Thursday, February 4, 2016

Again, it's not Surprising Iowa was Close

In 2008, the Obama team had a rule: no bedwetting. 

Matt Yglesias, on the other hand, seems to see his job as trying to urge the Democrats to go into an orgy of bedwetting. He's right that there is concern at the state level, though this is partly a symptom of Dem success at the Presidential level. They are aware of the problem which is at least some of the battle. 

In any case, Yglesias gets my goat here:

"Hillary Clinton breathed a "big sigh of relief" at the end of the night in Iowa. And odds are that she will eventually prevail and secure the nomination. But at the same time, a year ago — or even six months ago — the idea that Clinton would be trying to put a positive spin on a de facto tie in Iowa would have seemed wildly implausible."

Actually, this is false. In the Summer it was already clealry a possibility that she could lose both Iowa and NH.

What this quibbling about is the issue of managing expectations and framing. Bernie wants to frame it the Ygelsias way-who would have thought? But this depends on the when of it. 

Who would have thought has changed at different periods. As the link above shows, the idea that Bernie could win in Iowa was already evident by at the latest July-in truth it was obvious earlier. Demographically and ideologically it was clearly a good fit. 

In this sense, his close loss is not as impressive as he and Beltway folks like Yglesais are building it up to be. 

In NH we see the expectations game as well. Bernie is pretending that he's not the clear favorite to win NH. Geography doesn't matter, just that he s the progressive. He knows he is, but wants to frame it his way in the hope that if he gets a strong win here it might shape things as he enters Nevada and South Carolina which will be a much tougher slog. 

No question NH will be tough for her.  She has been giving some barnburner speeches in NH yesterday.

Yesterday I looked at Reuters polling that has shown her national lead go up by 16 points since Saturday.

I admitted I don't know what it means-we'll have to see if this shows up in other national polls to prove she got a bounce starting on January 31. Assuming she did, you'd wonder what the catalyst was. 

It was striking; on Sunday her 20 point lead became a 30 point lead. But again, you can't hang your hat on that until other national polls confirm this. For whatever reason, there haven't been many national polls released recently-Reuters is a rolling, daily poll. 

But maybe it shows the Dems are getting serious now and want a winner. 

There is some good news potentially in NH polling this morning. Ok, it's classic good news and bad news. In Lowell NH poll there is good news and bad news. 

1. The good news is that she has shaved 11 points of her deficit in this poll the last two days. 

2. The bad news is that she still trails by 22 points. 

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