A Super Narrow Iowa Victory For Hillary

The margin is not even a full percentage point, and they might even end up snatching an equal number of delegates in the state, but it is a victory nonetheless. Suddenly things are topsy turvy. It was Donald Trump who was supposed to be the clear Republican nominee. Hillary was supposed to be in the doldrums. Now Trump looks like he might not even make it. And Hillary might end up narrowing Bernie's lead in New Hampshire.

The nomination is not Hillary's yet. The fight will go on all the way. But right now Hillary has the edge. Bernie will not stop. He will not quit. But the thing about fighting hard but clean is, they might even end up on the same ticket. Hillary and Bernie on the same ticket would give a decisive blow to Cruz. It might also considerably narrow a Bloomberg possibility. An Iowa loss for Hillary would have made clear room for Bloomberg.

Right now The Donald is probably licking his wounds. I thought I was rich and successful.

Cruz would be super easy to beat. The guy is so far out. He simply gives away all the middle ground on a platter. The Donald would be a circus. Also easy to beat, but more comical.

But this is still a close contest. Hillary can not rest. There will be drama.

No one on either side has been assured a nomination yet, but this was a rather interesting night.

Fierce competition inside both parties makes room for a Bloomberg. One way to look at Iowa is, we thought only the Democratic nomination was fiercely contested, now we know also the Republican nomination is.

Iowa’s many self-proclaimed winners
Hillary Clinton, who strode out with her family in tow to claim victory over Bernie Sanders without actually uttering the words “I won.” The closest she came was saying that “I stand here tonight, breathing a big sigh of relief.” At the time, however, her razor-thin lead was shrinking to mere tenths of a percent. There it remained. ......

Clinton was finally declared the apparent winner, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent — not exactly what anyone would call a mandate.

...... Donald Trump gave brief remarks in which he graciously congratulated Cruz, thanked the people of Iowa and

said he liked the Hawkeye State so much, he might someday buy a farm there.

I’m trying to picture Trump in a pair of overalls. ...... Trump is a numbers guy; he looked at the results, saw that Cruz had more votes and conceded. But other candidates and commentators preferred to focus instead on expectations — what “they” said would happen versus what did happen. Hence the surfeit of self-proclaimed winners. ..... three months ago polls showed her 20 points ahead. And Sanders said he had fought the powerful Clinton political machine to a draw, which of course beat expectations. ....... the Sanders rebellion is certainly not halted and perhaps not even slowed. A party in which such a familiar and experienced figure as Clinton can be fought to a tie by a self-proclaimed democratic socialist is a party divided. ...... About 180,000 Iowans participated in the Republican caucuses, an all-time record. Meanwhile, just about 170,000 caucused on the Democratic side, far fewer than the record of nearly 240,000 in 2008.
Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders were the real winners in Iowa
Judging the victor by differences of tenths of a percentage point is a ridiculous enterprise when what’s being measured are delegate numbers, not tens of thousands of individual votes. ......

The real winners were Marco Rubio, with his remarkably strong third-place showing, and Bernie Sanders, with his virtual tie.

..... In the short term, Donald Trump was the biggest loser — true of any front-runner but even truer of a candidate whose campaign raison d’etre is that he is a winner. ..... The elaborate network of evangelical support and intensive voter contact and analytics he constructed outdid

the swaggering hold-a-rally-and-they-will-caucus approach of Donald Trump.

..... They were torn — except when it came to Trump. He had been crossed off almost all their lists, as too big a blow-hard, too politically inexperienced, too ideologically untrustworthy. ........ That Rubio came within a percentage point of passing Trump — the candidate leading in most polls leading up to the caucuses — is the most significant number of the night. ....

New Hampshire is not obviously fertile territory for Cruz; it is better suited to Rubio.

...... I left the Rubio events I attended here with a revived sense that Clinton should be very nervous about the prospect of facing him in a general election campaign. ...... Between Sanders and Clinton, tie goes to the underdog. If you have any question about this, ask yourself: Which campaign was celebrating Monday night, and which was trying to figure out what went wrong? ..... In short, Sanders is not disappearing any time soon. Trump is not running away with the nomination. For both parties, the Iowa results reinforce the likelihood that both nomination battles will stretch well into the spring, if not beyond.
The two numbers that explain Iowa caucus vote
"I am so thrilled that I am coming to New Hampshire after winning Iowa,” she said, fresh off a red-eye from Iowa, at a campaign rally in Nashua. “I've won and I lost there. And it's a lot better to win." ...... her tight win in Iowa speaks to the success of Sanders. ..... Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Clinton’s performance in Iowa an “unmitigated disaster.” ...... “Hillary Clinton once again finds herself running neck and neck with an upstart challenger in a race that never should have been this close to begin with,” Priebus said in a statement. The committee also released a video titled, “Déjà Vu,” recalling Clinton’s troubles in the 2008 Democratic race. ...... “Nine months ago we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the country,” the Vermont senator told a cheering crowd in Des Moines on Monday night. “Tonight, while the results are still not known, it looks like we are in a virtual tie.” ...... With her slim win in Iowa, and a potential loss in New Hampshire on the horizon, Clinton’s path to the nomination may have gotten a bit rockier.
The two numbers that explain Iowa caucus vote
64. That’s the percentage of Hawkeye State GOP caucus goers who were Evangelicals ..... That’s much higher than anticipated ...... Cruz outperformed his poll numbers and pulled off a surprising win because Evangelicals turned out in big numbers ....

Among non-evangelical voters, he lost to Trump, 22 to 29 percent. That’s close to how final polls had predicted the caucuses would end up.

...... Mr. Trump may have upended the race, but he hasn’t destroyed the effectiveness of old-style retail campaigning. ......

84. That’s the percentage of voters age 18 to 29 won by Bernie Sanders

.... 58 percent of voters age 30 to 44. ..... Look at it this way: Sanders did better with young voters than did Barack Obama in his hope-and-change campaign of 2008. Obama won 57 percent of the under-29 crowd in that year’s Iowa Democratic caucus.