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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Expectations: Yes, they REALLY matter

Dan Guild argues that while Bernie Sanders has clearly improved his standing in Iowa, he may be losing the expectations game. -promoted by Laura Belin

Of all the Alice-through-the-looking-glass parts of the American political system, the one I have been completely unable to explain to foreigners is expectations and the Iowa caucuses. It usually goes something like this:

Sane person from another country: “Candidate X won”

Pundit: “Well, not really”

Sane person from another country: “But they got more votes”

Pundit: “But they were expected to win by 10 and they only won by 3, so they lost”

Sane person from another country: “That makes no sense.  So who won?  The person who came in second?”

Pundit person: “No, they got about what they expected.  No, the clear winner is the candidate who finished third.  There is no doubt they won.”

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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:

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Why didn't Cory Booker take off in Iowa?

My father used to say the most optimistic person is the guy on the brink of bankruptcy. He’s always thinking the next sale or the next deal will turn everything around.

Cory Booker remained “incomprehensibly upbeat” on the campaign trail, in the words of Rebecca Buck, who spent a year covering him for CNN. The senator from New Jersey wasn’t just another unsuccessful candidate falling for his own spin. Booker made believers out of many who were closely watching the campaign.

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Iowa caucuses: Very close and never more important

Dan Guild examines what the latest polling numbers from Iowa could mean for each of the top four Democratic contenders. -promoted by Laura Belin

The Des Moines Register released its latest Iowa poll by Selzer & Co on Friday night. The results: the closest four-way race in Iowa caucus history. 

Before looking at the numbers, a reminder: a 5-point gap between first and fourth isn’t statistically significant.  The Selzer poll is widely regarded for a good reason, but the first thing to know about Iowa is we really don’t know who is ahead. 

The second thing to know: Iowa may have never been as important as it will be in 2020 (more on that in a minute).

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