Donald Trump came in second to Sen. Ted Cruz at Monday's Iowa caucuses — a big disappointment after polls showed him in the lead. So Trump's reaction, naturally, was to complain on Twitter about the media and voters.
My experience in Iowa was a great one. I started out with all of the experts saying I couldn't do well there and ended up in 2nd place. Nice— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
Because I was told I could not do well in Iowa, I spent very little there - a fraction of Cruz & Rubio. Came in a strong second. Great honor— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
The media has not covered my long-shot great finish in Iowa fairly. Brought in record voters and got second highest vote total in history!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
I will be talking about my wonderful experience in Iowa and the simultaneous unfair treatment by the media-later in New Hampshire. Big crowd— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
I don't believe I have been given any credit by the voters for self-funding my campaign, the only one. I will keep doing, but not worth it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2016
Trump is obviously trying to put a positive spin on his second-place finish by arguing that it beat expectations. (As Vox's Andrew Prokop explained, this is essentially how the Iowa caucuses are evaluated: by who beats or falls under expectations.)
But this is a bit odd for Trump. The expectations game works through recent polling, which showed Trump ahead. So Trump really did disappoint — and many people think his pathetic ground game is to blame.
But most importantly, by Trump's own admission, second place makes him a loser:
"No one remembers who came in second." - Walter Hagen— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2013