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. Firefox: your rebuttal fails to take into account two things:

    1. There is no guarantee that the 30% not repelled by the spectre of ‘socialism’ will all turn out to vote. Even Republicans – who tend to vote more frequently and consistently than Democrat don’t all vote. Trump was polling around 42% the days before 2016 election. He won with less than 28% of eligible voters. Hilary was polling up to five points ahead and only beat Trump in the popular vote by less than 2%. So that 30% ‘base’ probably can only be guaranteed to deliver 20% of eligible voters casting a ballot.

    2. Most ‘independents’ are actually strongly capitalistic but deplore the extremism of the Republican Party. They are not looking for a socialist alternative. A lot of independents voted for Hilary. It’s one hell of an assumption that they would turn out for Bernie: my fear is that is a false assumption and for every additional BernieBro that turns out this time 2 or more independents will stay away. I also fear that some moderate registered democrats will find something better to do on Election Day than cast a ballot. The logic behind Bernie is based on an assuimnption that everybody whip voted for Hillary will simply transfer across to Bernie and then he’ll go over the top of Trump on the basis of the BernieBro surge. In truth the risk is that the BernieBro surge may be cancelled out – or worse – by many of the folk who voted for Hillary not voting at all this time.

  2. There are reports that the Iowa Democratic Party have called for tenders for developers to design a coin-toss app that will replace physical coins at the 2024 Iowa Caucuses.

  3. Andrew_Earlwood @ #451 Thursday, February 6th, 2020 – 9:55 am

    Firefox: your rebuttal fails to take into account two things:

    1. There is no guarantee that the 30% not repelled by the spectre of ‘socialism’ will all turn out to vote. Even Republicans – who tend to vote more frequently and consistently than Democrat don’t all vote. Trump was polling around 42% the days before 2016 election. He won with less than 28% of eligible voters. Hilary was polling up to five points ahead and only beat Trump in the popular vote by less than 2%. So that 30% ‘base’ probably can only be guaranteed to deliver 20% of eligible voters casting a ballot.

    2. Most ‘independents’ are actually strongly capitalistic but deplore the extremism of the Republican Party. They are not looking for a socialist alternative. A lot of independents voted for Hilary. It’s one hell of an assumption that they would turn out for Bernie: my fear is that is a false assumption and for every additional BernieBro that turns out this time 2 or more independents will stay away. I also fear that some moderate registered democrats will find something better to do on Election Day than cast a ballot. The logic behind Bernie is based on an assuimnption that everybody whip voted for Hillary will simply transfer across to Bernie and then he’ll go over the top of Trump on the basis of the BernieBro surge. In truth the risk is that the BernieBro surge may be cancelled out – or worse – by many of the folk who voted for Hillary not voting at all this time.

    What I really need to know from you is did you pick a comprehensive win by Trump in 2016? Just so others can establish your credentials as a person who is entitled to speak with such towering authority.

  4. Bernie’s problem is less is overt socialist sloganeering, but rather an apparent ceiling on his support. He commands the loyal votes of around 25% of Democrats, and could probably push that up to around 40-45% in the general. To paraphrase Adlai Stevenson, he can probably win the vote of every thinking American. Unfortunately, he needs to win a majority.

    In truth, though, all of the Democratic candidates come with significant flaws up against Trump in November:

    Buttigieg – too young, gay, and with an unpronounceable name. Expect Trump to make a lot of snide remarks about him wanting to open the nation’s bathrooms to all. Personally, I’d love to see a gay President, but in an election when the Dems probably need to win back votes from socially conservative white mid-Westerners, he’s probably not the ideal demographic to run with. There are also questions about his experience – at 37, he’d be the youngest President by a fair margin, though on the upside, his time might yet come in 2024/ 28.

    Biden – on paper he seems the most electable: Veep to a popular Democratic President, extensive experience, both in government and in politics, some charisma. His problems are that he’s probably too old (he’d be the oldest President by some margin if he wins), and so every time he forgets something, everyone will think he has Alzheimer’s. His other problem is exactly why he’s running – what would he do as President. His pitch is really that he’s electable, but he doesn’t really excite anyone, and in an election where turnout is key, that might be as big a problem for him as it was for Hillary.

    Klobuchar – She outperformed expectations in Iowa, but it still wasn’t enough, and is unlikely to progress past Super Tuesday. In theory, she’s a decent candidate for the general (notwithstanding the “women problem” I will outline below with Elizabeth Warren), but it’s hard to see a viable path for her to the nomination.

    Sanders – Bernie also has the age problem, with the added issue that he comes over a crazy old crank. His outspoken policies will provide ample fodder for Trump in a country where “socialism” is still a scare campaign with some bite.

    Warren – 2016 suggests that there are still large (and crucial) parts of the US who are reluctant to put a woman in the top job, and if they wouldn’t vote for Clinton (one of the most qualified Presidential candidates in recent history), it’s hard to see why they’d vote for Warren. Her wonkiness is also a weakness – personally I think it’s great when candidates put forward detailed plans before the election, but our own election last year shows that it can be holding yourself a hostage to fortune, and making the campaign about the challenger’s plans rather than the incumbent’s performance.

    All things considered, I’d guess that Biden is still probably best placed to take on Trump in November, but he will need to bank a few wins in the upcoming states (South Carolina and Nevada seem the most likely) to consolidate his status as the front runner. If he limps into Super Tuesday without a big win somewhere, he might be in trouble.

    The wildcard is probably Bloomberg, who has the money to stay in the race well into March. If Biden starts to tank, moderate voters might start to gravitate towards him, but my guess is that he will have an enthusiasm problem which will see him fall short. I can’t see any of the other candidates lasting much past February.

  5. I agree with this analysis from an ex-Republican, never Trumper.

    Iowa’s Democrats seem to think that the best candidate to go up against Trump—that is, to flip votes in five or six states—is either Sanders or Pete Buttigieg. Those names make me feel the chill wind of a coming second Trump term, not just individually, but together.

    Step back, say, to 2004, when the top two choices were John Kerry and John Edwards: Two U.S. senators, one left and one center-left. Not my cup of tea, but I could see the outlines of the rest of the race, and I had some sense of the eventual outcome.

    Not this time. Iowa Democrats came up with a small-city mayor who cannot win statewide office in his own state and whose career has been blistered by people in his own party as emblematic of the neoliberal consultant class. Their other choice was a septuagenarian pseudo-socialist who has spent 30 years in Congress, has no significant achievements to show for his career, and just recovered from a heart attack.

    Sanders and Buttigieg are good choices if your point is to make a public statement about your progressive politics, or perhaps to showcase your personal willingness to be open-minded about ideology, youth, old age, religion, or sexuality. But the point, unexciting though it is, should be to help Democrats find a candidate who can win over swing voters in Wisconsin and Michigan.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/no-way-beat-trump/606109/

  6. Confessions @ #455 Thursday, February 6th, 2020 – 10:50 am

    I agree with this analysis from an ex-Republican, never Trumper.

    Iowa’s Democrats seem to think that the best candidate to go up against Trump—that is, to flip votes in five or six states—is either Sanders or Pete Buttigieg. Those names make me feel the chill wind of a coming second Trump term, not just individually, but together.

    Step back, say, to 2004, when the top two choices were John Kerry and John Edwards: Two U.S. senators, one left and one center-left. Not my cup of tea, but I could see the outlines of the rest of the race, and I had some sense of the eventual outcome.

    Not this time. Iowa Democrats came up with a small-city mayor who cannot win statewide office in his own state and whose career has been blistered by people in his own party as emblematic of the neoliberal consultant class. Their other choice was a septuagenarian pseudo-socialist who has spent 30 years in Congress, has no significant achievements to show for his career, and just recovered from a heart attack.

    Sanders and Buttigieg are good choices if your point is to make a public statement about your progressive politics, or perhaps to showcase your personal willingness to be open-minded about ideology, youth, old age, religion, or sexuality. But the point, unexciting though it is, should be to help Democrats find a candidate who can win over swing voters in Wisconsin and Michigan.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/no-way-beat-trump/606109/

    Can’t say I do, sounds like a Republican (in thinking at least) who wants the Democrats to come up with a candidate that Trump can just swat away like a pesky fly.

  7. And this is something I hadn’t thought about.

    Now, about Klobuchar and Buttigieg. They along with the third center-lane candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, so far were holding a combined 54.8% of state-level delegates. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the progressive candidates of choice, had 43.6%. To me that is telling, and to some extent encouraging.

    I will be less encouraged if Sanders wins Iowa outright, claims a great victory and sails to another one next week in the New Hampshire primary. If that happens, Democrats embarking on an existential general election campaign will be at risk of nominating a 78-year-old “democratic socialist” who recently had a heart attack.

    The campaign against socialism and Sanders is in full swing already. In the shorthand language of attack politics, all Democrats are socialists, and not democratic ones, either. As President Donald Trump tweeted the other night, “This November, we are going to defeat the Radical Socialist Democrats and win the Great State of Iowa in a Historic Landslide!” Now multiply that by an army, and the TV exposure of a State of the Union address in which he vowed, “We will never let socialism destroy American health care!”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/02/05/2020-democrats-bennet-gabbard-patrick-steyer-yang-should-drop-out/4647817002/

  8. Confessions

    As one Stephen Colbert said there is no need to worry about democratic socialism destroying the US healthcare system because capitalism has already done that.

  9. A lot of people claim to be arguing for “the most strategic candidate” but as far as I can tell they’re really just arguing for “who matches my ideology”.

    I’ve yet to see a single person here whose choice of “candidate who can beat Trump” has surprised me.

  10. Those who reference Sanders being too extreme…Trump says hello… Cruz says hello too. Frankly, if you’re not a socialist what is the point?

  11. >A lot of people claim to be arguing for “the most strategic candidate” but as far as I can tell they’re really just arguing for “who matches my ideology”.

    >I’ve yet to see a single person here whose choice of “candidate who can beat Trump” has surprised me.

    Agreed.

    Pretty much every partisan for a candidate is going to spin the line that only my candidate will beat Trump, or variants. Bonus points if they are pointing to a horde of potential Trump voters who didn’t vote for him (or against Clinton) in 2016 for no apparent reason. None of it carries any weight.

    One adds, its highly doubtful you have any real insights into ‘the American voter’ if you haven’t spent much time in the country and live overseas so stop trying to kid us that you do.

  12. DisplayName
    “I’ve yet to see a single person here whose choice of “candidate who can beat Trump” has surprised me.”

    I prefer the candidate who can beat Trump. I’m not ideologically tied to any particular candidate. Sanders is too extreme for my tastes; but IF he has the best chance of beating Trump, then I hope he’s the candidate. But in my view, that’s a mighty big IF…

    I had a colleague chew my ear off this morning about why/how only Sanders can beat Trump. He put up some good arguments, but I’m not persuaded.

  13. What went wrong for Biden? According to this op-ed his campaign arrived late in Iowa, was lacklustre, engaged poor campaign advice, and also was set back by news from Washington of Trump’s illegal conduct with Ukraine.

    By the fall, Mr. Biden’s advisers felt that their campaign organization in Iowa had steadied — but events in Washington took him down a detour that no one could have foreseen, or prevented.

    On Sept. 21, more than 1,000 Biden supporters assembled at the Polk County Steak Fry, featuring the kind of chummy interaction in which Mr. Biden is at his best.

    But their efforts were overshadowed by news that President Trump had asked Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, a story that would consume the campaign for months. That night, a Des Moines Register poll revealed that Mr. Biden had slipped from first place in Iowa, overtaken by Ms. Warren of Massachusetts.

    Mr. Biden spent the next weeks grappling with the best way to respond to the Ukraine controversy. And party officials continued to describe his Iowa organization as scattershot, an issue thrown into sharp relief at the Liberty and Justice Celebration on Nov. 1.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/us/politics/joe-biden-iowa-caucus.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

  14. In a shambolic episode in democracy, Sanders emerges as the only hope to beat Trump

    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/in-a-shambolic-episode-in-democracy-sanders-emerges-as-the-only-hope-to-beat-trump-20200205-p53y27.html

    While Buttigieg’s unexpected over-performance will attract much of the headlines, he remains more than 10 points adrift of Sanders in New Hampshire, and finds himself a distant outsider in the dozen or so states to follow.

    Despite the Democratic Party’s obvious opposition to a candidate who threatens its donor base, Sanders offers the party the best hope of success against Trump. We live in an anti-establishment era, one in which successful candidates tend to be far more popular than their parties. Trump is a movement. Democrats will need a movement candidate to defeat this movement President.

    Sanders is such a movement. Five million individuals have already donated towards his campaign, and he fills stadiums on a near daily basis, while championing the same issues he has championed for five decades. He’s the only candidate capable of beating Trump, and polling data bears this out.

  15. The Movement thing. Trump is a Movement, yes. But that’s not the only reason he won in 2016. He won because he pulled over swing voters and Independents. THE BASE IS NOT ENOUGH.

    Same for Sanders. You need more than a Movement. THE BASE IS NOT ENOUGH.

  16. Confessions

    The article you posted backs up much of what I was reading and hearing in the immediate lead up to the caucuses. Admitedly a fair percentage of the sites I read and pages I follow are pro Sanders, but a consistent theme was that Biden’s “ground game” was a mess. What of course we know now though is that the polls leading up to the caucuses overestimated his support from caucus goers. Having said that, polls for caucus states tend to struggle, so we shouldn’t read in to that that polls are necissarily overestimating Biden anywhere else.

  17. Nate Silver says that he doesn’t like his own primary model as it relies on too many assumptions. Including that Iowa would give a big bounce to the winner as they were going to get massive media coverage but the fact that Iowa screwed the pouch on the caucus count has removed some of that.

  18. Kakuru @ #469 Thursday, February 6th, 2020 – 1:35 pm

    The Movement thing. Trump is a Movement, yes. But that’s not the only reason he won in 2016. He won because he pulled over swing voters and Independents. THE BASE IS NOT ENOUGH.

    Same for Sanders. You need more than a Movement. THE BASE IS NOT ENOUGH.

    Problem with that is no other candidate even has a cohesive movement.

  19. Kakuru @ #466 Thursday, February 6th, 2020 – 12:56 pm

    DisplayName
    “I’ve yet to see a single person here whose choice of “candidate who can beat Trump” has surprised me.”

    I prefer the candidate who can beat Trump. I’m not ideologically tied to any particular candidate. Sanders is too extreme for my tastes; but IF he has the best chance of beating Trump, then I hope he’s the candidate. But in my view, that’s a mighty big IF…

    I had a colleague chew my ear off this morning about why/how only Sanders can beat Trump. He put up some good arguments, but I’m not persuaded.

    I believe the thinking is Trump has a solid base, an army if you like. The only Democrat candidate that has been able to energise a solid base (army) is Sanders. It may be that it will take an army to beat an army (figuratively speaking of course). It seems like a fairly powerful analysis, of course time will tell.

  20. Bellwether
    “I believe the thinking is Trump has a solid base, an army if you like. The only Democrat candidate that has been able to energise a solid base (army) is Sanders. It may be that it will take an army to beat an army (figuratively speaking of course). It seems like a fairly powerful analysis, of course time will tell.”

    It’s an entirely plausible scenario. I’m not saying it’s wrong. But in general I’m skeptical of narrative-driven, qualitative hypotheses.

    Quantitatively, a Sanders movement has to attract more non-movement voters than it repels. In other words, it has to expand beyond the base.

    As you say, time will tell. All these hypotheses will be tested in Nov 2020.

  21. Plenty on here (and elsewhere) are starting to call the final result based on the very small sample that is the Iowa caucuses. It is worth remembering that Iowa’s ability to pick the eventual winner is decidedly poor (just two eventual nominees in contested contests since they started going first in 1972), it is an entirely unrepresentative state both in terms of the Democratic Party electorate and the general voting public at large (ie, very white, old, and rural), it provides a tiny fraction of the total delegates required to win the nomination (just 41 out of 1900-odd needed), and, this time around at least, it provided a bit of a shemozzle of a process, which has undercut any message that might be read out of it.

    As we know, there are four opening states (NH, SC & NV being the others), which are meant to give the lesser candidates an opportunity to campaign in small states across the nation, where money is less important than retail politics. But even then, the total delegates of all all four states is relatively small (155 in total, a third of which are in SC), and will be swamped by what happens on 3rd March, aka “Super Tuesday”, when 14 states vote (worth around 1340 delegates, with 416 in California alone), including the delegate-rich states of California and Texas. Given that Super Tuesday is followed soon after by 11 other states which also vote in March (worth around another 1,000 delegates, including Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois), I think we can safely state that what happens in February will no longer matter by the end of March.

    This is why I think that Biden is still the favourite to get the nomination, as he appears to be the favoured candidate among African-American voters, a key part of the Democratic voting bloc, and with South Carolina (where all polls have put him miles ahead) coming just before most of the South votes in March, the narrative may well be by then that the nomination is Biden’s to lose. As per Harold Wilson’s famous aphorism that “a week is a long time in politics”, so it follows that a month is a lifetime. I’d suggest that we may be much better off seeing how things fall between now and Super Tuesday before making any conclusions about how things will roll.

    What Iowa and New Hampshire do help to do is to winnow out the completely unviable candidates such as Yang, Gabbard, Bennett, Patrick, Steyer and Delaney. It seem pretty clear now that the only horses left in race are Biden, Buttigieg, Warren & Sanders (with Klobuchar just holding on, and Bloomberg something of a dark horse, largely due to his inexhaustible fortune), and that the nominee will be one of them.

  22. The best move for Sanders if he gains the nomination is to get someone like Mayor Pete as a potential running mate, especially if Pete does better than expected over the next few states or Super Tuesday. The key will be in making up a group ticket that unites more people.

  23. Hugoagogo

    For the most part, I agree with your assessment. I’m not so sure that Biden is still the favourite to get the nomination, given he performed so badly in Iowa.

    I wholeheartedly agree that Iowa is “unrepresentative state both in terms of the Democratic Party electorate and the general voting public at large”. I’d add that the caucus process itself deters a lot of Dem party members from voting. The caucus requires a person to turn up at a certain place and at a certain time, and be prepared to commit a few hours (at least) to a fairly tortuous process – even when things go right! If you have work or family commitments, or just aren’t mobile enough to participate, then you’re out of the caucus voter pool.

  24. Anyone would be a better choice than Biden. It’s unbelievable how tone deaf the establishment right are.

    Why are people placing requirements on candidates they don’t like that they don’t actually have to meet? Have you all forgotten what happened last time? This idea that Sanders, or anyone for that matter, has to win over huge swathes of centrists or the far right is just not backed up by history. Whoever wins the election, be it the Dem or Trump, will almost certainly do so with the support of relatively few Americans.

    The Democrats need two things in order to win. Just one isn’t enough.

    1. Sanders and his army of enthusiastic supporters. His loyal base is the only one that can match Trump’s. He has a clear vision which people believe in and are prepared to fight for and vote for.

    2. Democrats who hate Trump (pretty much all of them) need to get off their backsides on election day and actually go and vote for whoever the candidate is. None of this sitting at home being lazy. If a few more of them had made the effort last time then things could have been very different.

  25. Our Post-Iowa Primary Forecast Is Up, And Biden’s Chances Are Down

    Now that we finally have some clarity on Iowa’s results — with 86 percent of precincts reporting — we’ve turned our primary model back on, including its estimates of the potential fallout from Iowa.

    The model shows former Vice President Joe Biden’s chances of winning a majority of pledged delegates being halved — from 43 percent before Iowa to 21 percent now.

    Who gains from Biden’s decline? Well, a little bit of everyone. The model thinks Iowa was more good news than bad news for Sen. Bernie Sanders, although it was a somewhat close call. His chances have advanced to 37 percent, from 31 percent before Iowa, making him the most likely person to achieve that majority.

    Pete Buttigieg’s chances are also up, to 6 percent from 4 percent before, but even after getting most of the credit for winning Iowa in the model (more about that in a moment), they haven’t improved by as much as you think. That’s because, as I explained in Wednesday night’s post, Buttigieg still has his work cut out for him in building a broader coalition; it’s going to require a big bounce in states and among demographic groups where the former mayor is not currently strong. With that said, Buttigieg is potentially quite competitive in New Hampshire, where our model gives him a 20 percent chance of winning, and that could give him a further boost.

    Cont…

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/our-post-iowa-primary-forecast-is-up-and-bidens-chances-are-down/

  26. Bellwether:

    What I really need to know from you is did you pick a comprehensive win by Trump in 2016? Just so others can establish your credentials as a person who is entitled to speak with such towering authority.

    Snap!

  27. I must say how nice it is to read the comments section on a post here where the comments actually relate to the topic, without having to scroll through pages of the same tedious arguments that litter the other threads every day.

  28. Now 28,000 cases of nCoV19.
    My contacts in the PI health industry tell me that if gets out in the PI, and they have had a death already, there is virtually zip change of controlling it: too many people living in too great densities with hand-to-mouth needs to get out and about on a constant basis.
    I imagine the same would go for quite a few other countries as well.

  29. And in terms of delegates (which is what counts in the long run), it makes no difference. As things stand, both Buttigieg and Sanders have got 11 each, and Warren 5, with 10 still to be allocated. A long, long way away from the 1900 needed to win, and most probably irrelevant overall. If it ends up being so close that 10 delegates either way will make a difference, I’d say the Democratic Party has bigger problems to worry about.

  30. Trump Fans Flooded Iowa Caucus Hotline, Democrats Say

    Supporters of President Donald Trump flooded a hotline used by Iowa precinct chairs to report Democratic caucus results after the telephone number was posted online, worsening delays in the statewide tally, a top state Democrat told party leaders on a conference call Wednesday night.

    According to two participants on the call, Ken Sagar, a state Democratic central committee member, was among those answering the hotline on caucus night and said people called in and expressed support for Trump. The phone number became public after people posted photos of caucus paperwork that included the hotline number, one of the people on the call said.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-06/trump-fans-flooded-iowa-caucus-hotline-top-democrat-says

    Should probably note that this isn’t exactly a neutral news source lol but it does sound like something Trump’s nutters would do.

  31. The people of Iowa love Bernie Sanders – love him with a passion. What they don’t want – what they can’t stand – is milquetoast moderation. They are sick of centrists telling them to shut up and eat their peas. They like Bernie because he advocates changes to the systems and structures that oppress people. Good on him.

  32. I cannot understand why they are focusing on “who won” so obsessively when it doesn’t change the outcome, is highly dubious given irregularities and brazen cheating and has almost no possibility of influencing the numbers in a meaningful way at the end.

  33. Firefox

    I would have little doubt that this would be true. A good number of Trump supporters are simply no more than cultists. The numbers were probably published on a social media site or other website, someone probably suggested they swamp it with support for Trump, and off they went like the good little cultists that they are. It’s the same if anything critical of Trump is published on social media, even on pages that you would consider left sympathetic, and the post is inevitably swamped with Trump supporters hurling abuse, even if it isn’t an American site.

  34. if Bernie loses, want to suggest why?

    There is no guarantee that Bernie will win the general election but he would have a much higher chance than any of the centrists. The centrists have almost no chance of winning a general election against Trump. It is an anti-establishment time. Trump is still getting away with posturing as an anti-establishment figure (even though his economic policies are mostly conventional Republican policies such as tax cuts for corporations and wealthy people, and weak environmental standards). Bernie is the strongest candidate because he is an authentic anti-establishment candidate. He isn’t merely anti-establishment in a performative or cosmetic sense.

  35. Nicholas
    “The people of Iowa love Bernie Sanders – love him with a passion. ”

    Jeez, what an extrapolation!

    About 25% of the people who attended the Iowa Democratic caucus love Sanders.

    It remains to be seen how many Iowa voters love Sanders.

    Based on my own personal and entirely anecdotal experience, as someone who lived in Iowa for 6 years… I suspect Sanders is as about as popular as swine flu in the Hawkeye State.

    But I defer to your greater wisdom Nicholas.

  36. Basically, satellite caucuses are held in different locations across Iowa and elsewhere, for Iowans who are unable to make the caucuses on the night. This year, the first of these actually took place in Georgia.

  37. Bernie doing so well in these satellite caucuses illustrates the reality that he has by far the strongest political movement of all of the Democratic candidates. That high level of mobilization and organization is necessary to defeat Trump. None of the other Democrats have what it takes on that front.

  38. Nicholas

    >The people of Iowa love Bernie Sanders – love him with a passion.

    Thats seriously delusional. 26% of the democratic caucus vote isn’t representative of the ‘people of Iowa’, not least because the state *leans republican*

    —-
    As an aside, the shenanigans with the satellite caucuses just illustrates how inane the US primary system is. Well along with the app and the potential for conflicting instructions in the caucuses themselves and the implicit bias in the caucus process and such a small state getting such disproportionate influence on the primary process and…

  39. Bernie doing so well in these satellite caucuses illustrates the reality that he has by far the strongest political movement of all of the Democratic candidates. That high level of mobilization and organization is necessary to defeat Trump.

    Interesting. Trump didnt have this. Especially in the early stages of his presidential campaign. He was also fairly significantly outspent by Clinton.

    Theories are that his experience in Reality TV taught him how to handle the media – how to make his own advertising by just being ‘the news’. And Fox helped in that as well as giving him free 24/7 advertising. And Russia/facebook/other social media.

    Compare what, say, Sanders and Bloombergs campaigns would be like. Assume Sanders has energetic grass-roots on the ground mobilisation vs Bloombergs money/News empire/devious uses of big data etc. Just how important is grass roots campaigning these days? Didnt I hear that the ALP have a larger and more organised one than the LNP?

  40. “Just how important is grass roots campaigning these days? Didnt I hear that the ALP have a larger and more organised one than the LNP?”

    ***

    Very important, especially in critical states such as Michigan. It was one of the key states that delivered Trump victory in 2016. Clinton didn’t pay it enough attention, even though Sanders defeated her there in the primaries, which should have sounded massive alarm bells for her campaign. They’re the kind of states where a passionate base that can convince more people to get out and vote is so important.

  41. A little of bit of a tangent, but surely I’m not the only one who finds it perplexing that the US is a country where people still use and get paid by (actual paper) ‘checks’, and use the imperial system, yet their voting is done electronically.

    I’m 41 and have never written a cheque in my life.

  42. MN, I always assumed the American’s use of the word “paychecks” in this day and age was just a turn of phrase (like how we say it), not actual things any more. I could be wrong though.

  43. No, they still use cheques surprisingly commonly (or at least as of a couple of years ago still did). I think its partially banking system fragmentation, but mainly a strange traditionalism.

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