The Republican establishment has been taking serious blows with the popularity of the bombastic Donald Trump and Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, who is seen as the renegade of his party in Washington. The results of the Iowa caucus only reaffirm this trend as Cruz comfortably beat front-runner Donald Trump- but this does not necessarily spell certain victory. Rick Santorum (12) and Mike Huckabee (08) are the last two GOP candidates to have won the Iowa caucus and their campaigns failed, but a win in Iowa certainly does help propel a candidate with some early momentum.
To any serious political scientist or pollster, however, the two most likely candidates appear to be the Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz. Rubio occupies the position of the establishment while Cruz certainly maintains the position of the super-right-wing. Cruz appeals to the new face of the Republican Party that has mobilized for the last 30 or so years that now relies heavily on evangelical sectors, second-amendment enthusiasts, nativists, and those afraid of the rhetorical “big government.”
The Democratic Party has had a far more interesting caucus with a neck-and-neck race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton announced her victory in Iowa ahead of Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders. Though, the election is a virtual tie that will likely “take days to sort out the outcomes, like the [Republicans] in 2012,” according to Professor Michael McDonald.
Andrew Dunn, delegate to the Dickinson County Democratic Convention, reports that all “of the O’Malley supporters were not able to make themselves viable and immediately joined the Sanders side.” Mr. Dunn says that he is “very proud of Senator Sanders and happy to support him” and that he “hopes to go on to the Democratic National Convention to support Senator Sanders.”
Mr. Dunn’s sentiments are not out of the ordinary now, as it would it seem. Much like the Republicans, Democrats are now turning towards anti-establishment leaning position. The fact that a self-proclaimed socialist like Bernie Sanders can compete with a career establishment politician like Hillary Clinton is a testament to the times that America faces. Understood in the base of both parties is the need for different positions and ideas.
Martin O’Malley has announced the suspension of his campaign with incredibly disappointing numbers during the developing Iowa caucus. To many, this now makes the choice for Democratic voters clear: establishment or anti-establishment.
Is this the end of establishment politics in America? It is too soon to say for certain, but it may be fair to say that there is a reason the experts are clamoring to understand the dynamics of this election.