Dan Guild

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Peak Trump?

Thanks to fladem for another well-informed view of Republican delegate scenarios. His earlier posts in this series are available here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Just before Super Tuesday here, I suggested that the possibility of a GOP brokered convention was rising. Just over a month later, as I will show, those odds have risen considerably. Before I walk through the math, let me start with some observations:

1: We are in uncharted territory.

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Momentum versus Math: the difference and why it matters

Another revealing look at the battle for the Republican nomination. Click here to read fladem’s earlier analysis of the GOP delegate race. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Before Super Tuesday I wrote a piece here suggesting that the talk in the aftermath of those contests would be a brokered convention. That was right, I think. In fact, if you look at the delegate math today, Trump is actually further from a majority than he was before Super Tuesday. As an aside, a real time delegate projection is here.

But politics is not just measured in delegates won.

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Is the GOP headed for a brokered convention?

A counter-intuitive take, grounded in a close look at GOP delegate allocation rules. -promoted by desmoinesdem

To date, Donald Trump has appeared to be an unstoppable train. He has a significant lead in delegates, and leads in virtually all of the polling on Super Tuesday. There would appear to be little drama.

And yet in fact there is. The reason for this is to be found in the delegate selection rules. In state after state (Texas is the notable exception) the polling is reasonably stable: Trump between 30 and 40, and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio hovering around 20%. When you actually project these polling numbers into delegates however, two things became very apparent:

1. Many states award delegates only to candidates who win 15 or 20%. In state after state both Rubio and Cruz’s polling shows them within a few points of these numbers. As a result a few percentage points can have an enormous effect on the results.

2. With each poll that is released, it is becoming less and less likely that Trump will get a majority of delegates on Super-Tuesday. In fact, while he will win a plurality of delegates on Super Tuesday, it will be very far from decisive. My current projection shows Trump getting 274 delegates on Super Tuesday, about 50 less than the other candidates combined.

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My Experience at a Caucus

Guest author fladem lives in another state. He observed a precinct caucus in Urbandale (Polk County) in 2008 and saw some troubling things while volunteering for Bernie Sanders in three West Des Moines (Dallas County) precincts on Monday night. Note: people who are not eligible to participate in the Iowa caucuses are allowed to attend and help at a caucus, as long as they are not counted as part of any preference group. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I was a precinct captain for Bernie working in West Des Moines precincts 224 through 226.

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Front-runners beware

Thanks to fladem for this historical perspective on late shifts in Iowa caucus-goers’ preferences. If you missed his earlier posts, check out A deep dive into Iowa caucus History and Iowa polling 45 days out: Let the buyer REALLY beware. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This is a continuation of an article I wrote about Iowa polling in November. At the time I noted how unpredictable the Iowa caucuses are. This article will to look at the last 48 hours. There are two lessons you can draw:

1. Front-runners beware

1. Expect someone to come from nowhere

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A deep dive into Iowa Caucus History

(Although I've been following Iowa politics for a long time, some of these patterns were news to me. Looking forward to the rest of this series. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

This is part of a series on primary polling history. Over the next three weeks we will do a detailed look at the history of the Iowa Caucuses from 1980 to now. This piece will start with an initial look at the data.

I should note that I firmly believe that most writing about politics is rather ignorant. Few political writers about primary politics know very much about the history of the events they are covering. As I hope to show, if you look at the history, you can find lessons that you can apply to our understanding of the 2016 Caucuses.

This table compares the winner in Iowa with their average in polling in the two weeks before and after September 1st.

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