Trump did it. Everybody was wrong.

I, like nearly everyone else, did not think Trump would be in this for the long haul. Surely, he would fade. Surely, his ridiculous statements would be his downfall. Surely, a more standard politician would rise to the top. Surely, surely, surely … it just can’t be.

But it is. Trump has secured enough nomination votes to be the Republican nominee.

Wow! He did it.

So anyone who thinks they know what is going to happen in November is simply full of it. This is the most unpredictable election year ever. All bets are off. I’m not a gambling man, and it’s a good thing.

This Trump vs. Clinton election cycle will be one of the wildest ever. Really, can’t you wait to see the debates between these two? It’s going to be hysterical or really, really sad. But still hysterical.

Whatever conventional wisdom remains concerning Trump should be thrown out the window. The democrats should be shaking in their boots right now, because Hillary is looking like a very beatable candidate, and the Donald isn’t going to let up on her.

Sure there are MANY Donald detractors, and they aren’t going to be won over. And Trump still could burn and crash and come back to earth at some point. Hillary could beat him, possibly even by a big margin. But if I had to predict today, I think Donald will win – probably by a large margin. I keep hearing things like: “I don’t like what Trump says, but I decided to vote for him anyways, just to stick it to those politicians in Washington!” That’s a powerful incentive for large swaths of the country – stick it those who have betrayed them. (or something like that)

But there I am, making foolish predictions on the most unpredictable race ever. Anything can and probably will happen.

And that could include Sanders sticking around forever to see if anything seriously harmful will happen to Clinton. (aka FBI & Inspector General report) Much has been said of the crazy Republican primary, but the Democratic side has been equally chaotic. Sanders must be driving the Democratic establishment bonkers!

As a political junkie, this is a race made in heaven. It’s been fun already, and honestly, it’s just getting started.

Trump vs. Clinton. Who would have thought? Basically, nobody.

Is Rubio the One to Watch?

A number of pundits and journalists have declared Marco Rubio the official winner in the Iowa Caucus – not because he came in first, but because he came in third, only one point off of Trump.

I tend to agree with this analysis. This was a major step forward for the Rubio campaign and he is, in my estimation, in a good position to do well moving forward.

Here are the facts so far. Cruz obviously won Iowa and pulled in 8 delegates compared to 7 each for Trump and Rubio according to RealClearPolitics. Iowa is not, however, about winning delegates. It’s about momentum.

Rubio’s best news of the night was that he won 30% of the undecided voters, according to a Fox News report, compared with 25% for Cruz with Trump far behind that. It means that Rubio’s message is resonating in a state he didn’t expect to do so well in. The Iowan Republican Caucus is known for their Christian conservative bent. This can easily be seen in 2008 when Mike Huckabee won Iowa and in 2012 when Rick Santorum won it. Cruz’s large ground game and conservative message ultimately won in Iowa, which completely makes sense.

New Hampshire and beyond will be a different story. Rubio’s articulate, more moderate message might just be his calling card to reach large numbers of voters who could sour on Trump or at least see in Rubio an alternative which could be a formidable challenger to whoever receives the Democratic nomination.

Cruz, of course, has strong momentum and not to mention bragging rights, but it will be interesting to see how his message will play out in less conservative strongholds.

I’m very curious to see where Rubio will end up in New Hampshire. Trump currently commands a huge 22 point lead in the polls in the Granite State, but will Cruz rise from his Iowan victory or will Rubio make an impression? ¬†Fun times lay ahead. From here on out, it looks to be a three man race.

On the Democratic side, Sanders did well in Iowa and figures to win New Hampshire easily. However, that could end his run as the southern states and the Super Tuesday primary coming early next month will see Clinton’s base in full form and, barring any unseen circumstances, will likely overrun Sander’s camp by that time.

But stranger things have happened.

Election Field Trip -12,000 Miles Away

I teach American government. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. There are so many wonderfully villainous things to talk about, especially in an election year.

It’s not accident that elections take place directly after Halloween. It’s only after the evil spirits are allowed to roam and the werewolves have had their say to the moon, and the witches have brewed up a delicious divisive concoction that we, in America, should partake in our national elections.

Allegations of ballot tampering, ballot harvesting, voting machines which register votes for the opposite party – it’s fun and games at a new level – a contact sport of the mind which is oftentimes run by the mindless.

In other words, elections in America are a blast!

So even though my class is 12,000 miles away from all the fun, we’ll take part in the mid-term super bowl for politics and will be tallying the results all morning while finger food and skipping class.

We may be far away in person, but we are with you America in spirit. We’ll be running down the elections to see if the Republicans have what it takes to overtake the Senate, or if the Democrats, playing defense, will be able to stop the electorate from jumping from the Obama ship. We’ll track the House to see if the Republicans will increase their majority. We’ll run down the state gubernatorial elections to see if there is any major shifts on the landscape.

And of course, based upon the results, we’ll make wildly inaccurate predictions about what all this means for the 2016 presidential election which will officially kick off on November 5. One good thing about being 12,000 miles away is that I won’t be seeing the political ads for the next two years which become more and more frequent.

Pull up a chair and some popcorn. Enjoy the big game that is America’s to win or lose. But don’t worry, if you lose, you can always spin it back so you actually have won!

Gotta love politics!