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The Campaign Report – the Death of the Iowa Caucus

Tim Alberta: “There can be no doubting it now, not after so many years spent in the crosshairs, not after active presidential candidates began challenging its privileged position atop the nominating calendar, and certainly not after Monday night’s debacle that left seven candidates and millions of viewers waiting for results that never came: Iowa’s reign is over.”

Associated Press: Iowa’s coveted status in doubt following results delay.

Once the results are released, we can trust them because there are paper ballots to back all the numbers up. So shove your conspiracy theories up where the sun doesn’t shine, Bernie Bros. Indeed, Sanders has likely won or tied or came in second.

Nate Cohn: “We don’t know the result, but I’m pretty sure if that entrance poll were adjusted to match sample precinct results (not perfectly representative!), and it looks like a Sanders-Buttigieg race around 22.5% or so with Warren/Biden back at 16%, Klobuchar at 13%.”

“Anyway, 50 or whatever sample precincts aren’t perfect, and don’t account for realignment/SDEs. But it’s probably the best measure we have.”

Nate Silver: “Maybe there will eventually be a decent-sized Iowa bounce despite all of this. But there’s a good chance that the candidates who did well in Iowa get screwed, and the candidates who did poorly there get a mulligan. To repeat: There’s very little importance in a mathematical sense to who wins 41 delegates. Iowa is all about the media narrative it produces and all about momentum, and that momentum, whoever wins, is likely to have been blunted.”

James Hohmann: “Joe Biden’s core message was electability, but the former vice president failed to consolidate support among the majority of Iowa caucus-goers who said choosing a candidate who can beat President Trump was their first priority, according to preliminary entrance polls conducted Monday night.”

“Just under one-quarter of electability-focused voters supported Biden, while a similar percentage backed Pete Buttigieg. Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren each drew about 15% support among this group.”

“By contrast, Biden received only 5% support among caucus-goers who said it was most important to nominate a candidate they agree with. Sanders led among this group with 36% support.”

President Trump piled on to criticism of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses, labeling the first-in-the-nation nominating contest an “unmitigated disaster” as officials there work to pry results from a process choked with confusion and technical snafus, Politico reports.

Said Trump: “The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the Country. Remember the 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare Website, that should have cost 2% of that. The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is Trump.”

Washington Post: “Buttigieg’s plane landed in Concord shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday. By 7 a.m., his campaign had not only announced a fresh Granite State endorsement (Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess), but it had also issued a memo to reporters detailing its precinct-level data from Monday night in Iowa.”

“According to that data, Buttigieg accumulated 25 percent support overall on second alignment, numbers the campaign believes mean Buttigieg won the night.”

A new Boston Globe/WBZ-TV/Suffolk University poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters finds Bernie Sanders leads with 24%, followed by Joe Biden at 18%, Elizabeth Warren at 13% and Pete Buttigieg at 11%.

The rest of the field was in single digits.

The first of a continuous eight-day 7 News/ Emerson College Polling tracking poll of New Hampshire Democratic voters finds Bernie Sanders with a commanding lead in the Granite State at 29% support, followed by Joe Biden at 14%, Pete Buttigieg at 13%, and Elizabeth Warren with 12%. No other candidate reached double digits. 

“It’s been more than a year since Heidi Heitkamp lost her Senate re-election campaign to Kevin Cramer. However, according to her most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, she still has millions of dollars in her campaign,” the Fargo Forum reports.

“How has Heitkamp been spending her campaign money over the last year? Booze, fine dining, and luxury travel make up a big chunk of it…”

“That’s how Heitkamp has been spending the money. Now let’s talk about how she could spend it. It is a potential game-changer for North Dakota Democrats this cycle if Heitkamp decides to play kingmaker. She could use some of those millions to promote statewide and local candidates.”

Kyle Kondik has an excellent overview of the Democratic presidential primary race. His takeaways are that the calendar is frontloaded, with the heart of the action coming from March 3-17, and if there is not a clear leader by St. Patrick’s Day, and especially by the end of April, the primary electorate may not actually be able to crown a clear winner and we will have a contested convention

This piece was published before last night’s unmitigated disaster. But it is every more important now.

A new Morning Consult national poll finds Joe Biden’s support falling to 28% among Democratic primary voters nationwide — the lowest share measured since in early 2019. He’s trailed by Bernie Sanders at 24%.

Also interesting: Michael Bloomberg has pulled even with Elizabeth Warren in third place at 14% each.

The Week: “In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday, 53% of voters said they have a negative view of socialism, compared to 19% who have a positive view. The poll found the opposite result for capitalism, which 52% of voters said they have a positive view of, compared to 18% who said they have a negative view of it. This finding came ahead of the caucuses in Iowa, where Sanders has been surging.”

“But the poll still found Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, with a lead over Trump, earning 49% support in a head-to-head matchup compared to Trump’s 45%. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg also led Trump.”

“Bernie has said this, I absolutely believe this: whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally behind them, no matter who it is. And I would hope that everybody would do so if Bernie is the nominee as well.” — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in an interview with Time.

Amy Klobuchar told NBC News that she will continue to campaign no matter where she finishes in the Iowa caucus today. Said Klobuchar: “There’s no scenario where I don’t go on.”

Walter Shapiro: “Underestimated from the beginning, Klobuchar is the Great Survivor of this Democratic presidential race. Three of her flashier Capitol Hill colleagues—Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand—are all back to being full-time senators.”

Mike Bloomberg tells Axios he’d support Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump if those were his two options, but that people should understand Sanders at this moment is “so far to the left it’s not practical” and that “what he wants to do would never get through Congress.”

Said Bloomberg: “I don’t agree with him on virtually anything. But I have committed to support the Democratic candidate because I find Trump so unsuited for the job.”

He added: “I would hope that if Bernie did win he would change some of his policies, or Congress would make him change some of his policies.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

43 comments on “The Campaign Report – the Death of the Iowa Caucus

  1. None of the candidates have any hope of getting anything past a senate where Mitch McConnell still resides. Hell, even if dems get 60 senators, you can always count on the magaDems like Coons and Manchin to “seek bipartisanship”

    Any conversation about a candidate’s potential for accomplishment as president that doesnt acknowledges that all they will be able to do is un-EO trump and protect whats left of the courts is dishonest. If mayo Pete is the president Fox and all of magatdom will hall him a socialist. Might as well actually have one.

  2. So, can we be done with Iowa and it’s caucus now? It’s more then a little bit of a bad joke at this point and never should have been allowed to gain an advantage it clearly does not merit. Having said that the Dems looked bad for no real reason other then a failed primary that should have never put their faith in an App that was Crapp.

  3. cassandram

    The AP is reporting that Iowa Dems will report at least half of their results by 4pm CT today. 😳 No idea why they think *that* will help, but there you go.

    Listening to NPR this morning, it seems really clear that the biggest loser in this business is the media. They are really unmoored by not having their well worn Iowa to NH narratives. They’ve no idea who to claim has momentum, or who is crashing or not performing to expectations, who to speculate is getting out. They have a story about the failure of a software rollout (and I don’t think they know that yet) and speculations based upon crowdsourced numbers. I wonder if the story is that Bloomberg’s bet that the race gets real and national on Super Tuesday is the biggest thing we are missing. Because if the collapse of Iowa’s reporting structure says that they were valuable for narrative ONLY, you’ve got real reason to not just rethink the order of primaries but to think about a national primary.

    • More like the DNC trying to make sure Bernie never gets the nomination.

      • cassandram

        The DNC doesn’t have that kind of power. The End.

        AND if you trot out that tired Donna Brazile business that she actually retracted, I’ll ban you.

        • Do you really believe that? They made sure the fix was in for Hillary in 2016 and they don’t want Bernie again as they see a Trump blowout of 1972 proportions. Why change the caucus rules this year? Why not in 2024? It all comes back to selecting the nominee the bigwigs think is the most electable. Forget Donna Brazile. Are you still going to ban me? So much for open discussion of a pressing matter.

          • cassandram

            I know that. They did NOT fix anything for HRC. Caucus rules were changed in response to the fact that caucuses were widely seen as undemocratic and noninclusive. (Which you can tell from yesterday’s fiasco.) They tried to incentive the States that still use them to move to primaries, and if they kept them, they were held to a much higher standard of accountability and transparency. The Presidential Pledge cards came about because no one could do a recount in Iowa if it was needed.

            If you persist with cheap conspiracy theories (the DNC put in the fix for HRC), you better believe I’ll ban you. Do not have time for people who fall for conspiracy theories — which don’t count as “open discussion”.

            • The fix was in for Hillary. Remember the super delegates? Yesterdays fiasco has nothing to with being undemocratic, the method of counting votes was changed by a company (Shadow, Inc.) who have their fingerprints of HRC all over them. Re-count? They couldn’t count them the first time. Keep your head in the sand, if you wish, but this is not “cheap conspiracy theory”. The dems are floundering and need direction. BTW, ask Bernie if he thinks he was pushed aside in 2016. I see a book from him after they eliminate him again. My prediction is Bloomberg will be the nominee. He has the money and is the parties choice, albeit as they hold their nose. He will lose spectacularly. You don’t have time for any discussion that does not fit your agenda. In a bubble with the other elitists. Basically why the dems will lose big in 2020. Goodbye house and big gains in the senate and state offices. Ban away. It is the dems example of covering their ears and making blah blah noises to drown out a discussion.

              • cassandram

                Zombie ideas are zombie ideas. They let you off the hook for getting any real information. And here’s a BIG HINT — no one wins a damn thing with zombie ideas. See ya.

                • Just what I expected.

                  • You expected it because you are a brain-dead conservative. You folks right about one thing — we look down on you because you know little and show no inclination to learn anything. It is knowledge that makes us elite and you the hapless peons reduced to believing the lies of conmen.

                    • Alby, you’re awake, but not cogent, as typical. If you are part of the elite class we are in a heap of trouble.

                    • “Awake but not cogent” is a non sequitur. Try harder.

                      And suck it, sonny. I’m as elite as you can get.

  4. Joe Connor

    I was a non resident precinct captain in Lonetree Iowa a small town outside Iowa City. We had a clean orderly process with an accurate count and were complete at 8:15. The Caucus Chair texted me at 11:30 indicating app was toast and phone reporting lines were jammed. The IS a paper trail of signed preference cards (ballot equivalents). There were some isolated other sorts of issues in urban precincts that I was made aware of but all in all it was a massive and unacceptable reporting debacle of accurate data.

  5. Tune in to watch the victory lap!

  6. RE Vanella

    I never said Mayor Cheat was CIA. I said there was a rumor in Somaliland that he was. Of course I know. I started the rumor.

    Good news is all the party careerists boot lickers that took that junket to Iowa can safely check Uncle Joe into the assisted living spot.

    Hip hip…. Hooray.

  7. RE Vanella

    After NH Warren can drop out. Endorse Bernie.

    Bend the knee now so we can move forward. Not for me. For us.

    • I doubt you get your wish. She has the money to stay in until Super Tuesday, so she undoubtedly will.

    • Is this your plan for unity? Telling people to bend the knee?

      • RE Vanella

        Yes. You fucked up to last time. Unity on our terms now. Or none. You had your chance.

        • I have no idea what your strategy is, or if you even have one. (I’m leaning toward the latter.) Especially since you were a big proponent of saying in 2016 that it was up to the candidate and their supporters to bring people to their side. Or, perhaps, you’re okay with non-Bernie supporters behaving the way you did toward the 2016 nominee? I’m sure you’ll be okay with that and not blame them if their words hurt your candidate. Right?

          I have always said, then and now, I will support whoever wins the nomination. There’s too much on the line. You obviously disagree. Must be nice. All that said, I will never bend a knee to any politician. That’s not an American value.

          • RE Vanella

            I’ve explained my thoughts on this matter at great length. Karl has recorded it and put it on the internet. People really hate it. But it’s good quality audio!

            Please don’t pretend to be confused. It’s unproductive.

        • REV- Enjoy your 15 minutes in the spotlight. Ever read the “Peter Principle”? You should.

          • This is nothing but an ad hominem attack.

            • Ad hominem attack? Hardly. Have someone read the book to you and you will understand.

              • I read the book almost 50 years ago. And you just demonstrated that you don’t know what “ad hominem” means.

                It means you attacked the person and not the content of his statement.

                You really should end your intellectual pretensions. You’re embarrassing yourself.

                • As I said. Have someone read it to you again. I do know what ad hominem means. My contention is REV is a very small flash in the pan, as he is a great person in his own mind. Nothing else.

                  • ” My contention is REV is a very small flash in the pan, as he is a great person in his own mind.”

                    This is a perfect example of an ad hominem attack, demonstrating yet again that you don’t know what the term means.

          • RE Vanella

            Just released ep 52. One year of weekly shows, bub. Plus bonuses! I’m sorry. I know you hate it

    • why would she do that, rev? so the Bernouts can call her a fake endorser and question her fealty to NOTHIM? Maybe constantly whine that she isnt stumping hard enough? Perhaps continue to confuse her for HRC?

      I mean this seriously…. I hope this is an internet persona and this isnt really how you serve the cause of getting your candidate elected, because I 90% want what you’re selling and your shitty attitude is turning me off to it. like i said, I dont think bernie would like the internet version of REvanella. Joe Rogan without the audience.

      Progressives dominate the top tier now. Biden should salvage what is left of his reputation, drop out, endorese Scarane for Senate and open a bagel shop in Greenville.

  8. RE Vanella

    I’ll take my audience over yours though.

  9. RE Vanella

    Also, I definitely think people should boycott Bernie because they don’t like my attitude. This is the measured, intellectual approach. Technocratic genius some say.

    • You really need to read the book.

      • The book concerns people employed by corporations, and posits that they keep getting promoted until they reach their level of incompetence and then never get fired. It was written before the economic contractions of the ’70s and has no relevance to either modern corporate reality or RE Vanella, who is self-employed as a podcaster and therefore cannot be promoted by anyone.

        Ever heard of the Dunning Kruger effect? You really need to read up on it. Wiki it.

  10. But it does explain the incompetent people we are deluged with. Time is not a factor. People are.

    • No, actually, it doesn’t do that at all. You sound like a person who’s read one book in his life. It was written for the world of 50 years ago.

      You have no evidence of anything you’ve said about RE Vanella. And an anonymous commenter who attacks people as you have is the classic definition of a troll.

      I believe this site bans trolls, so keep on keepin’ on. You won’t be here long.

  11. RE Vanella

    Buster is actually my biggest fan

    • You bet! As long as idiots like you are allowed to bloviate and insult the general population, there is hope for the actual workers and producers. Not the talkers and takers. Godspeed!

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