Monday, December 14, 2015

In Iowa, Democrats Remain Steady While Republicans Embrace Chaos

January is fast approaching, and we're getting to the point where polls are arriving so fast and furiously that it can be really hard to keep up. And sometimes two respected polls will come out back-to-back with very different results. For example, Donald Trump is leading by 27 points nationally (!) according to Monmouth while NBC/WSJ has him up by only 5 over Ted Cruz. They both can't be true.

So instead of chasing and overanalyzing every single poll, it's a lot healthier for our collective sanity to occasionally take stock of the polling trends with a little help from Huffpost Pollster.

Let's start with Iowa, where the Democratic race has been about as steady as can be since September:

It looks like Sanders had a bit of an opening in Iowa at the end of the summer, and had Clinton bombed at the first debate and JJ Dinner in October he might have been able to get enough momentum to take the lead. But of course that didn't happen...quite the opposite...and the race has stabilized with Hillary in a comfortable lead.

The big news today is the release of the latest (ok, I'll say it...sigh) "gold standard" Des Moines Register/Selzer poll which has Clinton up by 9 over Sanders. While this is a bit on the low end compared to other recent polls, it's actually her best showing from this poll since May.

Bottom line: Hillary is on track to beat Bernie by 10-15 points in the February 1st caucuses...which would come very close to sealing the nomination for her on the very first day of voting. Also, why is O'Malley still in the race? That's not a flatline but it's awfully close. It might be time to wrap it up.

Now let's check out what the Republican side looks like in that state:

Pure chaos.

Thanks to his incredible 31% showing in the Selzer poll this weekend, Cruz is now leading the field in Iowa and has the clear momentum. However, Trump remains as strong as he's ever been and will not be relegated to second place without a fight. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is hanging in there, Ben Carson has dropped like a stone and everyone else is a non-starter.

Unbelievable but true: Unless something crazy happens in the next month and a half, Cruz and Trump will be the 1st and 2nd place finishers in the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

Let that settle in for a second.

Good luck,'re gonna need it!


  1. I'm still picking Rubio. I think the first few contests might have varied winners, with Rubio picking up some solid seconds or thirds. If he can stay in long enough to be the last man standing who seems reasonably sane, the establishment would then rally around him, and he could pick up a billionaire backer or two; perhaps one jilted from another candidate. Then he could do some heavy ads going into Super Tues and pull ahead. I love a horserace!

    1. Anything can happen...but Bill Clinton, John Podesta and David Brock have convinced me that Cruz is the likely nominee...IF he can knock off Trump. Maybe they know something that the rest of us don't. But who knows...we shall see!