One would think the results of the Iowa caucuses would be simple. Ted Cruz won the Republican side, and Hillary Clinton won the Democratic one. So they're Monday night's winners, right?
Wrong. The way the media and party leaders interpret the primaries isn't by who won — but by who exceeded expectations. So in a night when Clinton and Bernie Sanders came close, and both Cruz and third-place finisher Marco Rubio exceeded expectations, who really wins?
The Daily Show tried to explain. Here's part of the exchange between host Trevor Noah and correspondent Jordan Klepper on the Republican results:
Klepper: Trevor, last night was full of surprises. But when the dust settled, there was one big victor.
Noah: Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz?
Klepper: Oh, no, definitely not Ted Cruz. He won by four points. It was a terrible night for him.
Noah: But, Jordan, the guy came in first place.
Klepper: Yeah. Which is the worst thing that could have happened to him. Running for president is about managing expectations while building momentum. It's supposed to be a marathon. You don't want to sprint to the front right away. Three miles in, you'll collapse in a pile of your own shredded nipples.
What about the Democratic results? Again, Noah and Klepper tried to explain:
Noah: So second place is also failure. So that means Bernie Sanders must be very disappointed?
Klepper: Are you kidding? He did almost as well as Hillary Clinton. That's a huge victory.
Noah: Oh. So Hillary did good then?
Klepper: No. She did almost as bad as Bernie Sanders. That's a huge loss.
Noah: But she won!
Klepper: Exactly. She lost. She better pray she loses in New Hampshire so she can get back on top. Like Marco Rubio.
Noah: But, Jordan, Marco Rubio came in third.
Klepper: Which is a Republican first.
If this all seems ridiculous to you, it's because it is. Apparently, just about everyone can be a winner and loser after the caucuses. It all depends on where expectations were.