Donald Trump lost, but he still did pretty well.

The story coming out of the Iowa caucuses is that Trump has suffered a humbling blow, a narrative that he unwittingly abetted by upending the “expectations game” and playing up how he would perform. “We’re going to have a tremendous victory,” he told a rally in Cedar Rapids in the run-up to the caucus. 

Well, not quite. And anti-Trump conservatives are now crowing over Trump’s second-place finish to Ted Cruz.

There are many questions now swirling around the Trump campaign, most notably whether Iowa is evidence that he failed to pass a “seriousness test” with voters who told pollsters they like him but couldn’t bring themselves to caucus for him. What’s clear, however, is that he suffered from a lack of organization on the ground, which was particularly damaging in Iowa’s peculiar system. Indeed, you could easily argue that Trump’s second-place finish was incredibly impressive for a campaign fueled by sheer magnetism. 

Trump ended up with more than 45,000 votes, nearly 10,000 more than George W. Bush in 2000. That’s not bad.