Donald Trump: Cruz Didn’t Win Iowa, He Stole It

Donald Trump: Cruz Didn’t Win Iowa, He Stole It

"Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified," Trump demanded.

Just days after getting thumped in the Iowa Republican caucus by Sen. Ted Cruz, New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump accused Cruz of stealing the election from him and demanded that Iowa officials hold a new vote. Trump leveled his accusation at Cruz on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” Trump declared on Wednesday. “That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got for more votes than anticipated. Bad!”

“Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified,” Trump demanded.

Although an average of polls conducted heading into the Iowa caucus on Monday suggested that Trump would win by a few points, Cruz ended up winning by more than 6,000 votes, or roughly 3 percentage points, while setting a record for the most votes ever received by a candidate in the state’s Republican caucus.

Trump did not accuse Florida Sen. Marco Rubio of cheating, even though Rubio also significantly outperformed the polls, receiving 6 percentage points more than poll averages predicted.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump, who had little to no organization on the ground in Iowa, attacked Cruz for using direct mail pieces to encouraged lapsed voters to vote for the Texas senator. Cruz’s efforts worked, as Republican turnout shattered previous records. And while many pollsters assumed that high turnout from first-time caucus participants would benefit Trump, the opposite turned out to be true, as registered voters who had never before participated in a caucus turned out in droves to vote against Trump.

Bryon Allen, one of Cruz’s pollsters, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that Trump paid dearly for his decision to skip the final debate ahead of the caucus.

The Des Moines Register poll, Quinnipiac, and others conducted their interviews over a period that spanned much of the last week before the caucus. I said yesterday that this may have been a problem and it turned out to be.

In most years, the arguments have all been made well in advance of the last week. While some things can change and some voters will change their minds, it’s rare for a major shake-up of the race to happen in the few days before the caucus.

But this year, once again, was different. The last week saw Trump skip the final debate, a move that cost him substantially with traditional caucus goers. It also saw the first real opportunity for voters to see the non-Trump candidates debate the issues rather than participating in a circus.

Both of these things moved the numbers and most of the public polls missed this effect by releasing data based substantially on pre-debate interviews. If they had polled post-debate and into the weekend, they would have seen what we saw and drawn very different conclusions about the state of the race.

Allen noted that one reason pollsters missed Cruz’s surge is that none of the pollsters polled after the debate, which was the first time voters were given the opportunity to see what a campaign without Trump in it might look like.

“The last week saw Trump skip the final debate, a move that cost him substantially with traditional caucus goers,” Allen wrote. “It also saw the first real opportunity for voters to see the non-Trump candidates debate the issues rather than participating in a circus.”

New Hampshire voters head to the polls next Tuesday during the country’s first official primary election. Trump currently has a 21-point lead in that race according to an average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.

Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.
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