A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Nomination: Iowa Caucus Recap

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Final results from the Hawkeye State:

Clinton: 49.9% Sanders 49.6%

Cruz: 27.7% Trump: 24.3% Rubio: 23.1% [1]

Democratic Side

It was the closest caucus in the history of Iowa, but in the end 22 delegates will go to Clinton and 21 will go to Sanders. After his 0.6% showing, Martin O’Malley has officially suspended his campaign. This virtual tie is a great showing for Sanders. As I wrote yesterday, the poll numbers had him losing by 3% and he outperformed that. It will absolutely cause a news cycle focusing on how close Sanders kept it, and he is still predicted to clean up in New Hampshire, but I’m still not convinced it’s enough.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll from Jan. 27th, Clinton is pretty much deadlocked with white voters (45-43) but is in firm control of the minority vote (67-28). If you look at the 2008 primaries, Iowa’s caucus was 93% white and New Hampshire’s was 95% white. This is as opposed to all primaries across the country which average 65% white.[2]

CBS also had an interesting poll in Iowa.[3]

SandersClinton Race

If you look at that 68% chunk of liberal and somewhat liberal, Sanders wins, but that percent of the electorate shrinks to 47% combining all Democratic caucuses.

I don’t think it’s all bad news for Sanders. Iowa was indeed much closer than the polls predicted and it’s clear which demographics his campaign needs to convince which will allow for smart targeted use of funds. At this point I still consider him the underdog though, and I will stick with that conclusion even through his convincing win in New Hampshire. If he can make Nevada and South Carolina look like Iowa, then we’ll have a real race on our hands.

Republican Side

The Trump has officially been stumped, kind of. The Republican side also had its candidates within one delegate of each other: Cruz gets 8, Trump gets 7, and Rubio gets 7. For starters, I called Cruz’s win!

(Hey, two years ago didn’t you also predict Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) would be a central figure in this race after she gave the SOTU response?)

All I can say is thanks for following my hit and miss political predictions for so long, but I’m still more proud of the Cruz call since I put money on it.

Even though Cruz got the most votes, I don’t think he was the biggest winner last night. If we look at the poll from yesterday and compare it to the real results, Cruz overachieved by 4.7%, Trump underachieved by 3.7%, and Rubio overachieved by 8.1%. Iowa tends to like the Christian Conservative candidate more than the rest of the country as we can see with Santorum’s win in 2012 and Huckabee’s win in 2008. This year Huckabee received 1.8% of the vote and is the only Republican, so far, to drop out of the race after yesterday’s results.

We have Cruz who overachieved his poll numbers in the state most Christian candidates do just that, Trump underachieved despite caucus attendance being higher than it ever has been for the Republicans(180,000 compared to 2012’s 121,503)[4], and that leaves Rubio as the big winner from Iowa. Considering that showing it is pretty clear Rubio will become the establishment’s pick against Cruz. I maintain Trump has no real shot and I think yesterday cemented that opinion. I’ll go so far as to say I think Rubio now has the best chance at the nomination for the Republicans.

I’ll happily take the 50$ I won on Cruz winning yesterday and put it on Rubio to win New Hampshire one week from today at 3-1, so a win would give us an additional 150$ in profit.

Overall an interesting start to the election year. I hope everyone is ready for 10 more months of this.

As always, questions, comments, and concerns are welcome. Answers are guaranteed.





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