Defeat has many fathers, they say. But it was last Thursday, as Donald Trump boycotted the Fox News debate out of pique at moderator Megan Kelly, that I proclaimed on John Batchelor’s radio show that we had reached “Peak Trump” in Iowa. I know enough Iowans to understand how “special” they view their caucus process, and you diss them by ignoring the only GOP debate held in their state at your peril.
As it turned out, two-thirds of likely GOP caucus goers told pollsters they saw some or all of the Trump-less debate. They were able to see the other candidates in a format where they weren’t judged by who they interacted with the Donald.The Emerson College poll, which unlike the last Des Moines Register poll was taken completely after the debate, found that Trump’s absence made 39% of voters less likely to go for him, and only 14% more likely.