Iowa Caucus News and Related Stuff

    NBC: John Kerry “was overheard Sunday on the phone at a Des Moines hotel explaining what he would have to do to enter the presidential race amid ‘the possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole.’”

    — Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 2, 2020


    Uh, we needed FDR 1.0 when there were Hoovervilles, we needed FDR 2.0 when there were Hitlervilles, and we needed Obama 1.0 (tho perhaps more aggressive & populist) when we had a financial meltdown, auto industry collapsing, and massive home repossession.

    The idea we need to run drastic measures in not-so-drastic times is pure Bernie gold.
    If we'd gotten Hillary in 2016, it would've been the steady progress we needed, not the
    "let's pull our hair out and demand we toss everything around the room & scream at the TV" approach.

    Global warming? Check. Free trade (balancing China's hegemony, with some worker protections)? Check.
    Education reform? Check. Unemployment relief for the heartland? Check.
    Expansion of healthcare? Check. And so on.

    Bernie and Susan Sarandon and others wanted this Trumpian crisis, so they can pretend to solve it.

    I was hoping Warren would be the voice of left pragmatism over Sanders leftist revolution. I think that's who she truly is but I'll admit she's moved from that position to embrace much of Sanders leftist stupidity. I'm not sure why, perhaps hoping to pull some of Sanders supporters from him.

    Yeah, on financials she's rock solid, and while I thought she was overreaching in trying to break up Facebook, Amazon, etc., within weeks of her pitching this it became obvious she was right.
    But the rest of the gobbledygook? Driving her brand down.

    FDR 1.0 was a don't shake the white supremacy boat politician, he catered to, and was wildly supported by,  the racist South. The Republicans own that tribe now, they are no longer "progressives."

    Tweet it to Kapur.. .!! 

    In his book "Fear Itself" Ira Katznelson quotes Representative Rankin of Mississippi in the 73rd Congress of 1933, speaking on the House floor in support of funding FDR's Tennessee Valley Authority, Rankin said that the TVA will "produce more energy than the labor of all the slaves freed in the war"

    On FDR's solid support in the Deep South, from "Fear Itself":

    "Remarkable in his reelection of 1936 was the degree of support he (FDR) secured across the Deep South. Roosevelt's reelection was endorsed by 87% of voters in Alabama, Georgia and Texas, 89% in Louisiana, and an astonishing 97% in Mississippi and 99% in South Carolina, where some counties reported not one Republican vote."

    Oh God, didn't we debate this book/author already?

    Here, read:

    Of course FDR made compromises with whites who controlled the power in the South, and it wasn't perfect and there were some serious gaps, especially among tenant farmers. (the lynching law was more symbolic, as lynchings had long faded as a common practice). But much of Katznelson's bitching is about early days of the program, when attention to blacks improved over time. And of course this fits into the right's agenda to say FDR wasn't that great in the first place (never mind how Hoover continued Coolidge's policies into the ditch and adamantly did nothing - kinda like George W going into 2009).

    But hey, Bernie's going to become president and change everything without Senate control and still a Republican lock on legislatures and the Supreme Court, right?

    I don't even like the use of terminology and the comparison now that I think on it and you bring these old debates up. It should stop, let's drop these old stereotypes, they are ridiculous actually.This is where it is helpful to bring in Andrew Yang types to talk as if we are well into the 21st century, because: we are!

    FDR was first elected 87 years ago. Things were, um, different. Here's just one thing as an example, quote came up first thing on my google, don't know how accurate the paper, accurate enough for my point:

    Real wages rose by 16 percent between 1929 and 1932, while the unemployment rate ballooned from 3 to 23 percent. Real wages remained high throughout the rest of the decade, although unemployment never dipped below 9 percent, no matter how it is measured.

    The difference between now and then: kinda absurd: full employment, dropping real wages. Problems different, world different, solutions different....

    Hah: 1) GOP dirty trick tried to influence results 2) Bluff called!

    Nate Silver, done with his Superbowl work, can now opine,and does a lot:

    OK, a slightly stream-of-consciousness, post-Super Bowl Iowa polling thread.

    For starters, here is our current polling average, with comparison to 1 week ago / 1 month ago.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Sanders (along with Klobuchar) has made the biggest gains over the past month. But his trajectory over the past week has been flat, especially if you look at comparisons among the same pollsters. Not necessarily anything to worry about and I'd probably take the over...

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Still, there's a fine line between "still peaking as we head into the caucus", "peaked at the right time" & "peaked a little bit too soon" and any of the 3 are at least plausible. Especially if you consider house effects; live polls are more mixed for Bernie than the online ones.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Biden seems like the hardest candidate to pin down, with fairly wide variation from poll to poll. I really have no idea, and his purportedly mediocre ground game makes for a downside case.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    At the same time, there's this perceptual perception that Biden is declining when he isn't. He's actually up in Iowa month over month, and although there's been a bit of erosion over the past week, it's margin-of-error-ish stuff. A number of polls still have him ahead.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Buttigieg has declined both week-over-week and month-over-month. Nonetheless, he's not *that* far behind and is probably a bit unlucky that no poll as shown him with the lead. The mechanics of the caucus potentially also favor him. He does well in 2nd choice numbers...

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    ...He should have a good ground game. And he reportedly does well in rural areas, where you get more bang for your buck in terms of delegates. Purely as an Iowa play—our model is very skeptical re: his post Iowa path—he may be a bit overlooked.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Warren is actually UP a bit month-over-month and week over week. Sanders's surge has really worked against her, though, in that he should be comfortably >15% in most precincts, denying her a chance to pick up many Sanders votes upon realignment, for whom she's often a 2nd choice.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    So while a "progressive dream" of Sanders-Warren finishing 1-2 in Iowa is certainly plausible, it's *more likely* that her fate is inversely correlated with Sanders. Her support also seems to be concentrated in upscale areas, which isn't helpful to her re: the delegate math.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    On the other hand, she has invested a LOT in Iowa, and should be helped by her ground game, having good precinct captains, etc. I am curious if Warren forms an alliance with other candidates (Klobuchar or Buttigieg) to try to direct votes away from the frontrunners.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Klobuchar would be fairly interesting if she were at 13%, and not at all interesting if she were at 7%. She's wound up right in the middle, at 10%. She has made some gains over the past month but we can now rule out a Santorum-like trajectory with a huge last-minute poll surge.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    Empirically, the error on Iowa polls is high. It's entirely possible Klob could sneak in to 3rd place. Higher than that? Well, our model gives her a ~1 in 40 chance of winning. But that would be a case where the polls had missed something, not "normal margin of error" stuff.

    — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2020

    This is the funniest CNN coverage I've ever seen. I don't know who came up with up this delay in reporting caucus results, but I applaud them. Comic genius.

    Thanks I had the teevee off, I just turned it off. Amy right now is talking how she's gonna be just like FDR and know you and fight for you...

    I see this upon opening Twitter:

    I actually don't buy that this will do them much good, only horse race junkies care about Iowa and NH, most people aren't even paying attention until like Super Tuesday.

    feeling weirdly proud and nostalgic for the Eurovision voting sytem

    — joe (@mutablejoe) February 4, 2020

    Nate Silver & Markos (DKos founder):

    He describes self as Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine; Election Law Blogger. Coming 2/4/20: Election Meltdown (Preorders )

    Nate Silver, a few minutes ago, guessing using campaign-reported numbers:

    Nate added two followup tweets:

    What happened Monday evening bolsters the argument that the state should not have the first primary.

    The Iowa caucuses on Monday were marked by chaos, with an apparent deluge of technical problems and the patently absurd mechanics on display throughout the evening. By night’s end, candidates had spoken to their supporters with barely any results having been announced—prompting a flood of credible prognostications suggesting the extremely white state might finally lose its first-in-the-nation mantle. 

    “I think we are witnessing the end of the Iowa caucus for real this time,” one campaign official told The Daily Beast.

    The app used by the Iowa Democratic Party was built by Shadow Inc., a for-profit technology company that is also used by the Nevada Democratic Party, the next state to hold a caucus, as well as by multiple presidential campaigns. Shadow’s involvement was kept a secret by Democratic officials through the caucuses. link

    Using an untested app from an unnamed secret corporation named Shadow Inc. at least sounds better than using Giuliani's Russian funded Fraud Guarantee.

    The fiasco has not helped the M4A movement GOP using it, "they can't run a caucus, and want to take over your healthcare".

    Iowa should have the decency to step away.

    Edit to add:

    From Politico

    The Death of Iowa

    DES MOINES, Iowa — 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.

    Oh, sure, the state and its fabled caucuses may live on in some ceremonial capacity, perhaps clinging to a sort of emeritus role in the earlier stages of the nominating season. Presidential candidates will still pay occasional homage to the state, observing the time-worn traditions of tractor shows and food on a stick, unwilling to ignore a place and a people that have been so central to the making of the modern American presidency.

    But Iowa won’t go first. It can’t go first. Not anymore.

    The disaster that unfolded here Monday night—improper recording of results, failed transmission of precinct tallies, botched management of the voting procedures themselves—will leave no recourse for the national parties. Iowa’s blood has been in the water for years, its sacred-cow status a source of resentment for states like Florida and Michigan that claim to be more representative of the nation. Iowa has survived, cycle after cycle, on the strength of strategic alliances, none more critical than between the Democratic and Republican parties in the state, each one recognizing that one’s failure could doom the tradition clung to by both. 

    There have been close calls before, but nothing approaching the catastrophe of Feb. 3, a date that will be remembered as the beginning of Iowa’s end after a nearly half-century-long run kicking off the presidential primary process. As it became clear in the twilight hours of Monday that Democrats would not produce timely, trustworthy numbers by which to judge the candidates after two years of campaigning in the state, it was equally obvious that Iowa’s day of reckoning had arrived. 

    “This will probably be the last caucus we’ll have to worry about,” David Yepsen, the longtime Des Moines Register scribe and dean of the Iowa press corps, wrote on Twitter.


    The reason Iowa usually works is it's folksy, kind of spread out, requires some organization & pitch, and ultimately some staying power.

    If you do it in Illinois, you're going to end up focusing on Chicago. Great to deal with some metro areas, since much of the country's main centers are metro, but overall one of the problems we're seeing globally is an inability to address what's going on *outside* the metro areas. Whatcha gonna do once you've seen Gay Paris? Abandon the countryside, like they have in Spain, where basically 70% of the country's a ghost town. 8-12 grandparents & great-grandparents to 1 grandchild - just twisted.

    It pisses me off when people pretend caucuses are democratic, but as an incubator, a Petri dish, I do think they're useful, especially for early stage. Sure, lose Iowa and pull it together for Super Tuesday, no prob. But still, there's a chance for a lesser known to get better known on a small stage. Once it gets to 15 states, the idea of saying something new is over. Again, there's a usefulness in not talking to the media, but talking to the people. Once you get into a 15-state megabuy of marketing messaging, again, it'll never be personal again.

    There's certain benefits in starting with small states but imo ranked choice voting could replace the only benefit of a caucus.

    like your comment! Yes early primary activities in the current world as it is need to be folksy and it's important that they are not too urban.

    Overall, most important point, though = this is not a democracy, it's a political party! That's the one misunderstanding that bugs me the most.

    If you don't like what they are doing, you're supposed to go form your own party.

    Yes, of course, it's in their interest to be big tent as possible and not lose members but gain more members. But things within the party do not have to be "fair", they can be however they want them to be, even "unfair" on purpose.

    Helpful to keep this in mind, too: many of the founding fathers hoped we wouldn't have any political parties at all, they feared they may sort of ruin the whole democracy thing.

    Any criticism is basically like criticizing the coaching of a sports team, where you are entitled to your opinion but it's not worth that much. If you don't like what they are doing, you have to become an actual member of the team and try to influence the coaches.

    p.s. I personally have always found it interesting because it's been feedback on culture change from classic "flyover" country. The process, using just folks from left half of the liberal/conservative divide, sort of removes it from elite media giving us their interpretation of "what's going on." There is often a shock as in: things may be more complicated than what the conventional wisdom has been telling us. I.E., black guy with terrorist name wins.In Iowa! Now it's: a little out gay guy does well. In Iowa! Granted, they are politically active people, not the couch potatoes, but it's still valuable info.

    As far as delegates and the presidential nomination: not such a big deal except for political junkies and donors. Wrong just as often as right.

    If you don't like what they are doing, you're supposed to go form your own party.

    That, as you pointed out, is based on desires of the founding fathers that didn't play out as they hoped and mistaken guesses about what they expected to happen. With out ranked choice voting there won't be significant third or more parties because if there were it would be the end to anything near to the policies the two parties support. Also leaving the party if one is upset with certain processes or policies isn't the only option. One can also attempt to change it from within. If enough of the members decide they want more democracy within the party it's absolutely their prerogative to attempt to make it so.

    I think it's time we put these arguments to rest except as an example that the founding fathers weren't infallible and made errors in judgment, planning, and execution.

    Fortunately we're much better than they were at future planning and coming up with rules that work.
    I sometimes look back at them blokes and think, "They were so primitive..."
    I mean shit, they couldn't even come up with Lotto.

    Iowa is not representative of the diversity of the Democratic Party. Thus it can be a disadvantage for candidates of color. Obama was a one of a kind candidate. Neither Iowa or New Hampshire deserve to take the lead. Hillary got more votes than Trump. We need to put more focus on turnout in a few critical electoral college states without ignoring the wishes of ethnic minorities in the early voting states.

    Many claim that it was Iowa that convinced blacks to feel free to vote for Obama. Actual polling shows that Obama was leading in South Carolina prior to the vote taking place in South Carolina.

    Some Democrats had suggested that a win in next Monday’s Iowa caucuses could have a similar influence among black voters in South Carolina and elsewhere, to the detriment of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who leads among African-Americans in polls. But in reality, according to historical polling data and interviews with some advisers from the Obama campaign, Mr. Obama’s political strength with black voters was stronger than many remember — even as Mrs. Clinton was ahead in many polls in late 2007 and early 2008.

    The persistence of the narrative that Iowa made Mr. Obama has long irritated some of his advisers, who said that this recollection from 2008 had led campaigns astray since then, discounted the agency of black voters and minimized the robust grass-roots strategy that Mr. Obama’s team undertook in the South.

    Cornell Belcher, Mr. Obama’s chief pollster in South Carolina, said internal campaign polling data showed Mr. Obama surpassing Mrs. Clinton among black voters in South Carolina as early as November 2007, and leading throughout the entire state before Iowa voted. Public polling shows Mr. Obama with clear leadsamong black South Carolina voters through that November and December, with his numbers growing further after the Iowa caucuses.

    “Black voters aren’t waiting for white people to tell them what to do,” Mr. Belcher said. “It’s racist. It’s racial paternalism.”

    Obama was a one of a kind candidate


    I just heard David Gergen say this about Iowa primaries on Cuomo's show:

    there is a tendency to favor underdogs with fresh faces

    He mentioned Jimmy Carter besides Obama and Buttigieg. That the process there favors a sor of divining what the rest of the country may want, before the rest of the country even knows who these people are.

    Yes once again. By being easier, it favors new blood to break through. Hasn't worked too well this year, old ppl hanging on everywhere.

    I would like to harp on this point. Lots of delegates from rural Obama to Trump country. For an out gay man! Radical culture change!

    This @ec_schneider story on @PeteButtigieg's delegate play in Iowa, hustling across all the rural Obama-to-Trump counties, looks real smart two days later.

    — Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) February 5, 2020

    The heartland corrupted by Hollywood! They probably have no problem with drag queens reading stories to the kiddies in the library either!

    compare and contrast "cultural standards and societal norms”: Iowa and Qatar.

    Gay marriage broke in 2004. It's tougher to be a woman in 2020.

    I recall a lot of "fairy tale" hype to make Bill a racist along with "Hillary didn't cry during Katrina" dog whistles to make that early internal South Carolina polling spread work. Pollsters always seem to believe their own bullshit anyway.

    Nate Silver update 11:06 pm:, it's Buttigieg and/or Sanders, and link to published article on how 538 is going to handle it:

    OIC, here's one meme that's going to shake out from Iowa: do you want another clueless outsider or do you want someone who knows how to get stuff done amidst the swamp?:

    Joe is probably also going to try to sell that he's been in "managment" of Congress, i.e., not just another bloviating Senator either.

    a key paragraph from the above:

    You see the pattern there: Over and over, Buttigieg was the second choice of choice, so to speak. Tallying losses and gains across the field, Buttigieg gained the most support as a second pick, followed by Klobuchar. Yang saw the biggest erosion of support — and didn’t gain much support as a second pick.

    Nate Silver updates from a few minutes ago:

    She's just bitter.

    good way to put it:

    Ends in a tie at the top with Buttigieg and Sanders each a little less than 550 delegates, Warren 381, Biden 331, and Klobuchar 255.

    With 97% of precincts reporting, @PeteButtigieg’s lead over @BernieSanders is down to 0.1%.

    Safe to say they will both leave the #IowaCaucuses with the same number of delegates.

    — Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) February 6, 2020

    Except for silly political horse race junkies who think this is like a sports game where somebody wins something because they got the highest number: This says they are all still very much in the running and WTF IS WRONG WITH THAT? Good thing, no? Who got hurt? Nobody! They all still got a chance, the supposed "lack of diversity" somehow delivered a diverse result, eh?These are all a pitifully small number of delegates makes no sense to blow it up as such an important indicator that Pete and Bernie got a few more than the others. Cmon, that's ridiculous, it's more like a 5 way tie. Too many falling for political horse race b.s. Early Iowa caucus is simply an indicator and a training ground about ability of face-to-face selling, see who's got the stamina and staying power. Well this time, five of them do.

    Pete won it, verified, 14 delegates to Bernie's 12:

    11 months later, we got BREAKING!

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