Donald Trump is not that powerful afterall, the Iowa elections have proved. A much milder and calmer and if we may say so, humbler Trump gave a speech after his loss, which was surprisingly not laced with venom, but with gratitude.
Did he learn a lesson? perhaps not. But what could have led to such a downfall after his aggressive campaign and chest-thumping? Let us try and understand.
A fan following with unstable goals
Although Trump holds a dominant position in the national polls in the Republican race, his fan following is weak. In fact, he is popular among Republicans who are less affluent, less educated and less likely to turn out to vote. Ironically, his very best voters are self-identified Republicans who are registered as Democrats. So, shifting loyalties is a pertinent issue.
Experts believe that this fan base may not turnout operation necessary to mobilize irregular voters.
The Republicans have maintained their competitiveness despite their unpopularity among non-whites and young voters. This, they have done after adding older and white voters from the South. As a result, they have been able to hold important positions in the House, the Senate and many state governments. However, iy is now believed that these same voters are making it difficult for the party to spread their appeal to the non white and the young voters.
Unequal spread of followers
Barring the undecided voters, Trump is quite popular among the GOP groups across the country. However, the support is not uniform. Clearly, there are certain specific areas from where the support comes- He is quite popular in broad swath of the country, stretching from the Gulf Coast, up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, to upstate New York.
Mr. Trump's best state is West Virginia, followed by New York. Eight of Mr. Trump's 10 best congressional districts are in New York, including several on Long Island. North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and South Carolina follow.
His popularity, however fades in the South by Ted Cruz in Texas and Mike Huckabee in Arkansas. The margin of uncertainty in the Congressional district is plus or minus 8.7 percentage points. The data also reflects the preferences of registered Republican 2016 who are lesser in number than primary and caucus electorate. Incidentally, Trump's strength fades as we move West.
Iowa, is a case in point. More so because this is one of the states from the Great Plains or Mountain West where public pollsters frequently conduct public opinion surveys. Incidentally, he is worst in Utah, which is traditonally Republican and affluent.
His comments on the minority, the African-Americans and the Muslims may have intrigued many to vote against him. According to a Google search data, the same areas where racial animus is the highest, have a large population of the least educated and the elderly. This community, in turn favour Trump.
Final presidential debate before the caucuses
Donald Trump may regret not to have gone to final presidential debate before the caucuses, because that is when a chunk of his followers decided not to vote for him. Certainly, that was not a responsible action and taking his position for granted in the Iowa caucus debate. While Trump overshadowed many, he did not respect the people by not showing up.
As Ted Cruz, who led the election race said,"I want to thank everyone here for showing the men and women of Iowa the respect to show up and make the case to the people of this state and the people of the country why each of us believe we would make the best commander in chief."
If Trump has not learnt his lesson yet, the US presidential elections may see the "elephant" out of the race forever.