So here we are.
After one long year of campaigning and debating, after all the spin and squawking and expert analysis from beltway insiders like me, it’s finally time for the common people to have their say, before it’s back to the spin room.
On this frigid cold night in the sleepy Hellhole that is Iowa, the very first delegates will be chosen. These are the baby steps leading towards primaries and caucuses in all 50 states, on the way to both parties choosing their nominee for the next President of these United States. It’s no overstatement to say that tonight is one of the most important nights in the history of the world.
As in caucuses past, this reporter humbly offers his predictions for who will win tonight:
DEMOCRATS: HILLARY OVER BERNIE
Bernie wasted the last week of campaigning by ordering his slovenly male followers to harass women and respected journalists on Twitter. Sure, the Bernie Bros make effective attack dogs, but my gut tells me that when it’s time to vote, these basement-dwelling slobs won’t be able to get their moms to drive them to the caucus. These Millennial misogynists have probably squandered their car privileges on too many trips to Best Buy to stock up on Mountain Dew Code Reds and gaming headsets they use to scream slurs at women of color on Xbox. Furthermore, Hillary’s cadre of web-savvy Gen Xers (the much-bandied “Hillary Men”) have been destroying Sanders supporters with logic in full view of everyone thanks to Twitter’s .@ reply function. This is the first election that will mostly be determined by online interactions, and Hillary’s veritable professional militia-style online wing has ruthlessly massacred these terrorists.
Hillary spent the past week locking up every endorsement except the most important one: a letter from the Attorney-General saying she won’t be prosecuted for running a treasonous e-mail server. Ultimately Clinton’s win tonight will be irrelevant, as after she’s frog-marched off her campaign jet by federal marshals, her delegates — and the nomination — will go to Martin O’Malley by default.
REPUBLICANS: CRUZ WINS, TRUMP NARROW SECOND, RUBIO CLOSE BEHIND
Despite a miserable performance in the final pre-Iowa debate, my gut tells me Ted Cruz has won the sympathy of a fair number of Iowans who see this genetic aberration cursed with drooping bands of vestigial neck skin and think he’s suffered too much in life for him to also lose Iowa. Religious voters in particular will think that this hideous, shrill abomination was created by their God to test them.
Although he’s been leading in most Iowa surveys, Donald Trump has a similar turnout problem as Bernie, as most of his support comes from first-time caucus-goers who are normally legally barred from going to the polls. His campaign will be aggressively lobbying parole officers to ease off the ankle monitors and let Trump’s fanatical supporters vote. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio has been surging in the polls, which nets him a respectable third place not far behind the two frontrunners. Finally, Dr. Ben Carson, who was challenging Trump for the lead not too long ago, will get fourth place with about 10-12% of the vote from his hard core of supporters who believe him to be the reincarnation of the blind prophet Eli.
Get ready for a close race, folks, with just 1-2% of the vote separating Cruz and Trump. Don’t stay up too late tonight drinking and waiting for the networks to call the state, because we might not know the actual winner for a few days. Think Santorum-Romney in 2012. If I could predict a tie I would, but we all know that ties don’t count in politics, where it’s all about who wins the almighty Momentum.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR TONIGHT
It’s been a while, so here’s a refresher on how the Iowa Caucus works:
While most primaries are simple ballot affairs, the flyover geniuses that vote in Iowa require a special format. These energy drink-addled corn people are used to UFC-style cage fights where their raucous yells and parking lot melees are more acceptable than the civilized democratic process.
That’s why in the Iowa caucuses, candidates identify a relatively civilized Iowan (someone with only 4 DUIs) to be a precinct captain. This person is in charge of organizing their lesser counterparts. They corral their neighbors from leaving racist comments on Nick Cannon’s “Wild N Out” on Hulu and bring them to a high school wrestling room or wherever Iowans caucus. There, people organize into delegate groups for their candidates. If they have less than 15 percent of the plurality as the pitiful moron Rand Paul surely will, their candidate is eliminated. The delegates for this candidate must then either join another candidate’s delegates or be removed from the caucus due to the likelihood of causing a mass shooting, as Rand Paul’s supporters surely will be. Voters can persuade these delegates to join their candidate’s group, so look for Bernie supporters to go into any caucus hall with any women inside and scream at the top of their lungs as they are accustomed to doing.
There is one small difference between parties: Democrats have to publicly announce their votes at precinct meetings, while Republicans use a secret ballot. Some may say this entire process is inscrutable, needlessly complicated, serves to enrich hideously fat corn barons, and an unsightly, pandering affair where focus-group tested rich sociopaths gum fried foods to endear themselves to people in “No Fear” t-shirts. These people have zero respect for the process that has served our country well for over 40 years. I can’t wait!
MORE LIVE COVERAGE OF THE IOWA CAUCUS
The Dig will be covering the Iowa Caucuses live for CAFE all day today from his Twitter account @carl_diggler. When the results start coming in, you’ll want the Dig’s expert analysis to make sense of what’s happening. I’ll see you online, Tweeps!
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.