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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The respected Des Moines Register’s final poll before the Iowa Caucuses has Sanders and Clinton in stat tie, and Trump only one point above m.o.e. with Cruz. The poll has a good track record. Wining the IA Caucuses doesn’t necessarily mean all that much in terms of primary momentum, although it sure helps with contributions — as much as $50 million for the victor, according to NBC commentator Chuck Todd.
Charlie Cook argues at national Journal that “Both the GOP and Demo­crat­ic races will turn on wheth­er emo­tion tops or­gan­iz­a­tion.” Cook shares a sobering perspective: “nom­in­a­tions are about del­eg­ates, and very, very few are se­lec­ted in Iowa, New Hamp­shire, or, for that mat­ter, South Car­o­lina and Nevada, the oth­er two Feb­ru­ary con­tests. March is the month that is the moth­er lode of del­eg­ates; then the pro­cess ex­tends at a more muted level un­til the Cali­for­nia primary on June 7.”
So, how often does the winner of the caucuses become a party nominee or president? As Thomson/Reuters notes, “Since 1976, there have been seven contested caucuses in the Republican Party. Of those contests, three winners have become the party’s nominee…Since 1972, there have been nine contested caucuses in the Democratic Party. Of those, the winner of the caucuses has gone on to be the Democratic nominee five times…As those numbers show, Iowa picks the eventual nominee only about half the time.”
Dan Balz argues at The Washington Post that the iowa Caucuses do matter, because they begin the winnowing out of candidates. NYT’s Trip Gabriel agrees and cites the just “three tickets out of Iowa” saying.
Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register explains why the complex “Caucus night math matters in close Democratic race.”
Key statistics to note tonight: Will the Democratic winner’s percentage and raw numbers totals match Obama’s totals in 2008?
In his Washington Post, column on “The monumental fall of the Republican Party,” E. J. Dionne, Jr. nails the disastrous tilt of the GOP in recent years: “The fixed smile on Donald Trump’s face as Sarah Palin unleashed her free-association, who-knows-what-she’ll-say-next harangue endorsing him on Tuesday sent its own message. “How long do I have to stand here?” it seemed to say. But of all the developments in the astonishing Republican presidential contest, this moment told us what we need to know about the state of a once-great political party…Today’s Republican crisis was thus engineered by the party leadership’s step-by-step capitulation to a politics of unreason, a policy of silence toward the most extreme and wild charges against Obama, and a lifting up of resentment and anger over policy and ideas as the party’s lodestars.”
Meanwhile, a new Bloomberg News poll indicates former Mayor Bloomberg isn’t getting much traction: “A poll of likely caucusgoers conducted for Bloomberg Politics and The Des Moines Register and released on Saturday night found just 17 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of Republicans had a “favorable” view of Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.”
“58 percent of Americans currently favor Medicare-for-All once they learn more about it, and 81% of Democrats already believe it is the best solution. So, rather than demonize it with lies and scare tactics, we should be educating more and more people who are disillusioned with their current healthcare so that more and more of us can demand something better from our representatives.” from “The Real Healthcare Debate Democrats Should Be Having” by Paul Y Song, MD at HuffPo.

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