Tonight the 2016 Presidential Election gets underway. Republicans and Democrats all across Iowa will make their way to community centers, churches, school gymnasiums and municipal buildings to discuss who they think is best to lead their party into the general election. At the end of the night, we’ll have our first concrete results of the 2016 election. To help you make sense of the proceedings, I’ll be live-blogging the Iowa Caucuses, periodically updating this page with fresh news and reactions throughout the evening. To get you started on the right foot, here is an Iowa Caucus toolkit with interesting articles, polls, and other items to inform you about the Iowa caucuses and its participants.
- Latest Iowa Caucus Polls
- Final Predictions for the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
- Defining what winning and losing will be in Iowa
- Five things to know about the Iowa Caucus
- How much do the Iowa Caucuses matter anyway?
Monday, February 1, 2016
Live-blogging the Iowa Caucuses
Democrat: The race is tightening even more now. With 90% reporting, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are within 0.2% of each other. However, the precincts outstanding favor Clinton. It looks like she will be able to eke out a narrow victory tonight – perhaps exactly the numbers I predicted. But, clearly, Sanders has earned a measure of legitimacy he could only dream of a couple months ago. Update (10:53pm EST):
Democrat: I haven’t posted any updates on the Democratic race in Iowa in awhile. That’s not because I’m not interested in that outcome. It’s because the race has stayed static for about an hour. Hillary Clinton maintains a 1-point lead over Bernie Sanders with 88% reporting. If that results holds, Sanders can head to New Hampshire with a spring in his step. Stayed tuned, Democrats, you have a real race on your hands. Update (10:43pm EST):
Republican: Ted Cruz’s victory does one thing straightaway. It peels off the luster of inevitability from The Donald and his bombastic campaign. We’ll see what else it effects marching on to New Hampshire, but Cruz has proven Trump is not inevitable as the Republican nominee. He can be beaten. Beyond Cruz’s victory, Rubio’s performance further undermines Trump’s momentum going forward. With just a few votes left to count, Trump is much closer to third place than to first. Both Cruz and Rubio will enjoy the benefits of tonight’s results in the remaining primaries and caucuses – probably Rubio more so even than Cruz. Trump, on the other hand must now plot a comeback strategy. Update (10:33pm EST):
Republican: Mike Huckabee is suspending his campaign. The Republican field is down to eleven. Expect it to shrink further in the coming days. Update (10:28pm EST): BREAKING NEWS
Republican: Ted Cruz wins the Iowa Caucus. Update (10:21pm EST):
Republican: Big jump in returns reported and we have a significant move. With 99% in, Cruz has maintained his lead, but, in a surprising development, Trump has fallen to within one point of third-place Rubio. Cruz has 28%, Trump has 24% and Rubio 23%. Update (10:06pm EST): BREAKING NEWS
Democrat: Martin O’Malley is suspending his campaign. At 10:30 EST, Martin will make the announcement. Update (10:00pm EST):
Republican: Big winner tonight will be Marco Rubio. His third-place finish is closer to second than fourth. This is a bonus finish for him. He could have done worse and still had a good shot at the nomination. These numbers return him, in my mind, to the fore in the nomination race.
Democrat: Bernie Sanders, regardless of whether he can overtake Hillary (he’s down by just 2 with 63% in), is the winner on the Democratic side. It would be a tall order to try to characterize a narrow victory of this sort as anything but disappointing for the Clinton campaign. She still is the overwhelming leader for the Democratic nomination, regardless of tonight’s outcome.
Update (9:49pm EST):
Republican: Big loser tonight is Jeb Bush and the GOP establishment. I said he needed to get within 10 points of Rubio to stay viable. Rubio is soaring above 20%, while Bush is at a paltry 3% and in sixth place. Update (9:42pm EST):
Republican: With 56% reporting, Cruz has upped his lead to 4 points over Trump, with Rubio moving above 20% now. To this point, Cruz is over performing his poll numbers, as is Rubio. Trump is under performing just a bit. So far, the minor candidates are getting more votes than I expected. I predicted Carson and crew would capture just 13% of the vote. They are earning 25% right now.
Democrat: Even though Clinton is holding up so far, it is interesting that she is not performing well in Southwest Iowa. One county where she won by double-digits in 2008 is going for her by just a 51-49 margin this year. So when you couple that observation with previous notes about the lower first-timer turnout (which must be strong for Sanders) and you can see why the current numbers are so close. Clinton is up 51-49 with 56% reporting. Update (9:15pm EST):
Republican: Cruz maintains a 3-point lead over Trump, but it is still very early. Marco Rubio’s performance tonight is strong and I just heard that South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is going to endorse him. That’s a big development going forward. Rubio has been talking about a 3-2-1 finish in Iowa, NH and SC. Tonight’s strong third and Scott’s endorsement could see him accomplish exactly what he’s looking for.
Democrat: Despite anecdotal evidence of overflowing crowds, first time voters are actually below 2008 levels, more like 2004 levels. Hillary may be able to hang on even though Sanders has a lot of buzz tonight. With all the pictures of young voters flooding the precincts on TV, it showcases how overwhelming Obama’s support was in 2008. Update (8:58pm EST):
Republican: More on the entrance polls. First time voters are up to 45% this year compared to 38% in 2012. Trump leads that demographic by 33 to 21 to 18 over Rubio and Cruz. Later deciders lean to Rubio, confirming the reported surge he’s enjoyed over the last few days. He gets 28% of them vs. 22% for Cruz and 14% for Trump.
Democrat: Juan Williams notes that in Democratic polls Clinton leads Sanders by 20 points among poll participants who have voted before. This highlights how important the new caucus-goers are to Sanders’ chances for an upset. Update (8:30pm EST): Counties to watch because of past similarity to the overall result: (Republican) Webster County, northeast of Des Moines, correctly picked the right order for the top three in 2008 and 2012. (Democrat) Marshall County, east of Ames, correctly picked the right winner all of the last seven elections and exactly called the 2008 caucus by percentage. Update (8:18pm EST): Republican: More information on the Fox News entrance polls. Evangelical voters increase proportion from 2012 (62% vs. 56%). That can help Cruz some. Also, new caucus-goers are extensive so far. That helps Trump. Democrat: Entrance poll numbers: 15% of Democrats are under 30 and 91% of them go to Bernie Sanders. Update (8:05pm EST): Republican: Early Fox News entrance polls suggest tight race between top three with Trump slightly ahead. Democrat: Turnout heavy at one metro location – bigger than ever seen. Many are students who are registering on the spot, and most are going for Bernie initially. Update (8:00pm EST): Let the voting begin! Well, let the wrangling begin; the voting will come in a little bit. If you’re not sure how caucuses differ from primaries, check out #3 in this list. Update (6:40pm EST): With the commencement of the Iowa caucuses a little more than an hour away, here are a couple of things that will be significant in reaching the final results this evening. First, undecided voters will certainly move the dial in someone’s favor. When I say undecided, I’m including those who can be persuaded to change their minds. These voters make up 45% of Iowans by some accounts. When people simply step into a voting booth and pull a lever, soft support typically equals a vote. However, in the caucus environment where people can be bombarded with persuasive arguments in support of other candidates, many Iowans may end up on the side of a different candidate than the one they arrived supporting. A second interesting factor will be those who currently voice support for candidates with minimal poll numbers. This is particularly applicable on the Republican side where just four of twelve options for Republican voters command more than 5% in the polls. Given the impact of persuasion in the caucuses, these folks are more vulnerable to abandoning their minor candidate in favor of voting for someone who can actually benefit in the long run from their support. This phenomenon contributes to EP’s Iowa predictions in which I give 94% of the vote to the top four candidates. Time will tell if this reasoning has merit. Update (4:00pm EST): The caucuses begin at 7:00pm CST statewide. The final EP Poll Average gives Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton identical 5-point leads over Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders, respectively. As noted often in recent days, turnout is the key. A large turnout will benefit Donald Trump on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats. Right now, it looks like there will be little impact from the weather. In and of itself, this bodes well for a large turnout. Stayed tuned here as the evening progresses for more updates. For more of Election Projection’s coverage of the Iowa Caucuses, click on the link below. The series continues with my final Iowa Caucus predictions. And please use the social icons below and above to share this page with your fellow political aficionados.
Presidential Primaries and ResultsJune Results
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02/27: South Carolina (D)
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02/20: Nevada (D) | South Carolina (R)
02/09: New Hampshire