For Donald Trump to win in Iowa, he will need a large majority of Republicans to believe that their #1 choice has a chance of winning. Ted Cruz is the #2 choice for many who support Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul. The media and Trump want their supporters to think their vote will still have meaning even if it hurts the only man who can actually take Trump down.
Ted Cruz is the only person who can prevent Donald Trump from getting the nomination. If the anti-Trump vote is split between all of the candidates, none of them will win. If those who see Trump as the worst possible scenario for the Republican party will coalesce around Cruz in Iowa, there’s hope.
Many are starting to see that a Trump nomination is the only chance Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders has of winning the general election. Even the weaker candidates like John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, or Mike Huckabee would likely beat either Democrat, but Trump is the Democrats golden parachute. You’ll never convince a Trump supporter of this, but it’s one of the reasons that many Republicans are opposed to him.
For Trump to lose, Cruz has to win in Iowa. In fact, he has to win big. Otherwise, Trump will dismiss Iowa as a “wacko” state and try to build momentum through New Hampshire and beyond.
The early primary schedule favors Cruz. He can win the “SEC Primaries” on March 1 if Iowa goes strong for Cruz, but if Trump and the media can convince those who support other candidates that their candidate has a chance, it’s very likely that Trump could win Iowa and steamroll his way to the nomination very quickly.
His supporters will point to the polls to demonstrate his strength in the state. It’s true that he’s the favored candidate by the most people, but he has very little support as a second or third choice. By contrast, Cruz is the second or third choice for nearly 3 out of 4 Republican voters in Iowa. For Trump to lose, enough Iowa Republicans have to accept that their candidate cannot win and Cruz is the only one who can stop Trump. That’s why the media, the Trump campaign, and his new buddies in the Republican Establishment are trying so hard to make people believe they shouldn’t back Cruz. It’s manipulation at the highest level and if Iowans allow themselves to be sold on the lies, the entire country will pay the price.
The line in the sand is Iowa. Unlike past elections when Iowa didn’t make much of a difference for the Republican nomination, this year the entire landscape will be defined by this first caucus. If voters don’t rally around Cruz, Trump will be the Republican nominee and a Democrat will win the White House.