The Establishment Won

Former President Donald Trump invites Sen. Marco Rubio to speak during a rally at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition on November 6, 2022, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

If I had asked you six months ago to sketch a scenario in which Donald Trump loses the Iowa caucuses, what would that scenario have looked like?

I assume it would have gone like this:

The field needs to winnow early. We can’t afford to have the anti-Trump vote splinter this time as it did in 2016.

We also need influential conservatives to get behind his opponents. Convincing Republican voters that they have “permission” to abandon their leader will require real exertion by opinion-makers.

And we need an electability argument. The more polls show that other candidates in the field stand a better chance of beating Joe Biden, the stronger the case for a new nominee becomes.

My editor pointed out to me this morning that all three of those wishes came true before Monday night’s Iowa caucuses.

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