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Old 02-04-2020, 11:39 AM
Publius Publius is offline
 
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Default Iowa Caucus

There is a lot wrong with how the parties go about nominating their candidates to run for President.

The delegate count doesn't make sense. They vote on different days. Caucuses allow people to choose nominees that specifically speak against what the majority of voters in a party want. A Republican state becomes an important battle ground during the nomination process (Texas, for example) even though it will do absolutely no good for a given party (Democrats) in a general election. Small states like Iowa, with only 6 electoral votes, suddenly become the second most important state for Democrats despite that it is a Republican state.

And the list could go on, but on top of all of that, we have the shitshow that is the Iowa Caucus itself.

In spectacularly moronic fashion, this can only be described as a catastrophe for those involved.

Further, this catastrophe may well significantly change who actually has a shot at being the eventual nominee.

Now whether or not this nominating system was broken or not to begin with is a different discussion (it was). However, this is the system that was in place, and it is now a total wreck.

For example, it is entirely possible that Buttigieg is going to come out of this with a top three finish. If this was true and the election ran smoothly, we could expect to see him receive a massive bump in the polls and an amazing amount of attention suddenly swing his way. This would be a boon for his campaign and would make him finish in a strong position, opening doors for the future if not for today. However, because of the muted finish in Iowa, the whatever bounce Buttigieg does receive will be heavily muted, and it may well result in him never gaining the momentum he would need to make it through, or perhaps even to Super Tuesday.

For Bernie Sanders, who is also likely to finish top three, the result is the same. Sanders does not have the same appeal in later states that he has in the early states, and he needs to harvest momentum. He needs to do it right now. Bernie needs and must have the added attention, the momentum, and the energy from Iowa to pile it on in New Hampshire (February 11) and roll that forward to try to pull off a coup on Super Tuesday, which would set him in a position of viability down the road.

For Warren, it's largely the same. Although her appeal is not limited to early states, because she has a tendency to do really stupid things and because it is in fact, harder to win an election as a female, she needs all the momentum she can get. She too is in position to potentially finish as a top three in Iowa, and this robs her of the opportunity to be playing it forward.

Biden, oddly, is the one who is not in position to gain much from Iowa, but rather is in a position to suffer the least damage in Iowa. This isn't a state Biden should statistically appeal to anyway. It's 94% white, the education level is only 1 in 4 Iowans with a college degree or more, and a few other factors. That said, Biden was also in a position to be a top three finisher. However, the delay actually doesn't impact him the way it does the other candidates vying for good showings in Iowa. Because this isn't his best demographic and because his campaign had not tossed resources at Iowa to the same degree as others, and because many projections showed him in bad position in Iowa, he actually doesn't lose anything if the results of the caucus are muted.

The result of this, since Biden is the front-runner overall, is that those playing catch up are suffering some amount of loss of wind from their sails, while Biden's camp actually loses less wind from its sails in Iowa than they had perhaps been prepared for.

Because of how the nominating process works, the outcome in any given state can largely be influenced by the outcome in a previous state. Since Iowa has lost its ability to catapult any given candidate to the front of the pack as it sometimes does, this has dramatic implications for every campaign that was hoping to overcome the leader.

This could dramatically alter the outcome of this nomination.

If anyone else thinks it can have an impact, I'd love to hear your ideas of how it could change things too.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:05 AM
Kitsune9tails Kitsune9tails is offline
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I have never personally shared the mentality of jumping onto the bandwagon of the perceived eventual winner, but that said, many people do exactly that.

What happened in Iowa is huge and will have effects felt clear into the 2024 administration.

Pundits are already spinning this as if this failure in Iowa reflects on the ability of Democrats overall to run systems (such as the health care system) as a group of people in Iowa were the same folk running things in DC.

There is no doubt in my mind that this will lead to Pete getting more votes than he would have otherwise, although those might come from nonvoters, rather than from his opponent's pools.

I am curious as to the historical data on how the top 4 in Iowa have previously finished over the past 16 years, although I think that changes in tech will largely diminish the relevance of that data. One source said that Obama was at 3% in Iowa at this point, but I don't know if they meant polls or caucus.

Something some talking heads on the Internet have been saying is that if the underlying data from Iowa is known (it probably hasn't been straightened out yet), then the release of the partial data could easily have been curated to create false impressions: a targeted Iowa bump as it were. I am filing that under 'unlikely but plausible'.

This is all before any kind of audit is done, which may in turn reveal more problems, which will have an effect however small on Democrats in general and caucuses in specific.

It also reflects upon the Electoral College process.

The main negative effect is on voter confidence, which could act as effective voter suppression, not to mention the flurry of lawsuits that will be launched in January 2021 whoever wins.

Someone needs to do something big to restore confidence in the voting process itself, and that someone will not be --cannot be-- the President.

From Wikipedia, about 2016:
"Despite a late challenge, Hillary Clinton was able to defeat Bernie Sanders in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus by the closest margin in the history of the contest: 49.8% to 49.6% (Clinton collected 700.47 state delegate equivalents to Sanders' 696.92, a difference of one quarter of a percentage point).[1] The victory, which was projected to award her 23 pledged national convention delegates (two more than Sanders), made Clinton the first woman to win the Caucus and marked a clear difference from 2008, where she finished in third place behind Obama and John Edwards.[2][3][4][5] Martin O'Malley suspended his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish with only 0.5% of the state delegate equivalents awarded, leaving Clinton and Sanders the only two major candidates in the race.[6] 171,517 people participated in the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses.[7]"

Here is the 2008 data from Wikipedia:
" Barack Obama - 32%
Hillary Clinton - 25%
John Edwards - 24%
Bill Richardson - 6%
Joe Biden - 4%
Christopher Dodd - 2%
Dennis Kucinich - 1%
Mike Gravel - 0%
Not sure/Uncommitted - 6%

The above results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.[5] "

Last edited by Kitsune9tails; 02-06-2020 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:42 PM
Publius Publius is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune9tails View Post
I am curious as to the historical data on how the top 4 in Iowa have previously finished over the past 16 years...
Here is a quick reference site for you. Just change the options on the left to see how everyone finished.

Since 2000:

Republican
2000: Bush (nominee)
2004: Bush (nominee - he ran unopposed for the nomination)
2008: Huckabee (McCain was nominee - he came in fourth in Iowa)
2012: Santorum (Romney was nominee - he came in second in Iowa)
2016: Cruz (Trump was nominee - he came in second in iowa)

Democrats

2000: Gore (nominee)
2004: Kerry (nominee)
2008: Obama (nominee)
2012: Obama (nominee - he ran unopposed for the nomination)
2016: Clinton (nominee)

For Republicans, they got two out of five right, but one of those was Bush running without an opponent, so it probably shouldn't be counted. Essentially it got 1 out of 4 right, and at the time it got the first one right most people thought they were out of their minds and that opponent was laughable.

For Democrats Iowa seems almost prescient, getting four out of four correct (Obama ran against no one once).

I think there is more correlation here than causation.

Quote:
although I think that changes in tech will largely diminish the relevance of that data.
How so?

Quote:
Something some talking heads on the Internet have been saying is that if the underlying data from Iowa is known (it probably hasn't been straightened out yet), then the release of the partial data could easily have been curated to create false impressions: a targeted Iowa bump as it were. I am filing that under 'unlikely but plausible'.
It's flat out ridiculous.

Quote:
It also reflects upon the Electoral College process.
How so?

Quote:
The main negative effect is on voter confidence, which could act as effective voter suppression, not to mention the flurry of lawsuits that will be launched in January 2021 whoever wins.

Someone needs to do something big to restore confidence in the voting process itself, and that someone will not be --cannot be-- the President.
This is interesting. Who and how do you think this could be accomplished? Maybe this should be a different thread.
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