not have come at a worse time for her. Despite her feminist appeal and corresponding rhetoric, she can’t even attract women for her cause, which could seriously amplify her vulnerability. Her popularity among the young is very poor despite being the relatively younger of the two candidates.

Hilary Clinton’s angry tone in her speeches that often led to the self-portrayal of a victim does not appear to be doing the trick in her favour. Since Mr Sanders now leads her by over 33 points by the latest polls in New Hampshire, Mrs Clinton’s seems to be running out of ideas to keep the tide at bay; she can’t afford a repeat of what took place in Iowa; nor can she lose to Mr Sanders decisively at the next polls.

All in all, next Tuesday’s primary has the potential to bring the two possible hopefuls for the race to the White House under a clear spotlight, despite the well-trodden path being still long-winded.

- Asian Tribune -

Iowa Primary Polls: Republican Victory Evolves into Controversy
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