We are officially in the primary season. The Iowa caucuses tonight will provide the first tangible results of this already-chaotic process. From here on in it isn’t conjecture that matters it is voters and caucus-goers. We are entering the realm of numbers, percentages, and statistics.
Josh Hammer from “Election Wire” has an interesting take on Iowa. Here are the questions for tonight:
1. Will Bernie Sanders position himself to win Iowa and New Hampshire back-to-back?
The Socialist Sanders currently leads by 4% over Joe Biden in the RealClearPolitics statewide polling average. Sanders is also the favorite for next week’s first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary. So, will Bernie win Iowa and position himself to open this primary season with back-to-back wins. Since 1972, no candidate who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire back-to-back has failed to get the party’s presidential nomination. If Sanders pulls off the feat, the more “moderate” forces of the DNC establishment are likely to fall into a state of depression.
2. Can Biden re-emerge as clear frontrunner or is he on the oblivion express?
Biden has been viewed as the frontrunner from the start of the race. It is no longer clear that is the case. Sanders leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Biden’s South Carolina “firewall” seems like an increasingly risky wager. The election betting market PredictIt now features Sanders as an increasingly clear favorite over Biden. Biden really needs a victory tonight to stanch the bleeding. Anything worse than a runner-up finish to Sanders will be viewed as a disaster.
3. Will Lying Lizzie Warren survive to lie again?
Warren’s campaign has been in a prolonged free fall since October. She enters caucus night in fourth place in the RealClearPolitics statewide polling average. Don’t look for a surprise victory. Iowans don’t like her lack of integrity. Merely beating Biden or Sanders, at this point, will be seen as a moral victory. She has to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire to stay in the race. However, it spins Lieawatha lasts until Super Tuesday.
4. Mayor Pete is fading fast. Will he pull the upset beating one of the “big three?”
Buttigieg has surpassed Warren in the statewide polling average in Iowa. But his national momentum is lagging. The native Midwesterner needs to over-perform tonight in Iowa. It is looking likely he’ll be done after New Hampshire.
5. Who is Amy Klobuchar and will she make a top-three showing?
Klobuchar, from nearby Minnesota, has staked much of her long-shot bid on a strong Iowa finish. She consistently over-performs in televised debate formats. Klobuchar is a favorite of her party’s intellectual class. She recently picked up The New York Times’ editorial board endorsement. Without a top three she’s a likely one and done. With a top three she will need to build a lot of momentum in New Hampshire to even crack the top five. Bye, Bye Amy, it’s back to the Senate for you. The Iowa caucus is here. Now we start to thin the herd.