Reports coming out of Iowa frequently talk about the building momentum for Marco Rubio. Jonathan Easley’s article for the Hill Magazine is one such article. Mr. Easley’s article doesn’t ‘bury the lede’, starting with the statement that “Buzz is growing on the ground in Iowa around Marco Rubio, who many political watchers believe is set for a stronger-than-expected showing at Monday’s caucuses.”
That isn’t coming from the Rubio campaign. Most campaigns work at managing expectations. They’d rather outperform expectations than under deliver. Sen. Rubio’s stump speech has a healthy dose of levity and a lengthy section on his electability. Sen. Rubio’s message is resonating with GOP voters, says veteran GOP activist “Doug Gross, who served as Iowa finance chairman for the campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.”
Gross said “He easily has the greatest upside. Mainstream Republicans are not comfortable with Trump or Cruz, and the more I hear from them, the more they say they’ve decided on Rubio. He has the greatest potential and it’s driven by pragmatism, a desire to win, and angst with the two front-runners.”
This article highlights Sen. Rubio’s message on electability:
We have to nominate someone that doesn’t just stand strongly with our principles, but somebody that can grow the conservative movement, and someone that can defeat Hillary Clinton. I can defeat her or Bernie Sanders because we are going to grow the conservative movement.
It would be a miracle for Sen. Rubio to finish second in Iowa. Still, a strong third place finish in Iowa would all but officially eliminate the establishment candidacies of Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie.
Meanwhile, Sen. Cruz might have just put a ceiling on his support:
Tom Hinkeldey, a resident of Alta, Iowa, tweeted a photo (which was later deleted because it included his personal address) on Friday evening of a mailer Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign sent addressed to his wife, Steffany. The mailer was a large card printed to look like a manila envelope on one side and was labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.”
The text then reads:
You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.
The Hinkeldey family has a message for Sen. Cruz:
Hey @tedcruz your brilliant public shaming campaign has inspired me to caucus on Monday…For @marcorubio.” He confirmed that he had been leaning towards Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and hadn’t yet completely made up his mind, but the mailer “took me over the edge finally.”
This sums things up nicely:
The reaction on Twitter was swift, and largely negative. Many viewed the mailer as a privacy violation. As the mailer notes, the information on it was pulled from public records, and that is legal, but printing the names and voter records like that, along with the implication that the neighbors are seeing the same information, is unsettling to some.
Sometimes, one candidate’s (Sen. Cruz) mistake adds to another candidate’s (Marco Rubio’s) momentum.