As the first contest in the presidential campaign season, Iowa gets a disproportionate amount of attention and an excessive degree of importance. For months before the Iowa caucuses, every hoedown, picnic and county fair in the Hawkeye State gets maximum media coverage as every presidential wannabe shows up in plaid flannel shirts and blue jeans to flip pork chops on the grill and eat corn on the cob like it is a harmonica.
Iowa is an important state, in that regard, but not a bellwether. As a caucus state, the results are considered a bit less reliable as a future indicator than primaries where people vote at their polling places. Iowa’s importance fades soon after the results of the caucuses are reported – but for now, it is the center of attention.
At this point, we can only make judgments on the polling numbers. It is like being in the second inning of a baseball game. We can report on the action on the field, but not how the game will end.
We do have some news in the latest Des Moines Register/CNN Iowa poll. For the first time, Senator Elizabeth Warren has inched ahead of the establishment front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden with 22 and 20 percent of the vote respectively. It is well within the margin-of-error, but a breakthrough for Warren regardless.
More important than the actual numbers is the fact that Warren seems to have “the big mo” – momentum. She has moved up by seven points – from 15 percent. Biden actually dropped from 23 percent in the previous poll.
There is evidence to suggest that Warren is now the one who will coalesce the radical left vote that dominates the Democratic Party these days. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped from 16 to 11 percent in this poll – and that is about one-third of the support he enjoyed in some of the earier polls.
It was always a question as to whether Warren – as the happy warrior — or Sanders – as the irascible curmudgeon — would become the champion of the left. Right now, it looks like Warren is winning with a 35 to 15 percent lead over Sanders among the left-leaning voters. This likely means that the Sanders’ campaign is done … kapoot … fini. With Warren topping Biden – and polls indicate that she COULD beat Trump – the Sanders’ campaign has no areas of growth.
Warren, Biden and Sanders are the only three candidates who are in double-digits in Iowa at this moment. That is very significant since virtually any candidate below ten percent is an also-ran at this point.
For those struggling to make the stage at the next Democrat debate and or trying to command time on the evening news, in appears fame and political correctness matter. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris get a lot of attention from the press even as he languishes around three percent and she has been Whack-a-Moled to around six percentage points. They now rank with folks like Congressman Tim Ryan, Congressman John Delany and Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who garner much less attention. Booker and Harris. Apart from the top three, the numbers for the rest of Democrat presidential candidates hover around the margin of error.
If there is anything to be drawn from these early statistics and trends it may be confirmation of what we have predicted for months — that Biden is not – and never has been – a long distance runner. The real question now is who will rise to be Warren’s chief competitor in the next few months. It is noteworthy that Senator Amy Klobuchar has gained as Biden slips. Will she become the less-than-radical-left alternative to Biden? Stay tuned.
So, there ‘tis.