Iowa Caucuses

Donald Trump Stomps Bill Weld and Joe Walsh in Iowa

The president's would-be primary challengers fail to reach 2 percent, and are being out-fundraised a combined 230 to 1.

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It won't get much media attention, but there was a Republican presidential caucus in Iowa tonight, too, and it was as dramatic as it was predictable: President Donald Trump absolutely clobbered primary opponents Bill Weld and Joe Walsh.

The most persistently unpopular president since the end of World War II was at a Castro-like 97 percent of the vote with 79 percent of precincts reporting, while Weld and Walsh were at 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. This race has never been close, but man, that's not close.

Weld, a former Republican National Convention keynoter and twice-elected governor of Massachusetts who ran in 2016 as the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, stressed in his closing argument to Iowa voters his limited-government bonafides.

"I'm running to offer the opportunity to elect a president who actually believes in the principles of limited government, free and fair markets, and economic opportunity for all. Principles that, until recently, were the trademarks of a great political party," Weld wrote. "I don't believe trillion-dollar deficits are okay. I believe in markets, not trade wars….We believe in the Rule of Law, and that it applies to everyone, including the President. We believe the Constitution means what it says, rather than scoffing at its limits on the power of presidents and the federal government. And we believe the purpose of foreign policy and our military is to make us safer."

Walsh, who served one term in the House from nearby Illinois as a Tea Partier and then transitioned to (and then out of) conservative talk radio, has been emphasizing the president's poor character, though he also foregrounds issues such as free trade, spending cuts, gun rights, and criminal justice reform. "If you want four more years of a president who wakes up every morning and makes every day about himself," Walsh said in Ankeny, Iowa today, "then vote for Donald Trump." The crowd booed him out of the room.

There is no demonstrated market for limited-government opposition to Trump within the modern GOP. Trump's approval rating among Republicans, as measured every couple of weeks by Gallup, has not dipped below 87 percent since December 2018. He's been up by more than 80 percentage points among GOP primary voters in national polls for most of the race.

The fundraising numbers for the challengers are, if anything, even worse. Fourth quarter campaign finance results were announced at the end of January, and they were brutal: $411,000 for Weld, $245,000 for Walsh, $45.98 million for Trump. Add the $72.3 million raised in the last three months of 2019 by the Republican National Committee—which, remember, effected an unprecedented merger with the Trump campaign in December 2018—plus a couple of other big-money operations, and the incumbent is outraising the competition combined by a ratio of more than 230 to 1.

Weld and Walsh combined failed to raise as much in the 4th quarter as Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, Deval Patrick, Beto O'Rourke, and several other Democratic presidential candidates, many of whom have dropped out.

Worse even still, the ankle-biters have been spending what funds they raise, which means that the results they produced tonight, and whatever they gin up in New Hampshire next week, represent something close to maximum effort. Weld had just $37,000 in the bank at the end of 2019, Walsh just under $10,000, compared to Trump's war chest of $195 million. And the Trump-run GOP has been canceling primaries across the country.

Weld is more competitive in New Hampshire, where he owns one home and is close to his base of operations in Boston. He is hoping for a Pat Buchanan-style 1992 surprise, but runs the risk of having a 1972 Pete McCloskey loss as a best-case scenario.

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  1. You mean it’s not The James Gang, “Life’s Been Good to Me So Far”, Joe Walsh?

    Too bad. That might have been interesting.

    1. He campaigned All Night Long, but in the end, his chances Turned to Stone.

  2. “There is no demonstrated market for limited-government opposition to Trump within the modern GOP”

    There’s hardly ever a market. It’s just something the GOP yells about when they aren’t in power. I’ll admit I was fooled before, never again.

    There aren’t enough poor libertarians. Find a way to pander to the poor about less government and you’ve got yourself a libertarian movement.

    1. //Find a way to pander to the poor about less government and you’ve got yourself a libertarian movement.//

      LOL

    2. Hilarious yet profound.

    3. Find a way to pander to the poor about less government and you’ve got yourself a libertarian movement.

      Open borders, free healthcare to illegals, eliminating the military, and letting China screw us in trade aren’t going to be the selling points to use.

  3. Welch’s Sour Grape Juice.

    1. The still have Amash to latch on to.

      1. From the above article…

        “If you want four more years of a president who wakes up every morning and makes every day about himself,” Walsh said in Ankeny, Iowa today, “then vote for Donald Trump.”

        Excellent advice!

  4. In other news: I took a dump this morning

  5. The same Bill Weld who pretended (very badly) to be a Libertarian candidate the last time around?

    1. Really! A shitty 328% increase in LP share of the total vote, way more than 3X the votes Gary scarfed while pretending to be a Republican–forcing them Jezebels to squeeze out pups for Fuehrer und Vaterland, jawohl? Welch is a real booster. Maybe he could get us another 300% rise to 12 million votes, despite platform sabotage…

  6. Hahahaha. Unreason needs to write an article about how Lefties wont accept the results of whats coming.

    Trump has earned a Reaganesque 2020 Election landslide. Trump pounding fake Republican contenders into the ground in Iowa and fewer Democrats turning out for the Iowa Causus would seem to support pain for the Democrat Party.

    I am ready with my tear barrels though. Cry as much as you would like unreason staff. I have your salty tears available from 2016 for reuse in 2020 and 2024, since you psychotic freaks have trouble with affect.

    1. #Trumpslide2020

      1. Is that some kind of gold plated water park? Or a new dance the kids are doing at weddings?

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  8. “There is no demonstrated market for limited-government opposition to Trump within the modern GOP. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans, as measured every couple of weeks by Gallup, has not dipped below 87 percent since December 2018”

    Well, let’s unpack this for a couple seconds. Never Trumpers vehemently called for the destruction of the GOP, with all benefits going to Democrats in order to defeat Trump. Think about that for a second. I really don’t like Trump. I hate his trade wars, and don’t like his border policy. But his Judicial nominations will change the face of law for the next 20 years.

    If you want a good understanding of why California’s homeless problems are so acute, start with the courts. They have made it so that a homeless person setting up a cardboard box on a sidewalk has all the rights of a homeowner. At the federal level, an environmental ruling took California from a growing agricultural hub to a state perpetually in drought as it dumps tons of water into the ocean to support fish. Then let’s talk about the horrors wrought by Unions.

    When your criticism of Trump is to basically cede the international stage to the same people fucking up my current home state, hell yeah, republicans are going to support Trump. There is no alternative to them. For all the terrible that Trump is, the border and trade can be changed easily. We cannot change the SCOTUS, or regulations nearly as easy.

    1. Small government Californian still failing to comprehend that the big government debacle of CA was brought about by the mass immigration policies he championed that imported millions of Big Government Voters.

      Import Big Government Voters, get Big Government.
      Import Not Americans, Become Not America.

      1. Too bad ‘Overt’ doesn’t find the time to look at the numbers of illegal immigrants that vote Democrat/Socialist in states that allow a ballot cast on the show of a drivers license and live in a state that gives illegals a drivers license. Talk about election fraud right out in the open. Or that 85%!!!! of the welfare system goes directly to that immigrant minority.

  9. “The most persistently unpopular president since the end of World War II was at a Castro-like 97 percent”

    Cognitive dissonance means never noticing how completely you’re contradicting yourself.

    #TDS

    1. Those aren’t mutually exclusive. Trump can be very unpopular president but also more popular then all the other candidates. They may not like Trump but he’s better then the alternative.

      1. +1, that’s the key. Trump was better than Hillary Clinton in 2016. That’s why he won. Put another terrible candidate up against him in 2020 and the results will be the same.

  10. Another Obama record erased

  11. We got Weld who pretty much endorsed that pathetic hag in ’16, claiming to be a ‘small government’ candidate and Walsh who seems not capable of paying child support whining about the ‘character’ of Trump, and they get gob-stomped by a guy who has cut regulations, gotten those who favor liberty appointed to courts and cabinet positions and Welsh is upset.
    You got $5 this year; figure $2.50 in 2020; grow up, Welsh.

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  13. How is this surprising? He is the incumbent with a ton of public support from his party’s voters. I don’t even know if it is accurate to describe him as having historically low job approval. Many I’ve seen are on par with Obama and Bush and that is with an openly hostile media covering him

    1. Also, Welch can fuck right off with the Castro smear. Given his support from party members, the primary is at best a wasteful “going through the motions” thing. Let’s consider some other public support stats and wonder if Welch chooses to highlight it in such derogatory fashion.
      97% of black people voted for Obama
      97% of “scientists” are in “consensus” on “climate change”

  14. There is no demonstrated market for limited-government opposition to Trump within the modern GOP. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans, as measured every couple of weeks by Gallup, has not dipped below 87 percent since December 2018.

    Republicans and Democrats both love big government. They should unite into one party, and just PRETEND they’re terrible enemies. Oh, wait…

  15. > [Trump is] The most persistently unpopular president since the end of World War II

    The Reason staff seems to think we’re stupid. They keep pushing this BS and always cite polls like Gallup, which never poll likely voters and almost always oversample Democrats. The staff wants so badly for it to be true that they’ll latch onto the same polls that failed miserably in 2016.

    It’s time for them to face facts. The Libertarian Party will never have a president. Pretending both of the electable options are unpopular will not make that any less true.

    1. And yet I’m waiting for Matt Welch or Nick to actually come out for the issues what define libertarians…no more central banks, very limited govt, no more foreign entanglements and getting govt out of economic transactions between two willing parties…oh and a very strong defense of the Bill of Rights.

  16. All this does is prove the fascists like their cult leader. Why is this surprising? The reasonable ones have all been turfed out of the party, including the most principled one being Amash.

    1. > All this does is prove the fascists like their cult leader.

      Use of the word “fascist” does nothing but torpedo your argument. After all, 99% of the western world has no idea what a fascist really is, nor have most of them ever lived under one…including you.

    2. Read the mystery of fascism and it’s obvious Trump is pretty far from that….Obama was closer with his centralized plan for many industries, attack on religion, and socialist economics…

    3. Yet another twit who thinks fascism is distinct of national socialism. This isn’t just failed education this is down right ignorance.

  17. ‘The most persistently unpopular president since the end of World War II . . . ‘
    Well by some people and the left controlled media Trump has been the most hated but not by the people! His support has been quite consistent through all the years of the democrats accusations of everything from treason to j-walking and the media happily parroting the same. The democrats have every since Trump won the presidency have been trying to find some reason to impeach him and have failed. But the policies at first received condemnation both by the democrats and foreign leaders. But as these policies starting producing results the foreign leaders are now quite saying that he was correct in his approach. From pressing NATO members to meet their agreed to funding for the organization to the US national economy to the confrontation of Iran. Every thing that he did is right opposite to what Obama and presidents before him has done. The difference is Trump got and is getting results where the others did not.
    Trump has reversed the ripoff that other nations were doing to the US in trade and is now leveling the playing field which before now thought could not be done. He also have gained the respect of friends, allies and so called allies and enemies alike. One might say that Trump is taking what Teddy Roosevelt old saying of “Speak softly but carry a big stick” and applying it as never before applied. He has increased US military power and when necessary applies it with vigor. But he has more than the military big stick, he also has the economic big stick and he wields it well also which no previous president has wielded either as well out side of declared war. As a results Europe is begrudgingly admitting that Trump has been correct. The middle east is in the process of being solved and Iran is being isolated and its economy will be trashed if it continues on the same path that it has been on. Yet the democrats will not give Trump any credit but if they did why should the voter vote for them since Trump has done so much more than they could ever do even in their dreams!

    1. Trump is putting to bed the Wilsonian foreign policy thank god! I just hope the CFR and there rest of the progressive young Americans killing war loving globalist wokes are defeated and with luck move back to the commie lands their ancestors came from.

  18. I’d love to ding Trump for the increase in the deficit, but pray tell what was the margin in Congress for the 2020 budget? In the GOP controlled Senate the vote was 81-11 with 7 GOP votes against, in the House it’s 230-138.

    In an era when the Congress seems determined to scale back the President’s powers, with enthusiastic Reason consent, why are you trying to pin the responsibility of the deficit in Trump?

  19. It makes my life somewhat sweeter when the Reason authors display how the very concept of the Trump presidency mind fucks them.

  20. There is no demonstrated market for limited-government opposition to Trump within the modern GOP.

    I think you mean there is no limited government opposition to Donald Trump in the modern GOP.

    Drinky Weld and Joe Nobody aren’t small government advocates. They’re irrelevant sideshows just hoping for one last night in the spotlight before their mostly-dead political careers go all dead.

  21. Was there actual stomping involved or is that a metaphor?

    I am never sure these days.

  22. Bill Weld…ha ha ha..Nick Sarwark’s savior…ha ha
    Woke Libertatian Reason…yesterday it was anyone who is anti-statist is now an alt right fascist. Now a washed up neocon bramin blue blood who pretended to be a libertarian as a way to take vote from Trump to make the Queen of death President is worth an article on their run for the GOP nomination…ha ha. Man Reason has fallen so far..hell what’s next given Jennifer Rubin or Max Booth a job?

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  24. It amazes me how media can totally dismiss the deregulation Trump has done and continues to do. The support of eliminating presidential war powers. Bills supporting school choice. Vetoing last years budget for over a year. Cancelling the subsidizing of foreign countries and even an attempted impeachment for it.

    Ya right — Trump has a few ‘big’ government plans but in comparison to previous [R] presidents he’s the best at ‘limited-government’ than all of them in the last 100-years. lol.. Like the [D] party even gets to play in a ‘limited-government’ game…

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