What The Cruz Victory Means

  • Tuesday, 02 February 2016 13:54

Barely a few hours after Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucuses, some pundits in the media have declared it was a sign that ethanol is no longer the third rail of politics in Iowa. But was that really the case?

Consider this : Both Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio won a combined 47 percent of the vote against Cruz’ 28 percent.

Trump became an unabashed supporter of the RFS in the run up to the Iowa caucuses while Rubio, who may have voted against ethanol in the past, has said he supports the RFS.

Is it not possible that voters who were turned off by Cruz’ anti-RFS stance swung towards Trump or Rubio?

At the same time, Cruz spent a lot of time in Iowa explaining he was only against the RFS and not ethanol (remember his remarks on the "EPA blend wall"?) and perhaps that message resonated with some pro-ethanol voters.

Nonetheless, it is interesting that these media pundits are solely basing their conclusion (Ethanol Is Not Important Anymore!) on the results of the Republican caucuses while ignoring what the results from the Democratic caucuses mean for the RFS and ethanol.

Both Sec. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders finished with 50 percent of the vote each. And both candidates are vocal supporters of the RFS and the ethanol industry.  

In fact, a poll by Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register in December showed 61 percent of Republican caucus-goers favored the RFS. On the other side of the aisle, 77 percent of Democratic caucus-goers favored the law.

So couldn't one still conclude that the RFS is still important to voters in Iowa based on the aforementioned points? Wouldn't it be a little absurd to say otherwise?