— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) January 29, 2016
* Jeb Bush is sad.
I think that kind of stuff’s being planted by other candidates because they want to say Huckabee’s really not serious. Well, I’m dead serious. We are not endorsing anybody. Not this week. I have no intention of being anywhere near Little Rock on Wednesday. That’s not where my schedule has me and whoever makes that up has absolutely zero, I mean, zero knowledge of what’s going on.
As one of the rumor mongers, I can vouch that no candidate planted this idea with me, I just totally made it up.
* Here is a man dressed as a piece of corn perfectly explaining the Donald Trump phenomenon:
Watch: a Donald Trump supporter dressed as a piece of corn explains why he's caucusing for him tonight pic.twitter.com/5DxCYGZiug
— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) February 1, 2016
* Politico reports that about $450,000 ― around 7% of all Trump’s fourth-quarter spending ― went towards hats
* Speaking of fourth-quarter fundraising reports, Kenneth Vogel of Politico has an interesting breakdown of what percentage of donations to various candidates came from small donors. Bernie Sanders leads the pack, Sad Dad Bush is at the bottom:
* What’s going to happen tonight? Who knows, but whatever happens, candidates that lose will dubiously claim that really and truly won. I am certain that a meager third place finish from Marco Rubio will lead to friendly pundits chirping that he’s the comeback kid.
Here’s Jeet Heer at the New Republic on the art of spin:
Spinning an Iowa defeat is an art form in itself. It’s inevitable that some candidate in the crowded Republican field will under-perform tomorrow. How will his or her supporters spin the dismal news? History offers a guide. In 2008, Rudy Giuliani came in sixth in Iowa with 3 percent of the vote. You would think that such a terrible showing would be impossible to gild into a shining achievement. Yet John Podhoretz of Commentary wrote, “The result in Iowa could not have been better for Giuliani tactically.” David Frum, another Giuliani supporter, enthused, “Yet as the smoke clears, it’s going to become apparent that Rudy was the night’s big winner.”
The question is, who will be the pundit who will celebrate the likely disastrous showing of Jeb Bush and other candidates? Are there columnists even now preparing to argue that failure is victory and rejection is triumph?
* BREAKING GAME-CHANGER:
* Here’s how Nate Silver projects the odds of each GOP candidate finishing first, second, or third: