Debate Pre-Preview: The Reckoning

After an overly drawn out draw procedure on CNN, we now have the matchups for Debate 2.0: Biden v. Harris (Night 2) This is the main event. Also very good news for the people at CNN in charge of booking ads. Over the past 7-10 days, Kamala Harris’s polling bounce has begun fading. Joe Biden’s […]

What Matters in Iowa (Part 3–Best Practices)

Hi! If you’re just joining our journey to the center of the Iowa caucus, please consider reading the first piece—an overview, and the second, which covers the positive and negative signs that indicate how a candidate will do on Caucus Day. Our next project is examining ways candidates can improve their standing. How they can […]

When Polls Collide: Is Mayor Pete Ahead or Fifth in Iowa?

25%, 1st Place 10%, 5th Place 6%, 5th Place Average: 13.7%, 4th Place Hmmmmmm. Does the truth really lie somewhere in between the data points? Or are one of the extremes more on target? Polling averages exist for a good reason. Surveys have a margin of error. It’s too easy to read too much into […]

The Generation Chasm

79 80 78 76 77 70 The median American is 37.7 years old. The median voter is 52. The above numbers are ages. They belong to the Speaker of the House, House Majority Leader, House Majority Whip, and 3 of the 4 leading Democratic presidential candidates. Not all Septuagenarians are created equally. Bernie Sanders is […]

What Matters in Iowa (Part 2–How to Make Predictions)

Before we get rolling here, you might want to check out Part 1. It’s not mandatory. It is helpful. The reason we’re talking about the February 2020 Iowa Caucus in July 2019 is because I think we can already get an idea of who might win. The Hawkeye State is remarkably consistent. From year-to-year, and […]

Requiem for a Candidate: Ross Perot

H. Ross Perot, Reform Party presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996, passed away Tuesday at the age of 89. You’ll see a few obituaries. Invariably, they’ll mention how Perot presaged Trump. This isn’t wrong. Elements of Perot’s populist message made their way into Trumpism. His “giant sucking sound” reference to NAFTA stealing American jobs, and […]

What Matters in Iowa (Part 1–An Overview)

Iowa matters. A lot. The modern primary era began in 1972. Since then, only one nominee in either party has finished lower than third in a contested Iowa caucus. Every nominee who finished third or lower then won New Hampshire. As did almost all second place finishers. As much as Donald Trump upended the universe […]

All Your Base Are Belong to Us (Part 4)

If you haven’t yet, please read: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Welcome to the end of the road. We began with the polling leaders. We conclude with a few candidates who need their cards to come up almost perfectly. This group is quantitatively different from the contestants we aren’t mentioning at all. Those individuals […]

All Your Base Are Belong to Us (Part 3)

Note: If you missed Part 1, or Part 2, you’ll want to catch up before reading on. So far, we’ve confirmed some conventional wisdom. Joe Biden has a base with older, more moderate voters. Bernie Sanders has a base with younger, more liberal voters. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have sunk multiple pylons, but haven’t […]

All Your Base Are Belong to Us (Part 2)

In Part 1, we began breaking down how the candidates are building a base for themselves. Joe Biden went through the MRI first. Now on to a few other leading contenders: Kamala Harris: Prior to the debate, Harris wasn’t building that much of a base with any group of voters. This has changed. Her lead […]