Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Last Night HRC Did What She Needed to Do

Of course, this is all about framing. Bernie is selling the fact that this was basically a tie as a moral victory.

Not surprisingly the media is largely selling this narrative.

Bernie is framing it as 'Who would have guessed months ago this is possible?'

Actually I had this chat with a Bernie fan last night-I try not to chat with them but they always show up out of the woodwork. He asked me if I would have predicted this six months ago. I pointed out that six months ago, Nate Silver wrote that Bernie could win Iowa and NH and then lose everywhere else.

Last week he pointed out that Iowa was most win for Bernie.

And just so we're clear, Bernie didn't win. It was close but she was declared the winner.

For a few reasons this is bad news for Bernie.

1. It is a very white, rural, and progressive a state. If he can't win here, where does he win-other than likely NH next Monday?

2. On the mathematics that really counts, HRC leaves with 28 delegates and Bernie with 21. To realistically even talk about being on track to get the delegates needed to win the primary he needed a big victory last night.

Dave Wasserman:

"Reality check: Iowa tie = a Hillary win. For Bernie to be "on track" for Dem nod, he'd need to win IA two-to-one."

Nate Cohn:

"Bernie Sanders is right: The Iowa Democratic caucuses were a “virtual tie,”especially after you consider that the results aren’t even actual vote tallies, but state delegate equivalents subject to all kinds of messy rounding rules and potential geographic biases."

"The official tally, for now, is Hillary Clinton at 49.9 percent, and Mr. Sanders at 49.6 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting early Tuesday morning."

"But in the end, a virtual tie in Iowa is an acceptable, if not ideal, result for Mrs. Clinton and an ominous one for Mr. Sanders. He failed to win a state tailor made to his strengths."

"He fares best among white voters. The electorate was 91 percent white, per the entrance polls. He does well with less affluent voters. The caucus electorate was far less affluent than the national primary electorate in 2008. He’s heavily dependent on turnout from young voters, and he had months to build a robust field operation. As the primaries quickly unfold, he won’t have that luxury.

"Iowa is not just a white state, but also a relatively liberal one — one of only a few of states where Barack Obama won white voters in the 2008 primary and in both general elections. It is also a caucus state, which tends to attract committed activists."

"Mr. Sanders’s strength wasn’t so great as to suggest that he’s positioned to improve upon national polls once the campaign heats up. National polls show him roughly tied with Mrs. Clinton among white voters, and it was the case here as well. It suggests that additional gains for Mr. Sanders in national polls will require him to do better than he did in Iowa, not that the close race in Iowa augurs a close one nationally."

"Mr. Sanders will have another opportunity to gain momentum after the New Hampshire primary. He might not get as much credit for a victory there as he would have in Iowa, since New Hampshire borders his home state of Vermont. But it could nonetheless give him another opportunity to overcome his weaknesses among nonwhite voters."

"As a general rule, though, momentum is overrated in primary politics. In 2008, for instance, momentum never really changed the contours of the race. Mr. Obama’s victory in Iowa allowed him to make huge gains among black voters, but not much more — the sort of exception that would seem to prove the rule. Mr. Obama couldn’t even put Mrs. Clinton away after winning a string of states in early February."

"There’s an even longer list of candidates with fairly limited appeal, particularly Republicans like Rick Santorum, Pat Buchanan or Mike Huckabee, who failed to turn early-state victories into broader coalitions."

"The polls this year offer additional reasons to doubt it. Mrs. Clinton holds more than 50 percent of the vote in national surveys; her share of the vote never declined in 2008. The polls say that her supporters are more likely to be firmly decided than Mr. Sanders’s voters."

This is not how it might be spun in many places, but this is the rub. He needed a strong showing in Iowa. Relative to recent expectations and his demographic advantages, this was not a great showing.

Again, I hear a lot of talk from the Beltway that a tie was a win for Bernie. It's not at all true but this is what the media will be selling. 

No comments:

Post a Comment