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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Where things stand in Iowa's third Congressional district

Part of a series catching up on Iowa’s 2020 races for federal offices. Click here for the latest on IA-01 and here for IA-02.

Plenty of successful Iowa politicians have lost their first campaign as a challenger, then defeated the same incumbent two years later. (Tom Harkin and Berkley Bedell are two of the most famous examples.) Rematches occur in a different political context. The challenger has higher name recognition, and the prevailing national atmosphere may favor the party out of power.

In Iowa’s third Congressional district, another kind of rematch is taking shape. U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, who took down an incumbent on her first attempt, will face David Young, who won two U.S. House races before losing to Axne in a difficult year for Republicans nationally.

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Iowa House district 71 preview: Sue Cahill vs. Tony Reed

Both major parties have declared candidates in what could become a competitive race for an open Iowa House seat.

Marshalltown City Council member Sue Cahill announced on February 20 that she will run for House district 71, with the support of retiring Representative Mark Smith. Tony Reed launched his campaign for the Republican nomination earlier this month.

This seat would at best be on the second tier of Republican pickup opportunities in lower chamber, where the GOP now has a 53-47 majority. But it’s a must-hold for Democrats and a campaign worth watching.

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Oy, the debate

Ira Lacher reflects on the February 19 six-candidate clash in Las Vegas, which drew the largest television audience yet for a Democratic debate this cycle. -promoted by Laura Belin

“Welcome to the NFL, kid.” — The sarcastic greeting veteran players give to highly touted rookies who are roughed up and even injured in their first pro football contests.

“Welcome to the party, man.” — The sarcastic greeting Joe Biden gave to Mike Bloomberg as they exited the stage after Wednesday’s debate.

Based on Wednesday’s pro wrestling show in Las Vegas, the former New York City mayor is being compared to Ishtar. The 1987 film cost a then-unheard of $40 million and was pilloried as one of the worst disasters in movie history.

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Pete's "gay problem" that isn't

Ira Lacher: Demonizing Pete Buttigieg for his sexual orientation might be the worst political blunder the Trumpanistas could make. -promoted by Laura Belin

Been Skyping for years with a longtime friend from my Bronx growing-up days, and when he’s fed up with venting about the ineptitude of the New York Mets, our discussions turn to politics.

He’s still undecided, and has a long time before he votes in the New York primary in late April, but he’s willing to support anyone who’s not a self-described socialist, a gaffe-prone warhorse, a Hillary clone, a billionaire, or a quixotic Hawaiian. So his choice is between Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, about whom he doesn’t know enough, and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, about whom he knows too much. As in, he’s gay.

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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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