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Don’t Take Too Much Stock in Iowa Democrats


The Iowa Caucuses are finally here and, while it’s not a primary, there are two things to watch on the Democratic side.  Raw vote tallies for each candidate that help push toward committed delegate counts and the committed delegate count.  Iowa has a few big college towns that account for about 40 percent of the total vote but less than a third of the committed delegates.

Things to consider:

  • The winner of the Iowa caucuses rarely goes on to win the presidency.
  • Iowa has a population of about 3 million people — about the same size as Orange County; there are 23.6 million pigs in the state according to a 2018 story in the Des Moines Register.  Actual swine. Oink.
  • Iowa is 85-90 percent white.
  • Iowa went for  Trump by 9 points in 2016 after being solidly blue for Barack Obama twice.
  • Head to head polls of Trump versus top Democratic candidates in Iowa show Trump beating all of them (margins less than 9 percent but not really close).

Conversely, New Hampshire, while blue the last few presidential elections, is a swing state.  Largely white, tiny population, that’s very Libertarian.  Probably blue in November, but depends on the candidate.  South Carolina won’t vote blue in November either. and have state-by-state breakdowns; not every poll is recent.  But when all is said and done, it looks like former Vice President Biden’s nomination based on huge leads in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania.  Biden does better against Trump in most states than other Democrats.  If Biden selects Kamala Harris as his Vice President, numbers change for him in California.

I’m far more interested in what President Trump will say in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.