Iowa Ends With Hillary and Trump Still The Favorites
After Iowa, Hillary Clinton is still the favorite with ominous signs looming for Bernie Sanders. Ted Cruz’s win does not indicate future success while Donald Trump is still strong but no longer inevitable. Finally, it’s too early to really tell anything about Marco Rubio. In hypothetical general election matchups, Hillary is beating every Republican head to head except for Rubio and Cruz. Sam Wang helps to explain what we can expect after Iowa.
To compare the final polls with the final results, Cruz overperformed by 4.2%, yet I don’t see any evidence that he has staying power. Yes he has money, but he’s losing in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada as well as in in national polling to Trump rather soundly. Most likely, this will be Cruz’s high point. Seriously, after Iowa, what’s his path to victory?
Trump had a good night though he actually underperformed by 2.2%. Iowa’s tiny turnout and odd voting procedure saw Trump, who had been polling 3 points ahead of Cruz, lose by 3 points. This doesn’t mean Trump isn’t still strong in states after Iowa. Currently, a 6-point error would not affect Trump’s standing anywhere else.
In reality, “underperforming” polls by 2.2% should probably be expected for a first-time candidate with no real ground infrastructure in a caucus state with (relatively) complicated rules, but Trump was his own worst enemy.
He’s behind by one delegate, and a double digit lead in New Hampshire and every state in the near future.
Obviously, Trump’s ground game suffers as he depends on dominating free media appearances. He has the support, but he just doesn’t have the organization that’s knocking on doors and getting people to show up to caucus. If this doesn’t improve, he’s in trouble everywhere; however, we see now that his supporters are real people who will show up to vote.
The real test for Trump will be in New Hampshire. If he holds on to win while matching the double digit lead he has maintained forever, he has the clearest path of anyone in the race. If someone (Rubio, Kasich, Bush, Cruz) catches or overtakes him, he’s in real trouble.
Rubio overperformed by 5.1% forcing Huckabee out and putting pressure on Christie, Paul, Carson, Fiorina and Santorum. Still, it’s too early to tell for him as New Hampshire is his real test. There will be huge pressure for people to unite behind one “establishment” candidate afterwards, and Trump weakens as candidates drop out. If Rubio finishes 2nd, 3rd or ahead of Cruz, I think the Republican nomination will be a two man race between Trump and Rubio. If he doesn’t, it’s still the Trump show.
For Democrats, the age gap is incredible. In an entrance poll, Sanders led by 70% among voters aged 18-29, while Clinton led by 43% among those aged 65 and over. That’s a 113-point gap. Going forward, will Hillary do a better job of appealing to younger voters, or will Bernie do a better job of appealing to older voters?
Some are saying a near tie is a disaster for Hillary, but this was Bernie’s demographic, and other than New Hampshire, it can only get worse from here.
The “controversial” coin flips had no effect on the national delegate allocation. They affected .04% of county delegates. Six county delegates out of 13,500.
Hillary has a very large lead with married women. To a lesser extent, married men, which I suspect is partly an effect of the married women. This is a distinct contrast with the unmarrieds of both genders, though they are likely also younger, a group with whom Sanders did much better.
What about those large crowds at Bernie Sanders events and the sheer, unbridled enthusiasm of his supporters? In the end, the best he could do was manage a near tie. Considering that Sanders has not taken big money, I think he made a strong showing. Bernie outperformed the polls, and has steadily decreased Clinton’s lead over the past several months.
Iowa is one of the most favorable states for Bern because of its ethnic composition. But he needed to win more than 50% of white Democrats. To have a chance overall, he needed a big win to (a) indicate that he can get enough white support to compensate for lack of support in nonwhite demographics in other states, and (b) create press coverage to boost him in the coming weeks. Outcome (a) didn’t happen. We’ll see about (b).
The demographics of Obama’s Democratic Party will certainly be a problem for Sanders going forward. While I’m interested to see to what extent he’s able to make inroads as he campaigns more specifically to them, what’s taking so long? He’s been running for President and has known he’s had this problem since April.
I’m actually amazed at how nonchalantly we talk about a Democratic candidate who only can only draw white voters. Is it acceptable because Bernie is so loveable? Did Democrats not highlight the lack of diversity in the Republican constituency. What gives?
The extent to which Bernie could see boosts in states that have open primaries as to caucuses is minimal. The caucuses have voters arguing openly with one another about which candidate to support. Everyone in the room can see who you choose. This format allows the more zealous voters to convince people on the fence to come to their side. A primary, where you go into a booth, alone, might be less conducive to a candidate like Sanders over-performing. In this 2016 Democratic primary, you don’t have to hide your support for Bernie Sanders.
Hillary is up twenty points in Nevada, and in South Carolina, while Bernie’s support is up 15% from 7% to 22% amongst black voters, 76% still favor Hillary Clinton. Is this the point where all the black voters in the South jump onto the Sanders bandwagon? Because they’re galvanized by a statistical tie in an all-white state?
There is no path for Bern. He will win New Hampshire, but then runs into Latinos in the Nevada caucus and blacks in South Carolina. Game. Blouses. Literally.