10 days left: Will someone break out?

Dan Guild expects one of the Democratic candidates to surge in the closing days, most likely Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar. -promoted by Laura Belin

Ten days before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, I wrote a piece here entitled Front-runners Beware.

Four years later, there is not one front-runner, but four. Importantly, New Hampshire seems just as close. As I wrote last month, the winner of Iowa can expect a 12-point bounce in New Hampshire.

The simple truth is the winner in Iowa is very likely to win the New Hampshire primary eight days later. And no Democrat has won Iowa and New Hampshire when both were contested and lost the nomination.

The history with tables is below, but in summary:

Continue Reading...

It's getting late for the lower tier in Iowa

What Dan Guild found after analyzing decades of Iowa caucus polling from this point in the election cycle. -promoted by Laura Belin

For candidates struggling nationally, Iowa is the last, great hope.

I have been on campaigns like those. You draw hope from stories of conversion. A vice-chair of a town committee announces their support, or a canvasser talks to someone who just converted from the front-runner to you. You think, just another debate, or a new set of ads. Then one fine morning, a poll will show…

Continue Reading...

John Norris: Why he may run for governor and what he would bring to the table

With the exhausting battles of the 2017 legislative session behind us, Iowa Democrats can turn their attention to the most pressing task ahead. Next year’s gubernatorial election will likely determine whether Republicans retain unchecked power to impose their will on Iowans, or whether some balance returns to the statehouse.

A record number of Democrats may run for governor in 2018. Today Bleeding Heartland begins a series of in-depth looks at the possible contenders.

John Norris moved back to Iowa with his wife Jackie Norris and their three sons last year, after nearly six years in Washington and two in Rome, Italy. He has been touching base with potential supporters for several weeks and expects to decide sometime in May whether to become a candidate for governor. His “concern about the direction the state’s going” is not in question. Rather, Norris is gauging the response he gets from activists and community leaders he has known for many years, and whether he can raise the resources “to make this a go.”

In a lengthy interview earlier this month, Norris discussed the changes he sees in Iowa, the issues he’s most passionate about, and why he has “something significantly different to offer” from others in the field, who largely agree on public policy. The native of Red Oak in Montgomery County (which happens to be Senator Joni Ernst’s home town too) also shared his perspective on why Democrats have lost ground among Iowa’s rural and small-town voters, and what they can do to reverse that trend.

Continue Reading...

How the Iowa caucuses work, part 4: What a precinct captain does

Continuing a six-part series. Part 1 covered basic elements of the caucus system, part 2 explained why so many Iowans can’t or won’t attend their precinct caucus, and part 3 covered Democratic caucus math, which sometimes produces strange results.

Axiom of Iowa politics: the key to winning the caucuses is to “organize, organize, organize, and then get hot at the end.” Although paid staff do much of the ground work, a successful presidential campaign needs a large number of volunteers at the precinct level. I haven’t been engaged as a volunteer this cycle, because for the first time in my life, I remained undecided until shortly before the caucuses. But I spent many hours trying to turn out neighbors for John Kerry in 2004 and for John Edwards in 2008. During the past thirteen years, I’ve talked with hundreds of Iowa Democratic activists who volunteered locally for presidential candidates.

This post focuses on how precinct captains can influence outcomes on caucus night.

Continue Reading...

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

Continue Reading...
View More...