Ted Cruz can still win Iowa
...Turnout will be the determining factor in a place where it requires more than normal motivation. The polls that show Trump with a lead are projecting a 200 percent increase in turnout which is highly unlikely. It will be very hard for Trump to meet those expectations.
And nobody is more motivated than the Ted Cruz crowd. Trump’s support comes from heretofore alienated subgroups, many of whom haven’t voted before. They have no history of high voter turnout. Cruz’s support comes from the traditional base in Iowa: Evangelicals and conservatives. Cruz has support from Evangelical pastors in every single Iowa precinct. He’s done the ground work. Trump hasn’t.
Beyond that, Trump has the highest negatives of any candidate in Iowa outside of Jeb Bush – he’s at 54 percent positive and 45 percent negative. Cruz, by contrast, has the highest positives: 76 percent to 19 percent. This means that Cruz is everybody’s second pick – so as the field narrows, Cruz should gain.
In short, Donald Trump must turn out every Donald Trump backer to beat Cruz. Cruz must only turn out a solid segment of his base, and then hope that the other candidates who have been flagging down the stretch continue to do so, with their voters bleeding over to him. There’s a reason that just days ago, fivethirtyeight.com forecast Cruz with a 51 percent chance of winning Iowa, with Trump at just 29 percent – although fivethirtyeight.com also estimates Trump with a 43 percent to 42 percent advantage when endorsements are taken out of the game.