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. Bonza @ #601 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 – 11:36 am

    Bellwether

    It’s disheartening to see several presumably well meaning Labor warriors here adopting that narrative

    Disheartening, it’s actually freaking weird to be honest. If democratic socialism is so abhorrent someone needs to go and let those countries in northern Europe that are content with their DS governments, content with their healthcare, content with their paid holidays, content with their social safety net, content with their childcare, content with their education, content with their paid parental leave, content with their livable minimum wage etc. etc., let them know before it’s too late for them that they need to ditch their ‘evil’ system in favour of the failed-state US system and see what their response is.

  2. “ Disheartening, it’s actually freaking weird to be honest.”

    Disheartening and weird it may be. But … ‘merica …

    Outside it’s America.

  3. The difference between a centrist (ideologically determined) and a pragmatist (strategically determined) is that if you set up two targets and ask them to hit one, the pragmatist will choose to aim at one or the other, but the centrist will aim between them. A faux centrist from the progressive right will aim between them but slightly to the right (lol).

  4. Northern Europe and America are not culturally the same place and never will be.

    America’s budget deficit is already approach a trillion a year.

  5. Diogenes says:
    Friday, February 7, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Nicholas
    If there are enough “oppressed” voters in the US, and they aren’t too lazy, disinterested, and stupid to vote, they will get their own president. If there arent enough they won’t. You don’t get extra votes for being “oppressed”.
    ————————————–
    The problem with focusing on the so called oppressed is it comes at the expense of engaging the non-oppressed with in rich countries like America and more so in Australia makes up a far larger portion of the population. Nicholas might not realise it but the biggest critics of the welfare sector comes from people that he sees as the oppressed because they see the welfare system working for people like him and not the people that really need it.

  6. Really good debate. Sanders was the clear standout and the strongest on answering the questions. Really strong on defending socialism, on uniting the Dems, and great at attacking Trump.

    They all had some good attacks on Donald.

    Buttigieg had a really bad moment when he was challenged over black arrests by one of the moderators. Looked like a deer in the headlights when challenged.

    Klobuchar had a pretty good night. Probably the best performing establishment candidate.

    Biden was the nice guy he is but uninspiring as ever. Not the huge breakthrough performance that he would have been looking for.

    Warren went ok but was overshadowed on the progressive side by Sanders. Like Biden, not the breakthrough she needs. Her best moment was when she made a mockery out of Bloomberg for trying to buy his way into the election late. Everyone agreed. Bad moment for Bloomberg there.

    Yang didn’t make much of an impact but went ok when he did speak.

    Steyer was big on the need to remove Trump.

  7. Firefox @ #610 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 – 3:01 pm

    Really good debate. Sanders was the clear standout and the strongest on answering the questions. Really strong on defending socialism, on uniting the Dems, and great at attacking Trump.

    They all had some good attacks on Donald.

    Buttigieg had a really bad moment when he was challenged over black arrests by one of the moderators. Looked like a deer in the headlights when challenged.

    Klobuchar had a pretty good night. Probably the best performing establishment candidate.

    Biden was the nice guy he is but uninspiring as ever. Not the huge breakthrough performance that he would have been looking for.

    Warren went ok but was overshadowed on the progressive side by Sanders. Like Biden, not the breakthrough she needs. Her best moment was when she made a mockery out of Bloomberg for trying to buy his way into the election late. Everyone agreed. Bad moment for Bloomberg there.

    Yang didn’t make much of an impact but went ok when he did speak.

    Steyer was big on the need to remove Trump.

    Pretty accurate analysis I’d say although I didn’t get to watch the first half. What struck me most was that they are all far more eloquent than Trump (no real surprise there). I had no real idea that Buttigieg, who seems quite conservative in some respects, is pro legalisation of all drugs. Who you’d pick as a winner basically comes down to where you sit on the political spectrum, so I’m personally in agreement with you. Have you seen Nate Silver’s chart on the odds of the candidates becoming the nominee? It quotes the front runners Sander (1 in 2 chance) and Buttigieg (1 in 25 I think it was). It’s been updated post Iowa so I was surprised to see such a large difference but that may be because it’s aggregated.

  8. “ Really good debate. Sanders was the clear standout and the strongest on answering the questions. Really strong on defending socialism, on uniting the Dems, and great at attacking Trump.”

    Followers of a cult are often deluded. You, Nicky and Bellboy are all prime examples.

    I also like your aping of ‘deer in a headlight’ line from corpulent Christie: nasty socialists and republicvnts unite. Again.

    The truth is that Bernie looked every bit the warmed up cadaver he is and his rhetoric was rather flat for the unbelievers. Those chugging his Kool Aid won’t ever see it. Even if he actually vaporlocked for good on stage. Still, He’s better than Joe – who looks and spoke like he’s actually embalmed. And Warren.

    Everybody else had a good night, especially Amy, Steyer and Yang. Mayor Pete weathered the expected frontrunner shit storm pretty well and the attacks give him an early opportunity to nut out lines of defence when they are repeated later on.

    Overall though, one gets the feeling that everybody is running for the right to be ‘first loser’ to Trump in November.

  9. Mayor Pete still surging in New Hampshire in today’s (pre debate) Emerson and Boston Globe polls. He’s actually ahead in the Globe’s poll.

  10. Andrew_Earlwood @ #612 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 – 6:19 pm

    “ Really good debate. Sanders was the clear standout and the strongest on answering the questions. Really strong on defending socialism, on uniting the Dems, and great at attacking Trump.”

    Followers of a cult are often deluded. You, Nicky and Bellboy are all prime examples.

    I also like your aping of ‘deer in a headlight’ line from corpulent Christie: nasty socialists and republicvnts unite. Again.

    The truth is that Bernie looked every bit the warmed up cadaver he is and his rhetoric was rather flat for the unbelievers. Those chugging his Kool Aid won’t ever see it. Even if he actually vaporlocked for good on stage. Still, He’s better than Joe – who looks and spoke like he’s actually embalmed. And Warren.

    Everybody else had a good night, especially Amy, Steyer and Yang. Mayor Pete weathered the expected frontrunner shit storm pretty well and the attacks give him an early opportunity to nut out lines of defence when they are repeated later on.

    Overall though, one gets the feeling that everybody is running for the right to be ‘first loser’ to Trump in November.

    Says Andrew, unreliable witness and self-appointed leader of the Wall St. Pete cult. Hilarious!!!!

  11. I can understand why Andrew Earlwood admires Pete Buttigieg so much. He probably sees a lot of himself in Mayor Pete. A consummate careerist, obsequious towards the powerful, patronizing towards the marginalized and people without university degrees.

  12. Nicholas @ #615 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 – 7:00 pm

    I can understand why Andrew Earlwood admires Pete Buttigieg so much. He probably sees a lot of himself in Mayor Pete. A consummate careerist, obsequious towards the powerful, patronizing towards the marginalized and people without university degrees.

    Are you talking about 4o Billionaires Pete or Wine Cave Pete or Wall St. Pete, failed small-town Mayor?

  13. The dream is slipping isn’t it Nicky. Boohoo. Cheer up, you’ll always have Helsinki.

    On the other hand I’m not yet sold on Mayor Pete yet though.

  14. “ Are you talking about 4o Billionaires Pete or Wine Cave Pete or Wall St. Pete, failed small-town Mayor?”

    Oh look. A performing seal. Arf arf.

  15. The whole dem field is supremely uninspiring. Bernie, 78 years old and has a heart attack recently. Way passed his prime and has problems like rape essays in his past. Likewise Biden, past his prime and doesn’t seem as sharp. Doubt both would be able to run a second term. Warren whose missteps on her DNA test and how to pay for health care is also 70. Buttigieg who has no experience whatsoever and almost no support from people of colour. Klobucher who is just mean and cruel to her staffers. That said, any of them is infinitely preferable to Trump. The most annoying supporters hands down go to the Bernie supporters. Refuse to see a weakness and think he’s the second coming.

  16. Thomas G.

    Astute observation. But I reckon the attacks on Amy are likely overblown. Amy ran a prosecutor’s office for a number of years. That is a hothouse of tension. Believe me. If a fraction of what has been alleged about Amy’s conduct as a freshman senate was a true reflection of her character then her prosecutor’s office would have been in melt down years before she ran for the senate.

  17. Thomas G.

    Astute observation. But I reckon the attacks on Amy are likely overblown. Amy ran a prosecutor’s office for a number of years. That is a hothouse of tension. Believe me. If a fraction of what has been alleged about Amy’s conduct as a freshman senate was a true reflection of her character then her prosecutor’s office would have been in melt down years before she ran for the senate.

  18. Have to laugh, at reading the intense passion exhibited by some commentators on here for candidates who are separated by a cigarette paper from the Republicans. It always gives me a giggle. Such intense feeling of support for one managerial candidate over another.

  19. Hey Clem, have to disagree on the cigarette paper comment in reference to presidential election. Considering the damage Trump has done to so many people and so many marginalised and vulnerable groups, I don’t think it’s an accurate comment to make. Any of the democratic candidates would be better than Trump. As for the intense passion part- I don’t really understand it, though that said, I guess I do like Bernie the least.

  20. With so many centrists in the race there is no single candidate capable of defeating Sanders. He will most likely win the nomination. This gives the Democrats the best possible chance of winning the presidency.

  21. “ Have to laugh, at reading the intense passion exhibited by some commentators on here for candidates who are separated by a cigarette paper from the Republicans.”

    You have serious issues with reality comrade commissar. Back to your flagon of old tawny port on St Kilda pier: screaming obscenities at passing seagulls “grouper, grouper! Amy’s a grouper!”

  22. Nicholas, you’re right in that the way things stand, Sanders has the best shot. I think 538 give him a 50-60% chance of winning. I also agree with you on klobucher. When it comes to Sanders though he’s just so problematic. How will he pay for all of his plans? How would he get them through the senate? Will his health hold up? Will he be up to the rigours of a presidential campaign? Will he run for just one term or have everyone believe he will be running for re-election as an 82 year old. What play might his rape essays get in a GE campaign? Is Socialism still a dirty word in the states? How will he energise blacks and Hispanics? The way things stand he actually tends to do worse than Biden in head to head match ups with Trump.

  23. Democrats seem to be left with a field of people that can only win on an Ányone but Trump”platform.

    Carville implied that Biden joining the race had killed off the chances of the more saleable centre-right candidates. Looks that way. The remaining candidates are wide open to attack ads and innuendo.

    Trump in with a chance.

    Bernie = socialist.
    Warren = didn’t make the next step to centrist-progressive, if no Bernie maybe a chance, but still tougher for a woman
    Pete = repub light to turn off progressive and sexuality to turn off mod repubs
    Go with Biden and hope enough progressives turn up to win the Senate and he staves off senility long enough for the VP to be sworn in?
    I reckon go the money tree and Bloomberg

  24. Andrew_Earlwood

    You’re just a good ol’ conservative, probably a Republican at heart. I can picture you in striped PJs and slippers. You need to get up to speed now, realise that there as issues, climate change for example, that requires a radical response. Any candidate that accepts establishment money isn’t going to take it on. Your comfy little world has just about gone, it’s slipping through your fingers. It’s time to embrace real change.

  25. “I also like your aping of ‘deer in a headlight’ line from corpulent Christie: nasty socialists and republicvnts unite. Again.”

    ***

    Far right extremist or not, he knows a hell of a lot more about US politics than you or I. He was 100% correct. Buttigieg did not have a good debate.

    ***

    “Followers of a cult are often deluded. You, Nicky and Bellboy are all prime examples.”

    ***

    Says the guy who’s just another follower of the establishment cult.

    But ok. If I’m so deluded then, why don’t you tell us who you on that debate stage is better placed than Sanders to take on Trump? And don’t say Oprah – she’s not a candidate. All you’re doing is attacking Bernie and socialists. You’re the one who’s united with Republicans when it comes to attacking the left.

  26. “Have you seen Nate Silver’s chart on the odds of the candidates becoming the nominee? It quotes the front runners Sander (1 in 2 chance) and Buttigieg (1 in 25 I think it was). It’s been updated post Iowa so I was surprised to see such a large difference but that may be because it’s aggregated.”

    ***

    Indeed. Apart from the vote counting debacle, Sanders replacing Biden as the front runner was the big story to come out of Iowa.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-primary-forecast/?ex_cid=rrpromo

    It’s also interesting to have a look at the betting markets and compare their odds to what psephologists are saying.

    I won’t post the link to the betting agency that’s from as I do not wish to give them free advertising.

    A couple of things. Yes, it’s depressing that Trump is the clear favourite to win the election. That’s to be expected though. What is encouraging is that a couple of days ago he was 1.50, now he’s drifted to 1.57, so it’s headed in the right direction.

    They’re obviously expecting Bloomberg to make a big impact when he finally shows himself. CNN was war-gaming “Bernie vs The Billionaire” (their words) last night, so they obviously think that’s becoming more likely too. This differs from FiveThirtyEight who still rate Biden as the next likely after Sanders and no one.

  27. Firefox

    Better to take a risk with a more ‘radical’ candidate than to sleepwalk over the cliff with a neo-liberal Trump-lite. It’s funny how the hysterical criticism of progressive candidates so closely resembles the idiotic attempts by climate change denialists like Bolt to portray the movement as somehow naive and gullible when we simply respond to overwhelming consensus science. Maybe it’s an ‘Andrew’ thing?

  28. Sanders, Buttigieg rise in New Hampshire poll days before primary

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg are boosting their support in New Hampshire ahead of the Granite State’s primary Tuesday, according to a new CNN poll released Saturday.

    Sanders leads the primary field with 28 percent support from likely Democratic primary voters, followed by Buttigieg with 21 percent. The results represented a 3-point and 6-point boosts from the same poll in January, respectively.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden came in third with 11 percent, a 5-point dip from last month, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) dropped to 9 percent.

    Sanders helped cement his frontrunner status by boosting his support by 8 points among voters under the age of 45 and 10 points among self-identified liberals. His rise has come largely at Warren’s expense – the Massachusetts lawmaker’s support among liberals dropped 6 points since January.

    Buttigieg’s surge also seemed to come from support he stole from Biden. The Indiana Democrat rose 8 points among voters age 45 and older and 6 points among moderate and conservative voters. Biden dropped 9 and 5 points among those same demographics, respectively.

    Buttigieg also has a slim lead over Sanders among voters who are only leaning toward a candidate or are undecided by a 21-19 margin.

    A majority of likely primary voters, 56 percent, said they anticipate Sanders will win the primary. The Vermont lawmaker trounced former secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the state’s primary in 2016 and is largely viewed to hold an advantage hailing from a neighbor state.

    The poll comes after Buttigieg and Sanders finished neck-and-neck at the top of Iowa’s caucuses, with the former South Bend mayor putting up a much stronger showing than many anticipated.

    The CNN poll, which was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, surveyed 365 likely Democratic primary voters from Feb. 4-7 and has a margin of error of 5.1 percent.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/482171-sanders-buttigieg-rise-in-new-hampshire-poll-days-before-primary

  29. Thomas G
    “How will he pay for all of his plans? How would he get them through the senate? Will his health hold up? Will he be up to the rigours of a presidential campaign? Will he run for just one term or have everyone believe he will be running for re-election as an 82 year old. What play might his rape essays get in a GE campaign?”

    Bernie’s age make me nervous too, and it’s a shame there’s no younger candidate with actual substance over platitudes, though believe for now that he wouln’t persist with this if he didn’t feel up to it. It also makes it look less like he’s gunning for the presidency for its own sake, and more like he’s going out fighting rather than enjoying retirement with his book profits; e.g. he’s not exactly going to benefit directly from climate change mitigation efforts.
    As for getting his plans through, I think everyone understands it will require ongoing public pressure, hence ‘not me, us’, ‘organiser in chief’ etc.
    My guess is he’d pick a VP who is willing to carry the torch if he can’t do 2 terms. So probably not Klobuchar.
    Rape essay? Without having heard anything about this, I would guess it’s a desperate attempt hunting for some dirt, probably from 50 years ago and that was the best they could do. Good luck having that stick.

  30. Irish election exit poll

    Europe Elects @EuropeElects
    ·
    24m
    Ireland, Ipsos MRBI exit poll:

    First preferences

    FG-EPP: 22.4% (-3.1)
    SF-LEFT: 22.3% (+8.5)
    FF-RE: 22.2% (-2.1)
    GREEN-G/EFA: 7.9% (+5.2)
    LAB-S&D: 4.6% (-2.0)
    SD-S&D: 3.4% (+0.4)
    S-PBP-LEFT: 2.8% (-1.1)
    AONTÚ-*: 1.8% (+1.8 )

    +/- vs. 2016 election

  31. Malaika Jabali:

    few candidates instill confidence that their positions will move beyond campaign talking points into policies they will actually fight for once in office. Sanders is one of those few.

    Despite questions about socialism and the viability of Medicare for All, Sanders was steady and commanding. While candidates talked about uniting the party, no other frontrunner can claim to have the economic, ethnic, and ideological diversity as Sanders, who has the most people of color and lowest income constituency in his donor base and success attracting Independents.

    Contrasting Buttigieg, who seems to believe billionaires are mere constituents and not a part of a power structure that siphons wealth from everyday Americans, Sanders staked his allegiance assertively with the working class. He warned that none of the progressive policies being promoted can pass if corporate and billionaire donors have undue influence on candidates, and he is the only candidate who doesn’t have billionaire financing in his campaign coffers. Talk is cheap, and few but Sanders seem like they will prioritize people over billionaire patrons when it’s time to deliver.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/08/who-won-the-last-democratic-debate-our-panelists-verdict

  32. “My guess is he’d pick a VP who is willing to carry the torch if he can’t do 2 terms. So probably not Klobuchar.”

    ***

    When asked about a potential VP the other day at the CNN Town Hall event, Sanders didn’t want to commit to anyone but said he’d be inclined to pick a woman or person of colour who shared similar views to him. Seemed to me that he was hinting that he might pick Warren. This would make sense, as Warren has some appeal to the more moderate side of the party, while also being a favourite of progressives. There’s plenty of Dems who quite rightly think that it’s long overdue that they had a woman in the White House and who feel cheated about what happened to Clinton. As the most popular female candidate, I think it would make a lot of the “Clinton camp” much happier with having Sanders as the candidate if he had Warren on his ticket.

    There’s also speculation that if Sanders were to win that he wouldn’t seek a second term due to his age. If Warren was VP, it would give her a great platform to run off in 2024. Being 8 years younger than Sanders, she has much more time on her side and would be the perfect person for Bernie to pass the torch to.

  33. At what stage do they announce the VP pick? Is it after the nominee is selected or is selling that team a feature of the later part of the primary campaigns

  34. “ But ok. If I’m so deluded then, why don’t you tell us who you on that debate stage is better placed than Sanders to take on Trump? And don’t say Oprah – she’s not a candidate. All you’re doing is attacking Bernie and socialists. You’re the one who’s united with Republicans when it comes to attacking the left.”

    The hysterical responses from you Bernie boosters demonstrate quite clearly that you cannot comprehend the point I am making.

    I don’t know if anyone on that stage is well placed to take on Trump. IF Sanders was a decade younger, hadn’t just suffered a heart attack, didn’t speak in terms that risks turning off the centre (and having a back story that is perfect for the republicvnt shitstorm that will fly his way) then he would probably be the man. But wishing it true wont make it so.

    There are candidates from the left of American politics who have proven themselves capable of doing that. Sherrod Brown is one such candidate who has proved that he can do it repetitively in a state that has traditionally been a purple state but is now considered to be a red state – Ohio. I’m not sure that Sherrod has enough charisma to pull off a national campaign though. Plus – like Oprah – he’s not in the race.

    I know you Bernie Boosters are not for turning. He is the Socialist messiah that you have yearning for over the past 50 years. Goodo.

    What I am pointing out is that the bridge is out on the train line that is carrying the Bernie Express. Others in America – such as James Caville – are pointing this out too.

    Us ‘centrists’ are not trying to boost any particular candidate. We are just pointing out that the party seems to have lost its freaking mind. Today there are still 9 (or is it more) candidates still officially in the race.

    Front runner Bernie’s numbers are not great. Especially for someone pushing a populist ideological revolution.

    Worse – the overall turnout for the democrat candidates seems to be very poor.

    The economy is doing very well for folk in middle America (at least they seem to think it is). Trump has his best approval ratings since taking office – in the week that the Bernie Boosters want us to believe that theBernie is really gaining momentum.

    You are living in an echo chamber and can’t see the looming disaster.

  35. “ At what stage do they announce the VP pick? Is it after the nominee is selected or is selling that team a feature of the later part of the primary campaigns”

    Ive watched fictional TV accounts of where the running mate was announced early to play a part in the primary race but off hand I’m am struggling to think of a real life example in recent times – other than the last gasp throw of the dice by Ted Cruz in announcing Carly Fiorina as running mate to try to stop Trump’s momentum and rally ‘never trump’ republicans in late April 2016.

  36. Andrew_Earlwood

    What is it in your character that prevents you from distinguishing between reality and your personal preference? You tell some of us we’re hysterical (!) for relying on the data to hand (mainly polling, you know, the prime reason for existence of this forum) while your posts become increasingly unhinged and based almost entirely on your personal biases. If it proves to be the will of Democrat Party members to pick a progressive, and I’m not saying they will, who are you to throw up a variation on Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ theme? Which is why I have a powerful mental image of Andrew Bolt (and occasionally Pauline Hanson) whenever I read your posts, all ill-informed prejudice and zero respect for facts and data.

  37. Andrew E, Belleweather etc…

    Give the personal abuse a break please. Do you really think you are going to convince your opponent of “the error of their ways”? No way – as this thread proves.

    Do you think you are convincing the “undecided voter”? Don’t kid yourselves – they have all decided to tune out.

  38. My prediction for government in Ireland is a grand coalition FF/FG +/- Lab and a few independents. FG have said they are willing but FF have ruled it out.

    SF seat count will be reduced by their relative few candidates and I will be surprised if FF or FG talk coalition with them

    The other option is a fresh election

    For all the talk of Change it is likely that the Civil War parties will remain in charge

  39. “ Which is why I have a powerful mental image of Andrew Bolt (and occasionally Pauline Hanson) whenever I read your posts, all ill-informed prejudice and zero respect for facts and data.”

    That’s because you ain’t that bright.

  40. I’m of the opinion that it is possible to sell a platform like Bernie’s to the broader American electorate, but I’m not sure Bernie himself is capable of doing so. While he’s certainly a powerful speaker who is obviously passionate about his causes, he’s not the greatest at bringing people with him or easing the concerns of those not fully on board with the Bernie train. He’s always preaching to the converted. His age and often abrasive demeanor will count against him in the general as well, I feel.

    The eventual nominee doesn’t need to be a centrist or moderate, but they do need to be able to convince a decent portion of centrists and moderates to turn out and vote for them. That doesn’t necessarily require a move to the right, but it does require flexibility, pragmatism, and carefully chosen rhetoric, none of which are Bernie’s strong points. (Compare to Trump and the GOP in 2016 who – contrary to popular belief – actually went to some considerable effort not to scare off the moderates.)

    He’s a straight shooter, says what he believes, advocates what he thinks is right, not interested in spin or careful messaging, doesn’t back down or backflip. Its an approach worthy of respect, but up against the most dishonest President in US history, and a party that will happily lie and cheat and use every trick in the book to win, I don’t know if it’s a winner.

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