SALENA ZITO: Of alternate universes and the pitfalls of populism. “First: it’s early. We have no idea what the field is going to look like in January when the first caucus and primary votes are cast… and certainly no idea what it will look like by the time primary races matter in February and March. Second: there is always an insurgency candidate who early-on captures the imagination of voters and the press… until competition, the candidate’s own behavior and public scrutiny brings them back down to earth. The only populist candidate ever to really capitalize on voters’ discontent and win the presidency was Andrew Jackson.”