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AdLib On February - 1 - 2016

Iowa Caucus

One can legitimately question the fairness and undue influence that the state of Iowa has grabbed for itself in the Presidential primary process but the impact is undoubtedly profound. As the demographic statistics show, Iowa is not reflective of America, 94% of Iowans are white, the state’s corn-based farming and industries receives massive amounts of subsidies, over 1/3 of the population is evangelical and the state’s total population (in a country of 320 million) is less than 3 million (less than 1% of the US population).

Despite all of those unrepresentative factors, Iowa gets to play a deciding role (along with New Hampshire) for all of America in which candidates may be eliminated or elevated before the rest of the country gets to vote. In a more representative democracy, as much as it would make those in small states howl, it would seem far more fair for a larger state with a diverse and larger voter base, more reflective of America’s actual population, to be the first state to vote (New York or California for example).

Instead, we and the candidates are stuck with a skewed state making such a massive impact on who could become our next President.

And for two candidates in particular, it could be make or break.

The first candidate whose campaign could be mortally wounded by a loss in Iowa is Ted Cruz. Cruz and his family have been part of the extremist evangelistic community for decades so with Iowa being so over-representative of fundamentalist evangelicals, a loss here would be devastating.

If Cruz is going to win anywhere, he would win in Iowa. There are no polls in the upcoming states showing Cruz with the same opportunity to win. A win in Iowa could shift polls in other states more his way and provide for a more competitive back and forth race between Cruz and Trump. If Trump wins Iowa then goes on to win NH as appears probable, there is no big game changer for Cruz that would do anything to change the growing Trump momentum.

Cruz is more likely to fade in the polls in such a scenario as voters abandon him as a lost cause. That could help someone like Marco Rubio gain “the next best hope to beat Trump” status but from that point, Trump will have an avalanche of wins that, especially with the Super Tuesday votes in Southern states in March, would be hard for Rubio or any other candidate to derail Trump’s path to the nomination.

So, the proposition is, if Cruz loses in Iowa, Trump’s winning of the GOP nomination becomes far more likely.

The second candidate who needs to win Iowa, even though he claims he doesn’t, is Bernie Sanders. Bernie does have passionate supporters all across America so while his campaign could sustain itself despite a loss in Iowa, it will be hard (but not impossible) for Bernie to withstand the Southern voting on Super Tuesday and still look like he can win this thing.

Winning in Iowa would create a powerful argument for Bernie to take to the South and elsewhere, that he has the wins and the momentum, in Iowa and New Hampshire (the latter being a bit of a slam dunk for Bernie, especially if he wins in Iowa), to insist that he can and will win the primary.

Many pudnuts (intentional spelling) have noted the far bigger support Hillary Clinton has with the African American community but many of these alleged professionals forget that this was the case even when Barack Obama was running against her in 2008. Many will remember the meme at the time, “Is Obama black enough?” for the black community to support, that is. Hillary led Obama among African Americans for quite a while but after he won in Iowa, he proved that he could beat Hillary and be viable which changed that dynamic to his favor.

Could the same happen for Bernie if he wins Iowa? It’s possible. There are those in many different communities that harbor doubts about Bernie really being able to win the nomination and Presidency. Back to back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire could move voters towards him.

If Bernie loses in Iowa, he loses that momentum argument which is key for a challenger against an established and formidable opponent (who was supposed to be the massive favorite). If Bernie splits Iowa and New Hampshire with Hillary, going into South Carolina where Hillary is polling far ahead of him, it is unlikely to change the outcome in that state. After that loss and the many losses in Southern states that would follow in March, the question of Bernie having sufficient momentum and support to end up winning the nomination would be huge and problematic.

While Bernie is competitive with Hillary in some states that follow, he isn’t beating her in any of the polls for those states. So even a status quo situation would be trouble for Bernie’s candidacy, let alone mounting losses.

An insurgent campaign like Bernie’s needs to make people believe in the possibility of victory, without a validation of that belief, Hillary is more likely to prevail.

Hillary already has many Superdelegates committed to her. Those remembering her attempt to use them in 2008 to override Obama’s winning the nomination by beating her in the primaries should recognize how she uses this undemocratic aspect of the system to advantage herself. So even if at the end of primary season, Bernie was close to Hillary, her Superdelegates would hand her the victory. Bernie would need to win and win decisively to overcome the Superdelegates advantage Hillary already has and he would need Iowa and New Hampshire to make that statement.

Meanwhile, losing in Iowa while being at the bottom of polls in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada could be enough for a few candidates to drop out. Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee each need to retain the evangelical vote to have “a prayer” of being competitive and if they lose as big as expected in Iowa, that hope should be extinguished so they could drop out. Martin O’Malley would also have very little reason to stay in the race if crushed in Iowa so he could quit too (though he may be gambling that Hillary’s email problems could derail her and give him an opening if he stays in long enough).

The Iowa Caucuses close their doors at 5:00pm PST tonight to start their caucusing process. We shall see if they also close the doors on some of the candidates’ campaigns when they announce their results.

UPDATE – 9:23pm PST:

Ted Cruz did win the GOP Iowa Caucus and Trump came in 2nd, just one point ahead of Rubio who took 3rd. So Cruz did what he needed to do to retain his top tier status, Rubio overperformed which helped him and Trump underperformed against expectations so he comes out the biggest loser…so funny for someone whose whole campaign is based on him being a winner. 

Hillary and Bernie end the night in a virtual tie which is as good as a win for Bernie and a disappointing performance for Hillary who had so much behind her and was so far ahead in IA for so long. It isn’t likely to really matter which of them wins by 1%, it will remain a virtual tie to all but the candidate who claims the win (and their supporters). 

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

57 Responses so far.

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  1. gyp46 says:

    Iowa, the perfect example of ‘do as I say, not as I do’!! 1st: so many so called born agains willing to ignore their values to back Trump who is a fake Christian, then you have so much federal money pouring in to subsidize their farming community while complaining about ‘big government’, ya just gotta laugh at those republicans with their hands extended for the fed$$$$!!

    • AdLib says:

      gyp46, so true that IA is a grade school primer in hypocrisy. They supported Trump who is as big an unreligious “sinner” as they come and as you say, they demand that all candidates support huge handouts to their corn industries while railing against everyone for not being Christian like them and government giving away tax money.

      There’s a good reason why the GOP is imploding and their obvious hypocrisy has a lot to do with it.

    • monicaangela says:

      Very well said gyp46! :)

  2. Kalima says:

    And to think how the media disrespectfully ignored Bernie until recently, calling him an “outsider”. Shows how much they know. I’m sure there must be millions of proud Americans tonight.


    How Sanders caught fire in Iowa and turned the Clinton coronation into a real race


    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, I actually smile at the desperate Hillary propaganda today about how she “won” IA.

      First of all, she started with a 50% lead over Bernie. Second, she and Bernie got an equal amount of delegates so claiming she won is de facto silly. Lastly, they used coin flips in several cases, which somehow came up for Hillary so if she did win, it was by the luck of coin flips (or maybe the “luck” of supporters flipping coins), not because she won a plurality of votes.

      Now onto NH where Bernie’s lead may shrink or grow but either way, a week from today, it seems pretty certain Bernie will be announcing a real win over Hillary.

    • monicaangela says:

      I am one of those proud Americans! This race helps restore my faith in the people of this nation. Even without the support of the MSM and mostly with negative press and negative coverage from most of the “so called liberal media,” Bernie has shown that the people of this country aren’t as ignorant as many of those who would try to dominate the political scene and influence the vote seem to think. :)

  3. AdLib says:

    Okay, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    In my post above, I predicted that up to 3 candidates might drop out tonight after poor results. Huckabee, O’Malley and Santorum. I got the first two right but may not have accounted for how much more delusional Santorum is than I assumed.

    Then again, maybe there will be more announcements tomorrow morning!

    • monicaangela says:

      I have to admit, I did not expect O’Malley to drop out so soon. I know he hasn’t been doing very well, but I gave him credit for a bit more stamina. I got that wrong. I didn’t expect Huckabee to drop out either, of course I really don’t believe we have seen the last of him, I believe he will throw his support behind Trump since they have become such “good friends” lately. Santorum is in this for the donations, he knows he can’t win, but I suppose he feels somehow keeping his name out there may help him somehow in the future. He has the politician bug, you know money for nothing and all that sort of thing. :)

      • AdLib says:

        monicaangela, how you describe Santorum makes a lot of sense. His political career is over and all he has is these desperate runs for President to get publicity and have a sense of importance…as minimal as it is.

        Huckabee’s support may go more to Cruz since it is evangelical but it’s so negligible.

        Who may bail out after NH? I think Christie and Kasich may bail if they don’t come in at least 3rd. Bush? I think just out of the debt he has to feel towards his contributors, he’s going to stay in hoping some miracle happens that damages the front runners and Jeb! becomes “Mr. Last Resort if Absolutely Necessary”.

        • monicaangela says:

          I believe Trump has struck some kind of deal with Huckabee to offset the evangelical vote that is going to Cruz. Huckabee is for sale to the highest bidder, so if Cruz can outbid Trump, maybe Huckabee will throw his support behind Cruz. Let’s face it, both of these guys, Cruz and Huckabee are pedaling evangelicalism in order to garner votes and contributions.

          I kind of agree with you in regards to Christie and Kasich, I believe if they come in with 2 or 3 percent in NH, they might see reason and drop out. I also feel Carson will be dropping out soon, especially after the “dirty trick” Cruz played telling voters he had suspended his campaign. Carson is finally getting to see what the pack of wolves he is running with is like…Dog eat Dog, and to these guys, Carson is no more than a puppy. :)

          As for Jeb Bush, I hear he is going to enlist the help of G.W. and maybe his mother to help him on the campaign trail. I guess he really believes people love his family as much as he does. Maybe it will be good for him to see that the citizens of this country aren’t as stupid as he seems to think they are. :)

    • Nirek says:

      Ad, I disagree that Bernie had to win Iowa. He is a close second there and will carry on in NH to win. When you think that Bernie started down 50 points down and now he lost Iowa by .4% !

      I don’t think caucuses are a fair way to decide a winner. I like one vote for one person. Let everyone vote! They close the doors so other folks can’t get in?

      On the republican side, I was glad that Trump didn’t win. But Cruz is not someone I want to see as POTUS.

      It will be a while before we see who the republicans will have for a nom.

      • AdLib says:

        Nirek, you know what, I didn’t even consider a virtual tie as an outcome and I should have (even though it’s never happened before like this in the IA Caucuses). In that case, I do agree that this is closer to a Bernie win than a Hillary win.

        So, Bernie should have a lot of energy and momentum going into NH and Hillary has to deal with the perception that comes with losing a 50% lead and ending up in a virtual tie.

        I do hope he wins by a big margin and this primary continues competitively for months to come. Whoever eventually wins, a strong primary is good for the Dems. If Hillary was to run away with the primary, she would look far too entitled and grow complacent. If Bernie was to run away with it, he wouldn’t be as tested as he would need to be to bear up under a GE attack from the Repubs.

        So, the results in IA seem pretty good for Dems all the way around. I didn’t want to see Trump sweep IA and NH and possibly have a quick path to the nom.

        Cruz, Trump and Rubio are all unprincipled and nasty and having them tear into each other for months is a dem dream come true.

        • Nirek says:

          Ad, I’m glad the “coronation” is off!

          Bernie is the better choice since we only have two people running now. I refuse to vote for the second best person running. For me it is Bernie all the way!

      • monicaangela says:

        Exactly Nirek. If Bernie had won the coin tosses that some of the groups held to decide the winner, he would be the winner now and not a very, very close second. In my opinion, this was/is a tie between the two candidates, excellent showing for Bernie especially since as you said, he came from a deficit of 50 points more or less to neck and neck with the Clinton machine.

    • Kalima says:

      Ain’t bad at all, but then you have that uncanny gift, are good at maths, or a champion jigsaw puzzler, and always share it with us. Without predictions, ideas and opinions, there is no conversation whether people agree with you or not. Without conversation there would be no Planet. Thanks for that!

      • AdLib says:

        Santorum dropped out today! I’m 3 for 3! Woo-hoo!

        Rand Paul dropped out too, a little surprised because he was beating many who are staying in but he may be getting worried about losing his Senate seat now that a solid Dem candidate jumped in the race.

        Next week before NH, I will make new predictions on the next Repubs to drop out. They should have a Draft Kings/Fan Duel for this!

      • AdLib says:

        Cheers Kalima! And who knows, maybe my prediction that Sarah Palin will spontaneously combust during a New York Times interview will still come true!

  4. funksands says:

    8:09 pm

    I think he’s got it.

    • funksands says:

      Or not. lol

      • AdLib says:

        He is a winner by virtually tying her, IMO, whether he or she wins by 1%, they both get virtually the same amount of delegates and since Hillary was ahead of him for most of the time by a big margin, a virtual tie makes her look weak and Bernie look to be her equal. Both of those definitions help Bernie.

        And this is not leverage for Hillary to carry into NH, it changes nothing so if she virtually ties Bernie in IA then Bernie beats her big time in NH, advantage and momentum goes to Bernie.

        Nevada is next and it’s a caucus, that favors Bernie.

        A good night for Bernie and anti-Trump folks!

        • monicaangela says:

          I agree 100% with your analysis AdLib, Bernie out performed Hillary in the Iowa race, and I believe the momentum is on his side. He will be better known after this race, and if the MSM will stop placing their thumb on the scale for Hillary, I’m sure he will do even better in the races ahead. :)

          • AdLib says:

            monica, with a win in NH Bernie will validate his candidacy with doubters and pick up more support.

            I do see an unending pro-establishment drumbeat in the MSM, still finding ways to minimize Bernie’s successes while exaggerating Hillary’s candidacy and “wins”.

            But it’s not really working on voters, it just bounces around the MSM bubble for them to keep batting back and forth between themselves.

  5. AdLib says:


    Now he and Trump can have a battle to the death for a long time to come!

    • Kalima says:

      Trump’s ego just fell into Middle Earth, and Cruz is hated by his party and sane voters, so won’t win on a national scale.

      Want to see Trump’s red face and pouty potty mouth. Want to be a fly on the wall. Still, Trump is not a politician and has nothing to lose except his ego driven pride. His bid for the WH will be used to gain further business deals and talk around the dinner table. The respect he sought is lost because he spoke from the gutter, and that’s where he stays. Hated by millions at home and abroad.

      Rooting for Bernie who is doing better than many expected.


      Fiorina Declares Victory


    • Holy Jeebus, help us. I think Cruz is much more of a danger than Trump. I do console myself with the fact that Iowa, for the last decade or so is no predictor of nomination winners.

      • AdLib says:

        KT -- I think they are both dangerous. I didn’t want Trump winning IA then NH and maybe having an easy “cruise” to the nom.

        We needed Cruz to win Ia and Trump to win NH so that they can be locked in a destructive death match (maybe with Rubio too). Both are so nasty, turning them on each other until Summer will only help Dems beat them.

        Trump has huge negatives with voters and Cruz is disliked by Repubs as well as Dems so he has no chance to win either. Both are doomed but let them make each other even more damaged for the GE.

        Have confidence, whoever the Repub is, will be unpalatable to the majority of Americans.

        And always remember, all the MSM was telling us Trump would win IA and was unstoppable, the inevitable winner. There is a huge disconnect between the MSM and voters. They don’t want Any of the Repubs, that seems pretty clear.

        • Oh, I agree about the disconnect. I simply don’t agree about the nuance that you think will make such a difference. By nuance, I’m referring to your use of the word narrative. That just doesn’t measure up to what I see as a reality.

          We’ll just have to respectfully disagree on this.

          I know that the old saw is that the media controls the message. I don’t think, after so much obfuscation and outright lies by the mass media, that the informed American people are buying into their nonsense any longer.

          American politics has been turned on it’s ear this time. Trump and Bernie have created an entirely new playing field. Who knows what is going to happen in the coming months? Nobody that I know of. This is all pure speculation.

  6. funksands says:

    I agree about Cruz, mostly agree about Bernie. I really think Cruz is dead if he doesn’t win Iowa, Bernie is in a tough tough spot regardless of whether he wins Iowa or not. Bernie does not have a good lineup of states coming down the road early on. Massachusetts March 1 is his next best shot, with 9 other contests going to Hillary in the meantime.

    (besides NH obviously)

    • AdLib says:

      Funk -- Looking at the results as of 7:17pm PST, Cruz will likely win in IA which is what I hoped for. I want to see Trump and Cruz in a cage match, going back and forth up until the end of the GOP primary so Trump winning IA and NH could have given him too clear of a path to win.

      So that’s good.

      As for Bernie, he’s already won because at this moment, he and Hillary are 1% apart and will pretty much take away an equal amount of delegates (not counting Hillary’s Superdelegates).

      So the night’s winners look to be Cruz, Rubio (for overperforming in 3rd place, just a point right now behind Trump) and Bernie.

      Hillary could technically win but not having a clear win over Bernie in a state she was supposed to win and was ahead by a big margin for so long, hurts her “inevitable” meme and makes her look vulnerable to losing to Bernie.

      Waiting for the final results now but so far, so good. Trump, who’s built his whole candidacy on his polls and how he’s going to win so much we’ll get sick of winning, is battered and bruised by such a loss. I am SO looking forward to seeing Trump limping around tomorrow, denying that he lost.

    • Time will tell. I think Bernie could lose Iowa, and still be OK. Iowa is a very poor representation of the American voters at large. They’re mostly white farm owners and businessmen.

  7. monicaangela says:

    I believe you were at the meeting I just attended. :) Some of your ideas are those expressed by many of us at that meeting. However, we do not believe Iowa will take the wind out of Bernie’s sails. As a matter of fact, we believe a loss in Iowa will cause his supporters to work even harder to shore up his chances for victories in the South.

    I personally plan to work hard for Bernie, and have signed up for a trip to South Carolina with Nina Turner and her entourage in order to help get out the black vote for Bernie. Don’t throw your hat in yet on the democratic candidates, I don’t believe any of them will drop out after Iowa, not even Martin.

    As for the republican candidates and Cruz needing this win, I kind of agree with you, but I don’t agree that many of those running in the republican primary will drop out after Iowa, you have to remember that for some, this has not been about winning the election, but actually more about winning a better economic situation for themselves.

    If Trump wins Iowa, I believe he will go on to win many other states, however, I don’t believe he will do so as easily as some might think he will. You have to remember, he is running into states where he has insulted large numbers of the population, and I don’t believe he will get any sane AA or Latino votes in those states. I think we will get an indication of what his chances are with those groups when he gets to Nevada and South Carolina. I suppose this will all depend on voter turnout.

    I would also say that Hillary Clinton needs to win Iowa just as much as Bernie does…maybe even more than Bernie does. :)

    • AdLib says:

      monicaangela, I am trying to be impartial in my projections even though I favor Bernie over Hillary. What you say about Bernie supporters redoubling their efforts if he loses makes a lot of sense.

      As it looks now, Bernie and Hillary will pretty much split the delegates in IA so Bernie can’t lose. As you say, Hillary is the one who gets hurt if she ties Bernie.

      • Does that suggest write-in votes for Bernie? When is the last time a write-in ever won the presidency? I mean if Hillary gets the nomination, write-ins will be a great waste of votes. That’s the path to GOP administration. As sure as I am alive.

        • monicaangela says:

          Who’s talking about write-in votes? Not me. I believe Bernie will win. If he doesn’t, I will cross that bridge when I come to it, however I don’t believe I would try to write him in after he loses the primary, not unless there is an organized effort by the millions who back his campaign because of some dirty politics or something that might cause him to lose.

          • No, I was basically wondering what “redoubling,” our efforts means? I mean if he lost what else is there to do, write his name in?

            I think I’m missing something here.

            • monicaangela says:

              When I said, “if Bernie loses in Iowa, it would only cause his supporters to redouble their efforts for the remaining races.

              Bernie Sanders is in effect, building a coalition that will exist after the election is over, even the general he calls it a political revolution. As Bernie says, he hopes to keep those that support him together in the future as a voting group, and would like his run for the presidency to ban an effort to be a push back against the powers that be. Even if he doesn’t win the presidency, he does not intend to give up his effort against the Greed of Wall Street and the Billionaire class that are effectively turning this nation into an oligarchy. I will stay in that fight with him. I feel it is a just cause.

    • I agree. Iowa is really being over-hyped. That state is not even close to being a true representation of American voters at large. Mostly white, religious, farmers and business owners.

  8. Nirek says:

    Hillary has a BIG bag full of dirty tricks. I just read an article that said they have out of state people as precinct captains. Why would out of state people be allowed to caucus?

    If the younger folks caucus Bernie will win.

  9. I think Bernie could lose Iowa and still win New Hampshire. The demographics for those two states are vastly different. Levels of education are a great example of this. Plus, many New Hampshire voters resent Iowa for being the first primary state and won’t pay much attention to wins there.

    I guess we’ll find out, soon enough.

    • AdLib says:

      KT -- I am rooting for Bernie to win tonight and do agree that it is possible that for him to lose in Iowa, win in NH and win the nom but he wouldn’t have the narrative of having momentum as winning both would give him. he needs the dynamics to change in the South though and just splitting IA and NH doesn’t seem to be something that would change that.

      Again, it doesn’t mean he can’t win but without making voters in SC and NV reconsidering their support of Hillary, it could mean Hillary wins two in a row, 3 of 4 and you know she’ll pump up the “inevitable” narrative after that.

      BTW, agreed about NH not caring what IA does.

    • monicaangela says:

      I’m glued to my iPhone, my computer and my TV. GO BERNIE!!!!!!

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