Dan Guild

Donald Carter Trump

Dan Guild examines opinion polls from 1979 and 1980 for clues on how the COVID-19 crisis could affect President Donald Trump’s approval. -promoted by Laura Belin

The White House predicts between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans may die because of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Ten million people in this country have lost their jobs in two weeks. Ian Bremmer noted that an estimated 3.5 billion people were in lockdown because of the pandemic, which probably makes it the most widely shared experience in human history.

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Denial, economics, and COVID-19

Dan Guild on how an avalanche of new unemployment claims will not only be a human tragedy, but also strain hospital finances and state budgets. -promoted by Laura Belin

We are in the midst of a health crisis, first and foremost. That should not be forgotten, and I will highlight one aspect of that crisis a little later in the piece.

But we are also in the midst of an economic crisis, and despite what you have may read about the stock market, that crisis is being underestimated. Every week the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports how many people filed new claims for unemployment insurance. Those numbers are the closest thing to real-time data that we have about the U.S. labor market.

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Super Tuesday: A reversal of fortune

Dan Guild reflects on the weekend’s two game-changing events, which have no precedent in Democratic presidential campaigns. -promoted by Laura Belin

“Events dear boy, events” – attributed to to British Prime Minister Harold McMillan, though whether he said it is disputed.

I have spent a good amount of time studying primary polling.  The single most important lesson I have learned is that they are subject to sudden change. It is why I love the McMillan quote – it captures how unpredictable events can rapidly change the political calculus. 

This weekend we saw two race-changing events in 24 hours: Joe Biden’s decisive win in South Carolina and the sudden departure of Pete Buttigieg, the winner of the Iowa caucuses (depending on how you measure the results). These two events in combination are impossible to model. The Iowa winner has never withdrawn this early.  A front-runner has never performed so badly as Biden has before South Carolina and then recovered.

Having said that, I think history offers two parallels:

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Yes, Bernie Sanders can be stopped. But...

Dan Guild spins some scenarios for the Democratic primaries. -promoted by Laura Belin

Mathematically, there is a way to stop Bernie Sanders, but it won’t be easy.

Four years ago I wrote these lines in a post about the Republican presidential race:

In politics we often talk of the narrative. The narrative is not about delegate math, it is about momentum. It asks who is winning and why. It is unforgiving: you either win or you lose. It is difficult to lose and maintain any semblance of energy in a campaign (something seen in Rubio’s implosion) but it also means no more money for future primaries.

In any primary fight, there are times when these two forces are at odds. Such is the case now.

This is precisely the state of the race for the Democratic nomination. It is reasonably easy to create scenarios where Sanders does not get close to a majority of delegates. The problem is primaries are a dynamic process. The difference between winning and losing is stark. Losing drives candidates from the race or makes them irrelevant.

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The road after Iowa and New Hampshire

“The moderate lane is winning the closing argument,” Dan Guild writes. But changes to the Super Tuesday electorate will benefit Bernie Sanders. -promoted by Laura Belin

If anyone was worried that Iowa would become less important because of the delay in results, the polling after Iowa in New Hampshire should put that to rest. 

Joe Biden’s poor performance in the caucuses hurt him so badly in New Hampshire that he left the state before voting had concluded. Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders both received bounces in New Hampshire close what one would have expected, given their Iowa finishes.

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How close was Iowa? Florida 2000 close

Dan Guild walks through the math at the precinct caucus he attended, to show how small shifts can alter delegate counts. -promoted by Laura Belin

At this writing, with 100 percent of Iowa precincts reporting but an unknown number of precincts to be recanvassed, the difference between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg is 1.5 state delegate equivalents (564.01 to 562.497).

I don’t think any account I’ve read has adequately explained how close this was.

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