My apologies for not continuing my daily posts, but the polling took a downturn of a couple percent for Amy over the weekend and I knew better than to cast doubt on my candidate. The polls got weird too, with the Selzer Poll for the Register and CNN and the hour long primetime broadcast featuring it pulled at :00 due to possible interviewing error(s). Then with us Iowa pundits best navigation device down, CBS news dropped a poll Sunday which appeared then quickly disappeared from 538’s roster of Iowa polling. 538 has serious scruples, suggesting that poll had problems and 538 didn’t want to include it.
So caucus afternoon I road tripped to Sioux City Precinct 20 armed with a small collection of Amy lit, stickers, buttons, and signs. Told to report to campaign HQ there to pick up a “caucus box” of supplies, by late afternoon that had been picked over to comprise more of the above and I had to supply the box. Had a pre-caucus dinner at Culver’s then dutifully showed up at Precinct 20’s caucus in Augustana Lutheran Church’s gym at 5:30. The caucus was well and efficiently run by the book and by 8:30 Amy got no delegates and I was making time northbound on The King of Trails, AKA US75.
The after caucus routine is turn on Iowa Public Radio’s news network and by the time I arrive home in Minnesota a couple hours later the’ve communicated to me a pretty good idea of the results. Instead we got a lot of time killing interrupted by occasional missives from the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) assuring us that everything was under control and just be patient. After a bit of this the candidates realized there was dead air to be filled and pretty much gave their stump speeches to their assembled supporters at the victory parties and the rest of us waiting for real news.
Got home and online around 11 and noted that the conspiracy theorists were having a field day while 538 was pumping out their usual reasoned analysis of the debacle. Then a couple campaigns tried to be clever, first with Buttigieg all but claiming victory based on reports from their caucus captains. Then Bernie’s campaign tweeted their own caucus captain’s take based on reports from 40% or so of the caucuses.
So based on this spotty data it looks like Pete and Bernie may be about tied for the lead, with Liz trailing by a bit and Amy and Joe barely in double digits. If that’s true Pete is now the moderate challenger to Bernie, Liz fulfilled expectations and Amy exceeded them, and Joe should work on an exit strategy.
The Iowa Democratic Party promises at least partial results at 4pm, which the candidates who didn’t meet expectations will plausibly deny, going on to New Hampshire and beyond ’til the money runs out… Sometime in June, maybe?