Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bernie Says Iowa is not a Must Win

It looks like he's finally trying to lower expectations which is smart. Expectations lately have made it seem like he has already won NH and will likely win Iowa too.

But now he's saying his victory doesn't hinge on Iowa. If he can't figure out how to appeal to voters of color and women he certainly does.

"Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said about voter turnout on Tuesday what he always says about voter turnout: If it’s high, he and his aides say, he can win the Iowa caucuses."

"But he also lowered the ceiling for what “high” means, warning observers not to expect President Obama’s unforgettable Iowa caucus night to be repeated this time around."

“Obama in 2008 ran a campaign which is really going to stay in the history books. It was an unbelievable campaign. In places they ran out of ballots as I understand it,” Sanders said during a frigid press conference next to his campaign bus. “Do I think that in this campaign that we’re going to match that? I would love to see us do that. I hope we do. But frankly I don’t think we will. What happened in 2008 was extraordinary.”

Bernie here is saying something that Joshua Darr at FiveThirtyEight has said too:

"Sanders’s Iowa Ground Game Is Good — But It Ain’t Obama’s."

"Sanders has not organized as thoroughly as Obama did: The Vermont senator’s 23 field offices in Iowa do not quite measure up to Obama’s 37 (or surpass Clinton’s 26 offices this year). Sanders, like Obama, seems to be focusing resources on heavily populated, Democratic-leaning counties in order to “run up the score” in friendly areas of the state. These counties1voted, on average, 56.2 percent for Obama in the 2008 general election and contain an average population of over 104,000, according to the 2014 American Community Survey, making them some of Iowa’s most populous counties.

"But in 2008, Obama also had field offices in 13 counties2 where Sanders has not invested today. These counties are much smaller — averaging about 27,000 residents — but only slightly less Democratic, giving Obama 54.5 percent in the 2008 general election. In 2016, not having a nearby Sanders field office reduces these Iowans’ probability of direct personal contact from Sanders volunteers — the most effective tool a campaign has for changing minds and mobilizing voters. By neglecting to invest in these areas, Sanders may be leaving votes on the table in an election where every vote may count."

"Sanders’ organization does not equal Obama’s, despite his similar (if not loftier) goals for turnout and participation. In counties without paid staff and field organization, Sanders will be relying on another concept central to Obama’s 2008 run — hope — to get his winning coalition to the caucuses on Feb. 1."

Who knows? Maybe Bernie is just trying to manage expectations. I think expectations right now are much closer to where Hillary's team wants them to be-low than where Bernie's team should want them to be.

But what he's saying is backed up by what FiveThirtyEight is saying. Bernie is not at the level of President Obama in 2008-that won't be replicated any time soon.

But if that's the case, how will Bernie manage to stoke the political revolution he claims he will to somehow magically make Republicans do whatever Bernie wants? Somehow they gave ACA scorched earth opposition but they will pass single payer root and branch?

No comments:

Post a Comment