Nate Silver: GOP Has 4 Roads Out of Iowa
The biggest surprise would be something normal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2016 2:40 AM CST
Cruz, Trump, and Rubio before the Jan. 14 debate.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(Newser) – The Iowa caucuses are here, and Nate Silver, who wasn't expecting Donald Trump to still be leading the GOP field at this stage, still thinks he could be knocked off his perch. At, the predictions whiz outlines four possible results in Iowa—and four ways the media is likely to spin them.

  1. Marco Rubio as the GOP's Savior. If Trump beats Ted Cruz and Rubio does well, expect the GOP elites to rally behind Rubio, Silver predicts, adding that in what was "possibly an idiotic strategy," the GOP establishment may have had this outcome in mind when it launched recent attacks on Cruz.

  1. A Trump Blowout. If Trump beats Cruz and Rubio flops, Monday "will be one of the most famous days in American political history," according to Silver, who predicts that a blowout Trump win would make him the odds-on favorite for the nomination—and leave the GOP without a clear alternative.
  2. Cruz in Control. If Cruz beats Trump and Rubio has a bad night, "Cruz will look Teflon" and it will be a nightmare for the GOP elites who opposed him, Silver writes. He predicts that a post-Iowa Cruz bounce could open up chances for Jeb Bush or John Kasich in New Hampshire.
  3. A Trump Bust. If Cruz beats Trump and Rubio has a strong night, the story will be all about a Trump bust, whether or not his New Hampshire chances still look good, Silver predicts. He notes that a Trump collapse would leave the GOP primary looking relatively normal, which "might be the biggest surprise of all."
Click for Silver's full column.