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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Four weeks left to the Iowa caucuses: Fasten seat belts

Dan Guild on why topline numbers for each candidate are not the most important finding from the latest survey of Iowa caucus-goers. -promoted by Laura Belin

CBS/YouGov ended the Iowa polling drought (the longest drought since 1984) on January 5 with a new poll

The big news is not the trial heat numbers (23 percent each for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg, 16 percent for Elizabeth Warren, 7 percent for Amy Klobuchar). The big news is that only 31 percent of respondents have definitely made up their minds.   

Here is why this matters:

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The 19 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2019

Chasing traffic never has been and never will be my primary goal for Bleeding Heartland. If it were, I’d publish weekly posts about puppies or Casey’s pizza instead of Iowa wildflowers.

And anyone who has worked on an online news source can vouch for me: a writer’s favorite projects are often not the ones that get the most clicks.

Still, people do ask me from time what posts tend to do well, and I find it fun at year-end to recap the pieces that were particularly popular with readers. Since I started this exercise a few years ago, I’ve always uncovered some surprises.

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40 days from the Iowa caucuses: Front-runners beware

Dan Guild: “Pete Buttigieg has the lead now, but his share of the vote is the lowest in Iowa caucus history for a leader.” -promoted by Laura Belin

We are now 40 days from the Iowa caucuses. I wrote a piece here entitled “Let the buyer REALLY beware” 45 days before the 2016 caucuses.  That piece noted that front-runners rarely improve either the final percentage or their margin.  This short article follows up on my analysis from 2015.

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Elizabeth Warren drawing support across Iowa Democratic spectrum

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s numbers have tapered somewhat in polls of the Democratic presidential race nationally and in Iowa over the past two months. But it would be a mistake to conclude she can’t win the Iowa caucuses.

A large share of caucus-goers have yet to commit to a candidate. Warren’s high-profile supporters, including the latest batch, point to factors that will keep her in contention as many Iowans decide over the next 40 days.

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