New Hampshire Coming Down to Pete vs. Bernie

Based on the current polling averages at 538

While the deadline for candidates to contest results in Iowa still isn’t here yet, New Hampshire almost is. Voting will occur on Tuesday – and we’re hoping the results will actually be available in a timely fashion.

Iowa is a complete dumpster fire right now, and the failure of the state party echoes the many failures of the national party over the last decade: most notably, the failure to stop Trump’s ascent to national political supremacy.

While the party admits that many of the results are faulty or based on flawed mathematics, they also appear to be taking a stance that their count is final and cannot be contested further. The acceptance of formal complaints appears to be a mere formality at this point. If I’m wrong, I’ll be pleasantly surprised…

Anyway, these Iowa results seem to have two major winners and one big loser.

The winners are Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, and the loser is Joe Biden. Both Pete and Sanders are seeing significant gains in last-minute New Hampshire polling, while Joe’s prior standing has utterly collapsed. Just as many on the left predicted, Biden’s campaign relied too heavily on the idea of electability. As soon as he suffered his first defeat, there was no charming personality or popular policy to fall back on.

Pete now has the mantle of electability among centrist Democrats – and he seems to have plenty of allies on non-Fox cable news outlets, as well. He’s exactly the kind of candidate that the op-ed pages at the New York Times and Washington Post have been waiting for. Whether or not he has a fan base beyond that demographic is yet to be seen. There haven’t been a whole lot of national polls since then, but the distribution of the numbers in NH and SC seem to indicate that Pete’s support remains regional (and by regional, I mean that he only does well with white people).

Bernie has also received a modest boost from his strong finish in Iowa. He seems to have picked up some of Biden’s prior supporters – people who liked Bernie’s ideas but feared he couldn’t win elections. Seeing him then defeat their exemplar of electability probably converted at least a few.

Warren’s campaign appears to have run out of steam. Some of her tactics have been questionable at best, and it just doesn’t seem to be working out for her. In particular, she attempted to approach the debate with a fiery tone but moderate solutions. That’s backwards: if your tone implies urgency, then the solutions must be urgent.

Amy Klobuchar appears to have played the act a little better – at least at the debate – as her poll numbers are actually up a little bit despite her poor ranking in Iowa.

New Hampshire is just around the corner, and hopefully in a few days we’ll have new insights in to the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Right now it definitely looks like a contest between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, but Pete has big weaknesses once we leave the midwest and rural New England. In the national rankings, Bernie looks increasingly dominant – and his path to nomination seems to be laid out with little to stand in his way.

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