February 04

Inside the Iowa Meltdown

Monday was the day of the storm, and Tuesday was the aftermath. There was so much attention on Iowa, on who would win, on what this would mean, but everything was expected to be done by Tuesday, so the nation could move on to New Hampshire.

Wrong.

Yesterday, Donald Trump took to social media to reveal a detail that is extremely important. Trump found himself a copy of a letter with the official Ted Cruz campaign letterhead, which was sent to many of the voters the day of the Iowa Caucus. In the letter, they tell the person that Ben Carson is expected to drop out of the race. This implies that instead of voting for Carson, they should vote for Cruz, because if he is planning to drop out of the race it is like a wasted vote. Cruz said that he got this information from CNN. The network, however, very quickly clarified that they reported Carson was going home to Florida immediately after the Iowa Caucus to get fresh clothes. Cruz’s campaign made sure to spread this information, without the key detail that he would stay in the race. Carson said that Cruz was playing “dirty politics.”

So, Trump saw this and was, of course, outraged. Those voters who would have voted for Carson then voted for Cruz, giving Cruz those few points to beat Trump in a state he was projected to win.

The scandal does not end here. Cruz has also been accused of sending letters out to Iowa citizens, with the purpose to scare them into voting. There were mailer’s handed out which said,

“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUuCS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”

This mailer, which the Cruz campaign confirmed they sent, is an outright lie. There is no such thing as “voting violation.” There is also no such thing as a “voting grade.” This letter was purely a scare tactic to get people out to vote, making them believe under false pretenses that if they did not, they would be publicly shamed in their community.

Cruz, however, has said that he will not apologize for any method used to increase voter turnout. If this is not dirty politics, I do not know what is. Cruz won Iowa, but in a way that makes his campaign look power hungry and corrupt. While he did not break any laws, his actions seem dishonest and twisted.

They say all is fair in love and war, and the saying could also be applied to politics. All Cruz cares about right now is that he won Iowa. All Trump cares about is that he lost Iowa because he did not get his hands as dirty as Cruz’s. Moving forward, the people will have to decide who they give their support to, and how much they care about Cruz using these campaign tactics.