Republican Ted Cruz bested Donald Trump, raising questions about the billionaire’s reliance on his celebrity instead of traditional political organization. AndMarco Rubio‘s stronger-than-expected showing could mark him as the establishment’s best hope against a grassroots revolt in next week’s New Hampshire primary and beyond.
Cruz’s victory sets him up as a formidable force in delegate-rich, Southern states to come and offers movement conservatives hope that one of their own can become the Republican nominee for the first time since Ronald Reagan.
Claiming victory, Cruz fired immediate shots at both Trump and the party elites he has so infuriated by waging an anti-establishment crusade that has nevertheless endeared him to the GOP’s rank and file.
“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment,” Cruz said.
Trump said, “[O]n June 16th, when we started this journey, there were 17 candidates. I was told by everybody, ‘Do not go to Iowa. You could never finish even in the top ten.’ And I said, ‘But I have friends in Iowa. I know a lot of people in Iowa. I think they’ll really like me. Let’s give it a shot.’ They said, ‘Don’t do it.’ I said, ‘I have to do it.’ And, we finished second, and I want to tell you something, I’m just honored, I’m really honored.”
Sure, his rival won the first-in-the-nation nominating contest. And he didn’t even come in second place. In fact, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) came in third, exactly where we predicted he would.
But it’s how Rubio came in third that makes all the difference. Polling indicated Rubio would be a distant third, trailing by perhaps double digits in the socially conservative state — an afterthought behind the two candidates expected to duke it out for first: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Donald Trump.
Instead, Rubio came in a very strong third — a third that was very nearly second, as he crept up on Trump’s vote total. In Monday’s Iowa GOP caucuses, Cruz got 28 percent of the vote, Trump 24 percent and Rubio 23 percent.
Clinton stumbles, wins six delegates with coin tosses and leads Sanders by 5 delegates…
A total of 484 eligible caucus attendees were initially recorded at the site. But when each candidate’s preference group was counted, Clinton had 240 supporters, Sanders had 179 and Martin O’Malley had five (causing him to be declared non-viable).
Those figures add up to just 424 participants, leaving 60 apparently missing. When those numbers were plugged into the formula that determines delegate allocations, Clinton received four delegates and Sanders received three — leaving one delegate unassigned.
Unable to account for that numerical discrepancy and the orphan delegate it produced, the Sanders campaign challenged the results and precinct leaders called a Democratic Party hot line set up to advise on such situations.
Party officials recommended they settle the dispute with a coin toss.
A Clinton supporter correctly called “heads” on a quarter flipped in the air, and Clinton received a fifth delegate.
The candidates were separated by less than 1 percent. Hillary Clinton led in delegates 27-2 with only two outstanding.
Early Tuesday morning, the Sanders campaign alleged that the Iowa Democratic Party “failed to adequately staff all the precincts,” an aide said.
“The campaign is very concerned there is now no way to verify the accuracy of the results in these precincts that are not reporting,” the aide added.
More investigations in Madison over the “Indian grandfather” but this time the investigation is into the police chief…
Did Chief Muncey intimidate or threaten officers who spoke out in support of Parker?
“One week into the first trial in this case, the Court received a report that two senior officers in the MPD who were subpoenaed for trial, Chief Larry Muncey and Captain Terrell Cook, may have violated the Court’s witness sequestration order. In addition, Chief Muncey, Captain Cook, and Sergeant Lamar Anderson were alleged to have engaged in conduct designed to intimidate subordinate officers who testified during the first week of trial.”
The judge’s new opinion says the court will launch an investigation into whether Muncey and Cook violated the rule prohibiting them from communicating with other potential witnesses.
“The Court will initiate proceedings pursuant to Rule 42 to examine whether conduct by Chief Muncey and Captain Cook violated the Court’s Rule 615 sequestration order during the first Parker trial.”
But the judge then writes she’ll hold off for now on the more serious tampering charges.
“To enable Mr. Patel’s civil action to proceed without the complications that a broader criminal investigation might create, the Court will delay a decision about a request for a criminal investigation of alleged witness tampering. ”
The court does not report any cause to investigate the actions of Anderson.
Judge Haikala in her opinion finds that Muncey, although prohibited from hearing the testimony of another witness, read blogs about the testimony of his officers and immediately asked officers about what they said in court. She finds Captain Cook read the blogs as well and was involved in questioning.
This is Police Chief is not going to be employed in Madison for long.
Speaker Hubbard loses another motion on the eve of the legislative session…
Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker today denied one of House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s motions to dismiss his ethics case.
Walker ruled against claims by Hubbard’s lawyers that Acting Attorney General Van Davis was not properly appointed according to law.
Walker ruled that Attorney General Luther Strange had the authority to appoint Davis to oversee the investigation of Hubbard and that the defense failed to show evidence that the appointment letter was backdated or otherwise deficient.
Strange recused himself from the investigation and appointed Davis in January 2013.
Other motions to dismiss by Hubbard are pending, including his claims of prosecutorial misconduct and that the ethics law, for which he was a leading advocate, is unconstitutional.
Every losing motion put Hubbard’s Speakership in jeoprady…
Wondering if our winter weather will last? You can find out today by joining in the weirdly wonderful tradition of Groundhog Day, live from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It’s the 130th anniversary of Ground Hog Day in Punxsutawney so you can expect a big celebration.
Groundhog Day’s best known weather forecasting rodent will be making an appearance Tuesday, Feb. 2. Punxsutawney Phil will be making his appearance from his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob in front of thousands of excited onlookers. If Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
The tradition, which started with early German settlers in Pennsylvania, has been held since the 1800s. In the early days, Punxsutawney Phil – whose full name now is Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary -was known as “Br’er Groundhog” but that was later changed to honor King Phillip of France.
Phil’s prediction is passed along to a member of the Groundhog Day Inner Circle in what it calls “groundhog-ese.” Statistics show Phil’s prediction skills are rather iffy: Since 1988, Phil’s prediction was correct 13 times and incorrect 15 times.