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Mitch Perry Report for 2.1.16 — Iowa, finally

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Good morning, everyone.

While there will definitely be drama in awaiting the returns from Iowa tonight, I will argue right now that if Ted Cruz ekes out a victory, it won’t really mean all that much in the end.

That’s a prediction, something I try to stay away from in — at least putting such statements in print (or in cyberspace).

However, think about it: Iowa is a state that is designed for a guy like Cruz — heavy with religiously conservative voters. It’s the model that saw Mike Huckabee be successful in ’08 and Rick Santorum in 2012. To be fair, both men won other primaries and caucuses after Iowa in those respective election cycles, yet they came nowhere near taking home the nomination.

I think that will be the case for Cruz. I mean, you have to have a little bit of charisma to go all the way, and that’s something that the Texas Senator simply doesn’t possess. He’s noticeably unlikeable.

Donald Trump has charisma. In his own unconventional way, so does Bernie Sanders. But Cruz? I just can’t see the American people ever warming to him. So let’s watch tonight. The consensus (even from Cruz) is that if Trump wins, it may be over for the nomination. Who knows about that? For the sake of prolonging the drama, it would probably be better for those of us who would love to see a brokered convention have Cruz come out on top. Just don’t think it means he’s on his way to anything if he takes home the caucuses tonight.

By the way, I was going to write about all the reasons why we should stop having the first caucus (it should, at least, be a primary) take place in Iowa, but the Times’ Adam Smith does a great job eviscerating the myth surrounding Iowa today. Also, check out veteran political journalists Roger Simon and/or Jeff Greenfield for their respective takedowns on the Hawkeye State.

In a just political world, this would be the last time we devote so much time and energy to this state.

In other news …

On Saturday, a top strategist with the Bernie Sanders campaign held events in Tampa and St. Petersburg which drew enthusiastic crowds.

The GOP Senate candidates in Florida have announced their fundraising totals for the end of the year.

Marco Rubio aired a 30-minute infomercial about his greatness to Iowa Voters on four different stations in Iowa on Sunday. Will it make a difference?

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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