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 The Iowa winner has never withdrawn this early.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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Why Bernie, Iowans? Banks!

Skip Kaltenheuser is a writer based in Washington, DC. This piece is cross-posted from DownWithTyranny. -promoted by Laura Belin

Banks, including on Wall Street, fear no one like they fear Bernie Sanders.

I’m sure they’re not keen on Elizabeth Warren, but Bernie strikes a unique terror, because banks know anyone taking them on will have to wield the bully pulpit against them like FDR did. Bernie can do that. And heading up a ticket, no one else will do as well in critical precincts in the upper midwest, Pennsylvania and elsewhere that went for Obama twice, then flipped for Trump when people chose him as the middle finger to Washington, and to Democrats like Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, who famously stated that housing policies were “foaming the runway for the banks.”

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America needs Joe Biden

Jackie Norris is a former Obama/Biden administration official and experienced campaign hand. She managed Barack Obama’s 2008 general election effort in Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

Whoever wins Iowa needs to share our values, be ready to serve as commander-in-chief, and build a diverse coalition to win in November. That’s why I’m supporting Joe Biden.

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Joni Ernst becoming public face of Trump's impeachment defense

All Republicans in the U.S. Senate are so far presenting a united front to defend President Donald Trump against any full examination of the charges against him. But more than most of her colleagues, Iowa’s Senator Joni Ernst is becoming the public face of Trump’s defense.

She is also the leading voice in Congress for a talking point Ernst floated earlier this month: Trump has more firmly supported Ukraine against Russian aggression than did President Barack Obama.

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Iowa Democrats dismiss Julián Castro's critique at our peril

“If you didn’t know anything about this process, and I told you how it was set up, you would think that a right-wing Republican set this process up, because it really makes it harder to vote than it should be,” Julián Castro told a room full of Iowa Democrats at Drake University on December 10.

Castro’s campaign organized the town hall (which I moderated) to highlight problems with the Iowa caucus system and a calendar that starts with two overwhelmingly white states.

Now that Castro has ended his presidential bid, it may be tempting to dismiss his critique as sour grapes from a candidate who wasn’t gaining traction in Iowa.

That would be a mistake. Castro is only the most high-profile messenger for a sentiment that is widespread and growing in Democratic circles nationally.

If Iowa Democrats want to keep our prized position for the next presidential cycle and beyond, we need to acknowledge legitimate concerns about the caucuses and take bigger steps to make the process more accessible.

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Yes, the Iowa caucuses really matter

Dan Guild examines what presidential contests since 1980 tell us about the impact of the Iowa caucus results on the New Hampshire primary. -promoted by Laura Belin

Candidates are spending millions of dollars in Iowa right now. But do the Iowa caucuses matter? The state doesn’t have many Democratic National Committee delegates and is not that representative of the larger Democratic electorate.

My prediction: if the Iowa caucus results are in line with what current polling suggests, Iowa will matter a lot.

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