Iowa Democratic caucuses: live commentary

Live commentary on the US Iowa Democratic caucuses. Also: Sinn Féin surges ahead of Saturday’s Irish election. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.

9:27am Sunday The exit poll for Saturday’s Irish election has been released.  The governing Fine Gael has 22.4%, the far-left Sinn Fein 22.3% and Fianna Fail 22.2%, so there’s only 0.2% between the top three parties.  The Greens have 7.9%.  The full exit poll is in the comments.  No vote counting in Ireland until tonight AEDT.

5:15pm Friday With all precincts reporting, Buttigieg provisionally wins Iowa’s state delegate count by 0.1%.  However, the AP will not declare a winner owing to irregularities.  We will probably never know for sure who won Iowa’s state delegate count.

Sanders won both of the popular vote measures.  He won the “initial” vote by 3.5% and the “final” vote by 1.5%.

4:37pm This tweet explains why Sanders is doing so well with these satellite caucuses.

4:35pm Late counting Iowa drama!  I’m not sure what the “satellite caucuses” are, but there were four of them, one for each of Iowa’s Congressional Districts.  Three of them have reported, and they are all very strong for Sanders.  There’s still one to go.

With 97% in, Buttigieg now leads Sanders by just three state delegates or 0.15%.  Sanders leads by 3.5% on the “initial” popular vote, and by 1.5% on the “final” popular vote.

10:41am In the FiveThirtyEight post-Iowa model, Biden’s chance of winning a pledged delegate majority has plunged from 43% to 21%, with Sanders up to 37%.  The probability that nobody wins a pledged delegate majority (contested convention) is up to 27%.

10:20am Thursday More Iowa results!  With 86% in, Buttigieg leads Sanders by 26.7% to 25.4% on state delegates, the measure the US media is using to call a winner.  Warren has 18.3%, Biden 15.8% and Klobuchar 12.1%.

On two other measures, Sanders is still ahead.  He leads Buttigieg by 24.3% to 21.6% on “initial” popular votes.  He leads by 26.1% to 25.5% on “final” popular votes after realignment.

4:05pm 71% of precincts are now in for the Dem Iowa caucus.  The latest 9% haven’t made much difference to the figures.

2:50pm My Conversation article on these caucuses is up.  We need to see if there’s a significant impact on national polls from these results.  The next contest is New Hampshire on February 11; polls close by 12pm February 12 AEDT.

There was a big moment in Trump’s State of the Union address today.  At the end of the speech, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi literally tore it up.

10:30am New York Times analyst Nate Cohn says results reported so far are representative of the whole state.

10am Wednesday We FINALLY have more Iowa results.  With 62% of precincts reporting, Buttigieg leads Sanders by 27% to 25% on State Delegate Equivalents, the traditional measure that most of the media has focussed on.  Warren has 18%, Biden 16% and Klobuchar 13%.

On the two other measures, Sanders leads.  He leads on the “initial” popular votes by 24.5% to 21.4% for Buttigieg.  He leads on the “final” popular votes after realignment by 26% to 25%.

8:15pm More than EIGHT hours after the caucuses began, still only 2% has been reported!  I hope we have better results by tomorrow morning.

3:57pm In Ireland, a new poll has Sinn Fein in outright first on 25%, with Fianna Fail on 23%, Fine Gael 20% and the Greens 8%.

3:43pm Nate Silver

3:15pm Turnout at these caucuses in on pace for 2016.  In 2016, 172,000 participated in the Iowa Dem caucuses, well down from the record 240,000 in 2008.  In 2008, the Dems had a charismatic candidate in Barack Obama.

3:05pm With 1.9% in, Sanders is on top with 28% followed by Warren at 25%, Buttigieg 24%, Klobuchar 12% and Biden just 11%.

2:57pm On the Dem side, we’ve only got 32 of 1,765 precincts reporting their post-realignment votes.  Much slower than in 2016, when 85% had reported by this time.

2:55pm In 2016, 187,000 votes were cast in the Republican Iowa caucuses.   With 83% in, 29,000 votes have been cast in 2020.

2:35pm Still only 1.7% counted, with Buttigieg leading Sanders by 1.3% after realignment.  Biden down to 14%.  Hurry up!!

1:56pm In the Republican caucus, Trump has over 96% of the vote.  Republicans love Trump.

1:54pm By “after realignment”, I mean after the initial division.  Candidates polling below 15% in a particular precinct are declared unviable, and their supporters are asked to pick a viable candidate.  Candidates originally declared unviable can become viable if they pick up enough to make it over 15% in the second round.  It’s explained in this Conversation article.

1:50pm The AP has Buttigieg leading Sanders by 27% to 24% on final alignment numbers, followed by 19.5% for Biden, 15% Warren and 14% Klobuchar.  1.3% of precincts are in.

1:40pm The New York Times results page now gives Sanders 408 final votes (after realignment presumably), Buttigieg 380, Biden 310, Warren 277 and Klobuchar 176.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The final RealClearPolitics poll average for Iowa gave Bernie Sanders 24.2%, Joe Biden 20.2%, Pete Buttigieg 16.4%, Elizabeth Warren 15.6% and Amy Klobuchar 8.6%. As I noted in Friday’s Conversation article, polling for these caucuses has often been inaccurate. The caucuses begin at 12pm AEDT, and the process is described in that article. I will begin commenting on the results about 1:30pm after I return from bridge.

Elsewhere, the far-left Sinn Féin has surged in the Irish polls ahead of this Saturday’s election. Sinn Féin is equal first with Fianna Fáil in one recent poll, and two points behind in another. There is a chance that the two dominant Irish parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, will fail to win a combined majority of the seats. Both these parties are conservative. Other parties likely to win seats are left-wing, so a left majority is a possibility.

Polls in Ireland close at 10pm local time (9am Sunday AEDT). Exit polls will be released then, but no votes are counted until the next morning (Sunday evening AEDT). As Ireland uses Tasmania’s Hare-Clark system, it is likely to take at least a few days to finalise all counting.

And in Britain, Boris Johnson appears to want a hard Brexit on December 31, when the transition period ends.

708 comments on “Iowa Democratic caucuses: live commentary”

  1. I don’t have an issue with HECS but it is ridiculous how course material and course related activities like networking events cannot be billed to it.

  2. Final seat results coming through in Ireland
    Very Likely 160 seats Majority 81
    Fianna Fáil 38
    Sinn Féin 37
    Fine Gael 35
    Green 12
    Labour 6
    Social Democrats 6
    People before Profits 5
    Aountú 1
    Other 1
    Independents 19

    Making a stable government out of these results will be fascinating but will require 2 of the big 3.

  3. “He’s always preaching to the converted. His age and often abrasive demeanor will count against him in the general as well, I feel.”

    ***

    Watch one of his events live/unedited. The Sanders you see on the MSM is not a true reflection of the real Bernie.

    I want to know what the MSM are going to do if Sanders is the nominee and they are forced to cover his entire election campaign. They don’t like Bernie at all but they hate Trump even more. It will really put media organisations like CNN and MSNBC between a rock and a hard place. They’ve spent four years at war with Trump and their viewers will expect them to back Bernie. They won’t have a choice.

    It reminds me of how Fox News initially strongly resisted Trump and even attacked him on behalf of establishment Republicans, then suddenly they realised that he was going to win the nomination and got behind him.

  4. “I don’t have the reference on hand but Bernie has said his vp would be younger and likely female. Warren, Gabbard, and Turner have all been floated as options”

    ***

    Yep he said that during the CNN Town Hall about a week ago. Seemed to be hinting it might be Warren. It’s been said that Warren’s base is the only one which bridges the progressive/moderate gap. She’s very popular among women too, which gives Dems even more of a reason to vote against Trump the sexist. Also, many female Democrats in particular would understandably feel cheated about what happened to Clinton, regardless of if they supported all her policies or not. They, like everyone else (even Trump himself), were expecting to have their first female president four years ago. Instead they’ve had to endure four years with a guy who admitted to committing sexual assault on tape as their president.

  5. Sanders leads national primary race, new poll shows

    (CNN) – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tops the Democratic primary race, according to a new Quinnipiac national poll released on Monday.

    Sanders, with 25% support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters, has ticked up four percentage points since a late January poll from Quinnipiac, while other candidates have lost support.

    Following Sanders are former Vice President Joe Biden with 17% support, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 15%, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 14%, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 10% and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar with 4%. No other candidate receives above 2% in the poll.

    While Biden is down nine percentage points since January, Bloomberg has seen significant growth, up 7 percentage points — nearly doubling his 8% support.

    Bloomberg is doing especially well among black Democratic voters, with 22% support, rivaling Biden’s 27%. The former vice president has been known for doing well among black voters throughout the 2020 campaign cycle. Biden had 49% support among black voters in January, with the latest polll marking his biggest loss among any demographic group since the January poll.

    Sanders’ lead comes the day before the New Hampshire primary, a state in which he is doing well in the polls, and on the heels of a strong showing in Iowa.

    Other national polls have shown Bloomberg climbing while Biden’s support wanes, but most statewide polls — including in New Hampshire — don’t include Bloomberg since he won’t be on the ballot.
    But more than half (56%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters say they still might change their mind before the primary; 42% have made up their mind.

    The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted February 5-9 among 1,519 self-identified registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The survey includes 665 Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/10/politics/sanders-leads-national-quinnipiac-poll/index.html

    Bloomberg is starting to make his impact. It’s going to be hard for Buttigieg and especially Biden if he keeps eating away at their vote, especially from black voters who Biden desperately needs to stay with him.

  6. Yang has just flagged that he will probably have to withdraw from the race unless he has a strong result in NH. He’s having problems fundraising apparently.

  7. The strange going-ons in Erfurt have had a dramatic result

    Last week the CDU combined with extreme right AfD to displace The Left’s Bodo Rumelow as Minister-President in the east German state of Thuringia.
    This was a direct affront to Federal CDU policy and broke all the understandings of modern German politics and the resultant storm meant that the replacement government only lasted 24 hours before fresh elections were called.

    Overnight, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s nominated successor admitted she had little authority in the CDU and retired from politics

  8. If he’s the nominee and health records become an issue, he could demand they both see an impartial doctor for a medical. Pretty sure Trump would have have a problem agreeing to that.

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