New York Post
Out of Iowa: Two wide-open races — and some chicanery
By Post Editorial Board
First, enjoy the overlooked and inspiring good news out of Iowa: Ted Cruz on Monday became the first Latino ever to win a presidential primary or caucus.
In fact, three of the top four Republican finishers — Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson — were minority candidates. Together, they won 60 percent of the record- turnout vote.
Pretty remarkable in a party often slapped as “all white.” Especially when the Democrats aren’t fielding a single candidate of color.
Instead, we’ve heard lots of talk about Hillary Clinton being the first woman to win the Iowa caucus. But did she?
Her razor-thin margin (by just 3.77 state delegate equivalents) over Bernie Sanders is already under question, since no one seems to know how many precincts were decided by coin flip.
The Iowa Democratic Party late yesterday was denying widespread social-media reports that Clinton had somehow won every single one of the six coin flips of the night (against 64-to-1 odds). Instead, the party said, Sanders won six of seven tosses.
As of now, no one really knows — because precincts don’t always report their flips.
Add in the facts that 1) the Iowa Democratic Party won’t release the raw vote totals, and 2) no recount is allowed — and you can see why some Bernie fans are feeling burned by the establishment.
At best, Clinton won by under 1 percentage point in a state where she once led by 60 points. Meanwhile, there’s the blatant chicanery on the GOP side: Cruz has now apologized for his campaign falsely tweeting on caucus night that Carson was dropping out of the race — a blatant Team Cruz effort to hijack some Carson voters.
Absent that cheat, Cruz’s margin over No. 2 finisher Donald Trump might have been two or more points smaller — not much ahead of No. 3 Rubio.
And Cruz needed his big win as much as Clinton needed hers: Next up is New Hampshire — a straight primary, where Trump’s hefty lead in the polls should translate better to actual votes than it did in Iowa’s caucuses.
Then South Carolina — where Rubio may soar thanks to the endorsement of Sen. Tim Scott. (And where Sanders has been creeping up on the Democratic side.)
Bottom line: It’s looking like pitched battles for both nominations — nobody’s running the table on either side.
And the voters look ready to keep serving up surprises.