WATCH: David Brooks Says Trump Will 'Underperform,' Admits He Has Been 'Consistently Wrong'

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Credit: PBS News Hour


HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS: All right, what do you think? Does this help or hurt Donald’s momentum going into Iowa?

DAVID BROOKS: The New York Times: Yes, I think it hurts. It hurts them both. If you look at the polls the last four days, they have been dropping, both Cruz and Trump.

Rubio has been rising. Some of the others have been rising. And I thought last night hurt both Trump and Cruz, Trump because he looks petulant, he looks spoiled. Shouldn’t have gone after Megyn Kelly. His base of report is 67-year-old white male Republicans. Those guys love Megyn Kelly. He shouldn’t have gone after her.

But — and then Cruz, as E.J. said, just got hit, hit badly, and then, as we saw in Lisa’s clip, whined about it and really got one-upped by Chris Wallace in some of those exchanges. And so he — his personality was beginning to show.

So, it’s interesting. We have four days of them sliding. They have still got comfortable leads. Rubio and some others rising. And I do think Trump has a gigantic turnout problem. He attracts non-voters, people who have not traditionally voted. He does very well on people who haven’t voted in the last four elections...

HARI SREENIVASAN: So, David, who is stacked where they are right now in one, two and three going into Iowa, and is that likely to change?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I continue to think — and, as viewers know, my predictions have been wrong consistently this entire year — but I think the big story out of Iowa will be that Trump underperformed.

I do think he’s got a turnout problem. I think that Sanders is going to underperform too, because he relies so much on young voters. But maybe they’re a little more mobilized to actually show up. Remember, going to the caucus is a multihour occupation. It’s not just going to a voting both and getting out of there.

And so it takes a big-time commitment and an amazingly small percentage of Iowans actually do it, I think one in six or something like that. And so it’s — getting people out is the core thing.

So, I think Trump’s the most — the most likely story is that he will underperform and we will be talking about Cruz or somebody else.