The Iowa Caucuses were supposed to be a two-man race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The two men have been vying for the lead position for several weeks now, and the first battle of the old white guys was expected to play out in Iowa.
Now that the results are in, it looks like the polls got it wrong. The results show a successful turnout for Sanders, as predicted, but surprisingly, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg virtually tied for the lead as of this writing.
Results are still trickling in, but regardless of the final outcome, it was a good night for Mayor Pete. His finish in Iowa is already boosting his polling numbers in New Hampshire, where the next primary is set to take place on Tuesday. One poll has Buttigieg rising by 9 points in New Hampshire.
Buttigieg is a newcomer to the national scene, and that may be to his advantage. He is only 38, while Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are in their late 70s. Mayor Pete polled well with both moderate Democrats and Liberal Democrats. He also did better than expected with African American voters, a group that wasn’t expected to support him in any significant way.
Far-left news site Slate.com reported, “He won decisively among caucus-goers who called themselves “somewhat liberal”—a segment that represented more than 40 percent of attendees—and he tied Biden for the lead among moderates. Among independents, he trailed Sanders but outpolled Biden.”
It still remains to be seen if Mayor Pete can persuade minorities to come over to his side. Thus far, he has had limited success.
The most noteworthy story of the Iowa Caucuses was the freefall of former Vice President Joe Biden. Pundits—including yours truly—had predicted a two-man race between Sanders and Biden. That head-to-head never materialized. Biden supporters must be feeling nervous after Iowa. Biden is in jeopardy of finishing fourth again, this time in New Hampshire.
Although Iowa only accounts for 41 delegates in the Democrats nomination process, the winner of the caucuses typically get a big bounce in the polls. Mayor Pete has gotten that historical bump in the latest New Hampshire polls.
Nate Silver wrote the following at FiveThirtyEight:
“Despite its demographic non-representativeness and the quirks of the Caucus process, the amount of media coverage the state gets makes it far more valuable a prize than you’d assume from the fact that it only accounts for 41 of the Democrats’ 3,979 pledged delegates.
More specifically, we estimate — based on testing how much the results in various states have historically changed the candidates’ position in national polls — that Iowa was the second-most-important date on the calendar this year, trailing only Super Tuesday. It was worth the equivalent of almost 800 delegates, about 20 times its actual number.”
The Iowa Caucuses were an unmitigated disaster for the Democratic Party. As of this writing, the final results are not yet known ( 97% of precincts reporting). Democrats want to run this country but they can’t even run their own caucuses.
The Hill reported on Tuesday that “The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) said Tuesday that a phone app the precincts were relying on to transmit results did not function properly and is partially responsible for the ongoing delay and confusion surrounding the caucuses…
In a Statement, the IDP said it has confidence that the full data collected by the app is accurate. But it said that the app in some instances only transmitted ‘partial data,’ necessitating a manual count that has stretched into a second day.”
The Iowa Caucuses were a success for Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, and they were a disaster for Joe Biden. Now it’s onto New Hampshire to see who will win the next primary in the Democrats’ mad scramble for the Executive.