Iowa Wants a Choice

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are way ahead in national surveys. Bernie Sanders is the only other candidate in double-digits. This has been the score for weeks. Shhh. Don’t tell Iowa. They seem to have other ideas. A new Emerson poll is out. Pete Buttigieg is third, at 16%, within striking distance of Biden and […]

Who’s Taking the Extra Seat at the Table?

Appearances often deceive. Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are combining for more than 50% in most national polls. They’re as tied as you can be right now. The Real Clear Politics average has him at 26.5%, her at 26.0%. Warren leads more often, Biden by larger margins when he’s ahead. By most metrics, it’s clearly […]

Berning the Skeptics

I wasn’t a believer either. The 2016 version of Bernie Sanders followed an insurgent model that doesn’t play well as an encore. If you’ve ever seen Hangover 2, you know a sequel with the same plot as the original falls flat. Sure, he had a base of true believers, but many of his primary voters […]

Biden Doesn’t Need Iowa. Warren Does.

The Biden campaign is downplaying the necessity of winning Iowa. The media is treating this as an early surrender, a sign of weakness. We’ll save the efficacy of Biden campaign strategy and strategic leaking for another day. Today I’m here to agree with Team Biden. He doesn’t need to win Iowa. Elizabeth Warren does. Sorry […]

This is Still a 12 Pack

Tonight, CNN is subjecting the world to seven hours of town hall programming, featuring the Democratic presidential field. Each of the 10 approved contestants have 40 minutes or so to field questions about climate change from audience members and assorted CNN moderators. With Dorian doing his worst as he works his way up the Atlantic […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]