NH one day out

Someone is going to get 2nd place in New Hampshire, but who? Trump is going to win. If he lost, that would be a major shocker. If he wins with less then 30% of the total vote, it's not strong. If he wins with more than 35% of the vote, he's got his momentum back. In between 30-35% is what is about expected.
So, Cruz, Rubio, Bush, Kasich, they are all in 2nd place in one of the tracking polls right now. Cruz and Rubio may have lost momentum, Bush is regaining some of his lost support, Kasich has momentum.... who knows.

If Clinton keeps the win by Sanders to below double-digits, she's done well. Yes, the count is stacked to Clinton's side. Even with a loss, Clinton will take most of NH's delegates. If Bernie did anything, he should take up the cause to demand a complete overhaul of the Democratic nominating process. No more caucuses, no more super-delegates; just a straight up democratic process. It's just ineptitude and cronyism as it works now.

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Iowa Caucus Result

What a caucus, so close. A Clinton vs Cruz contest is a nightmare for Republicans and a dream scenario for Democrats. It would be like Goldwater vs Johnson, yes, but even moreso, with the way that congressional campaigns no longer run as separate to the national election.

Clinton has finally won Iowa, haha. Bern, so close, 49.6 - 49.3. Hard to fathom that O'Malley's .05 is the difference maker. They will split the delegates, Clinton and Sanders, but you know that Clinton is going to make a sweep, or pretty close, of the superdelegates.

Trump lost the groundgame. That was the big question mark. The total amount of voters was very high, over 186K, but Trump fell below 50k that was his benchmark. How about Santorum finishing 11th out of 11th after winning it all last time. The Governors, Christie, Bush & Kasich need to get in a room and decide which one of them will get the other two behind. Rubio did the best in the more urban areas of Iowa, which is the most difficult to pick up in polling. It's also due to the paper's endorsement.

Anyway, Trump. I thought he would win, but he lost because of having no ground game. I remember being in Iowa for 2008, and caucus night, I was in a eatery before the vote, talking with a couple. Young, moderate Republican-Independents, they supported Obama. But, last minute, they decided to go out to eat and to a movie instead of the caucus. Weak support, or newtime voters, have to be prodded to vote. Obama had the machine to turnout an extra 25K, Trump did not, even though the supporters were there for him to get. It was also a huge hurdle that to vote one had to register as Republican. Yuch.

Onto NH. I love that primary, Dixville Notch pre-election night is a sight to behold. One-of-a-kind. It's on c-span now, but to actually go there, to that old place, get tea and cookies, mingle with the locals as they come in to vote. I did it once, which was enough, because I had to drive back to Burlington that night, over White Mt in windy cold with snow conditions.

We shall see what the polls say. Rubio will have appeal in NH, he will get a bounce. Cruz winning Iowa is probably best for Trump in the long run. First, to show his supporters that they have to vote, and second, as Cruz taking 20-25% of the vote means Trump wins with pluralities in the open-voting primaries. Maybe Kasich already peaked in low double-digits in NH. Probalby half a dozen R's drop out and endorse, or not, before the primary next week? Certainly afterwards there will only be a handful left. Trump, Cruz, Rubio, two-three other slots. Carson if he wants it; Paul could always linger too; maybe someone that gets 4th in NH.

Sanders must win NH, looks like he will handily. Like 57 - 43, but I suspect that will close to within single-digits. Higher turnout would bring up her numbers, of course, she is likley underpolled among women too, as she was in 2008.

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Caucus Day Morning

I really love the Bernie Sanders emails. Who else has ever started them with "Sisters and Brothers" and ended with "In solidarity"? Fantastic.

From the comment on the Iowa prediction thread:

  • It all depends on turnout now. If the Dems turn out en masse, then Bernie is likely going to win. Bernie's supporters are extremely passionate, much like Obama's were in 2008. Hillary's support is soft.

Maybe I am a bit too optimistic about Clinton's Iowa machine with the 10% win prediction? Could be, polls have closed tighter (But Clinton will take a strong majority of the delegates). On the GOP side, it does look like Rubio will have that surge. In either IA or NH, an establishment candidate beating out Cruz for 2nd is not great for Trump. But, who knows, Trump seems to be pulling in quite a number of Democrats and new voters, so it may not matter.

  • Most voting for her have simply accepted the media hype that she's our anointed candidate without question. Hillary may receive support based entirely on gender but I believe that most voters aren't that shallow. Americans are sick of the rigged system that Hillary won't dismantle. Hillary has prospered handsomely from that rigged system. And since she is relying on campaign donations from the wealthy elite, she will owe them if they help her win...

Yes, that is a shared-feature behind both the Trump and the Sander's surge. John Judis wrote about the common features: http://www.vox.com/2016/1/30/10869974/trump-sanders-economic-history
It's the beginning of a populist plurality, perhaps majority, if it can compartmentalize the divisive cultural issues from the essential economic ones.

  • Hillary's poll negatives are greater than her positives. Rarely has a candidate won with high negative poll numbers...

We can probably throw out the correlation of high negative numbers with winning. It's not what it used to be, in that regards. Trump's numbers are just terrible, but in a polarity, where people are looking to upset the system, they will say its a terrible messenger at the same time they vote for that alternative.

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Iowa a week out

Republican
The one reason to listen, no, to sorta laugh with, Trump? He talks about his poll numbers. I don't believe he's any more poll-obsessed than any other politician. Obama spent more money on polls than any other candidate ever to win Iowa in 2008. Every position he took, every word he said, in Iowa, in 2008, was crafted with poll numbers to back it up.

It was an amazing draw: Millennial's were his base, liberals that were first-time caucus voters, and Republican-Independents. Trump is going to win Iowa with just about the exact inverse of that coalition. Think about it-- more middle aged, conservatives that don't bother to vote in caucuses, and dissafected Democrats. It's not going to be even close.
Trump- 40
Cruz- 25
Rubio-15
Paul-5
Carson-5
Others-10

If Rubio gets a late endorsement-bounce that will come out of Cruz to close the gap between the runner-ups. Paul might be a bit higher (I hope so) and Carson might be non-existent. Bush? If he doesn't get 5% he should just drop out and endorse someone in NH.

Democratic
Clinton's base of the elderly vote, along with an inevitable gender gap, makes her nearly impossible to beat in Iowa in a one-on-one contest. Sander's campaign does have shades of Dean, with his high College-area county numbers & vocal online progressive support. This reminds me a lot of Gore vs Bradley in 2000 though, and I expect, with a similar outcome.

Clinton- 55
Sanders-45

Clinton's also going to benefit from the caucus-style voting to award delegates. The delegate math is very difficult for Sanders. http://cookpolitical.com/story/9179
But Sanders has ran a great campaign, way better than I imagined. Their handling of the stupid forced-error by the DNC was stupendous.

I'll revisit this, before NH, but suffice to say that it could just be a repeat of the above on both sides.

A Trump vs Clinton election would be a good enough reason to tune out politics for the year. I am hoping its a bit more messy. If Sanders could pull off an upset in IA, he's got a great shot at keeping his advantage in NH. In NH, ARG looks like they may be picking up on a Kasich trend. I have been looking for someone that fits the Independent-swell slot. Especially if Clinton wins Iowa and looks safe, then Indys will be looking for a McCain-type. http://americanresearchgroup.com/pres2016/primary/rep/nhrep.html

Trump really needs Cruz to finish second in Iowa and NH. Kasich finishing 2nd in NH would derail Trump's steamroll.

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Iowa Caucus and Primary

Some friends from Brazil set this up a while ago, when they were visiting and I had caught their political bug for a week, but it left just as quick. I'd not intended to blog anytime soon again. Instead, I've been writing a nonfiction novel, and it has nothing to do with politics! Ha.

But, I will take the time to make a prediction here on this blog about what's going to happen. Coming Monday-- I hope. It's actually a lot more exciting than I thought it would be for the contests. Fascinating on both sides. I can't say that I have a first choice either.

I voted Libertarian last cycle, after having set up the website and technological backend for Gary Johnson. Thank goodness, that was the last campaign I will ever work for again, but it was good medicine, cleansed me from all of the partisan groundwar I'd been wallowing in for a decade with the Democratic establishment.

Given that, I don't expect I get much in the way of readers-commenters here, but maybe one or two dozen, lol. No ads or other crap on the blog. I doubt it will be all political, we'll see. So, Monday...

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