Bernie Has Momentum

Right now it is looking like Bernie will win Iowa, and win big in New Hampshire, and he has already raised so much money in January before any victory, his February haul will be bigger. This is a huge shift from where the race was only a few months ago. This is not Hillary's race no more. Two early victories will give Bernie a ton of momentum. A lot of working class Dems will give him a second look after that. Considering I was not following the race closely until only a few days back, I guess I am surprised.

New Polls Show Bernie Sanders Even in Iowa, Up Big in New Hampshire
winning by a whopping 31% in New Hampshire ..... Both of the recent Iowa polls are within the margin of error, illustrating that the caucus winner will depend upon turnout. If there is a big turnout, like the one that won the day for Barack Obama in 2004, then Bernie Sanders will likely win. If the turnout number is simply ordinary, the Democratic frontrunner should win the day. ...... In New Hampshire, recent polls are showing Bernie Sanders winning by bigger and bigger margins. ...... has Senator Sanders soundly defeating Hillary Clinton 61% to 30%. ..... In New Hampshire, Senator Sanders is bolstered by the fact that independents can vote in the Democratic primary, although he is now experiencing leads across virtually all demographics in the state with the motto “Live Free or Die.” ......

Senator Sanders will be in a great position to pull off one of the greatest, if not the greatest, political upsets in history if he can win both of the early states.

Here's Why Winning Iowa Could Break The Election Wide Open For Bernie Sanders
In the fall of 2007, Hillary Clinton held a 24-point lead over Barack Obama among black voters in a CNN national poll. By Jan. 18, 10 days after the New Hampshire primary, Obama was winning blacks by 28 points in the same poll, a 52-point swing...... This time around, Clinton again holds a commanding lead among black voters headed into Iowa. She boasts a roughly 45-point lead nationally, which her campaign refers to as a firewall. ...... The assumption fueling that fire is that Obama was able to win over the black vote because, put simply, he was black. If that's the case, the uber-white Vermonter Bernie Sanders isn't a serious threat to that firewall, and the Clinton camp can bank on a South Carolina victory no matter what happens in Iowa or New Hampshire. ...... After Obama's resounding victory in Iowa, the perception of him changed. All of a sudden, black voters saw that Obama could actually win. ..... If Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump comes out on top in Iowa, it will be the first time that millions of people waking up on Tuesday morning seriously think of those men as presidential material.

(The shock to the global audience, particularly if Trump wins, will be off the scale.)

If Obama's experience is any guide, winning Iowa could possibly unlock significant additional support. ........ For the American voter prior to 2008, the only thing harder than picturing a black man winning the White House might have been seeing a socialist occupying it. But if Sanders comes out on top in Iowa and follows it up with a win in New Hampshire, where he's well ahead, all of a sudden he becomes a viable candidate, and the firewall could be snuffed out. ......

noticed this weekend that poor and working-class white voters have been shifting toward Sanders and away from Clinton, an unusual pattern in a Democratic primary.

...... recalled in 2008 that before Iowa, Obama wasn't treated as credibly by his show's listeners, who wondered if "he would be the token black in the debate." ....... That all changed the night Obama won Iowa. "When that group said, 'We think Obama would be a good president,' that ignited something that said to everyone in our community, 'We might have something here,'" said Rev. Kyev Tatum, then senior pastor at Servant House Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. ....... Simmons, an Obama supporter, said he saw the 2008 shift in attitude in his own Detroit family, most of whom thought Obama had no shot with white America. "It is challenging the African-American community's assumptions of white people," he said. ........ "A black man won Idaho? I don't know if there's any whiter state in America than Idaho. That was the ... comical relief that sort of solidified it," Madison said. ...... "If South Carolina had come before Iowa and New Hampshire, Obama wouldn't have won," he said in 2008. "After New Hampshire and Iowa, the whole tide turned and he became credible, not because black folks changed their minds, but it was more as a result of white America validating to the black community that, 'Hey, he's OK with us.'" .........

Obama himself seemed to recognize the significance of the Iowa victory. "Years from now, you'll look back and you'll say that this was the moment. This was the place where America remembered what it means to hope," he said in his victory speech that night.

....... recalled what happened in 2008 to point out that Clinton's double-digit lead in South Carolina could erode. ....... in 2008, most if not all of the elected officials here were not with [Obama]. ..... It was a grassroots movement that bypassed elected officials. There was nothing she or anyone else could have done to stop it. It was sheerly the force of nature." ......

On Sunday, Sanders announced that he had raised $20 million in January alone, nearly all of it from small donors. “The numbers we’ve seen since Jan. 1 put our campaign on pace to beat Secretary Clinton’s goal of $50 million in the first quarter of 2016,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said in a statement. “Working Americans chipping in a few dollars each month are not only challenging but beating the greatest fundraising machine ever assembled.”

...... If that kind of financial strength can be coupled with a handful of victories, Sanders could very well blow right through the Clinton firewall.

What would a Trump presidency be like?

Bernie Sanders shows strong momentum on social media
Sanders amassed the largest number of new Facebook followers of any candidate in the race, the social network said on Monday, topping Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump by 15,695 to 10,704. Clinton had the third most new followers, with 6,210 liking her page in the past day. ...... Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, also dominated the conversation surrounding the caucus on Facebook through Monday morning. .....

42.2 percent of conversations about the caucuses were about Sanders, compared with 21.7 percent for Trump and 13.1 percent for Clinton, according to Facebook.

..... Google trends data also showed strong interest in Sanders...... In Iowa, Sanders was the top-searched-for Democratic candidate on the search engine, with 52 percent of queries relating to the Democratic candidates. Clinton commanded 42 percent of queries. Even so, Trump was the top most-searched for presidential candidate overall, according to the most recent Google search data available.
My Iowa Predictions
Donald Trump, of course, is the frontrunner in the polls, and has been for much of the last six months (to everyone's amazement) -- both in Iowa and nationwide. ...... it'll be a big night for Trump, and it very may well be the beginning of Trump's eventual nomination. ....... The only real question for O'Malley is whether he drops out of the race immediately after Iowa, or whether he hangs on to see another crushing defeat in New Hampshire before he hangs up his spurs. ...... If the crowds are big, Bernie likely wins. If they're small, Hillary will emerge victorious. .....

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Bernie Sanders takes the night.

...... Clinton and Sanders, in this scenario, will exit Iowa with an almost-equal number of delegates