Monday, February 1, 2016

Iowa Presidential Caucus Predictions: Bet the Farm on Cruz, Sanders

I'm going to go out on a limb here and make some predictions about what's going to happen at tonight's caucuses in Iowa.

Republicans:  Last week on Jon Easter's JohnnyStir program, I predicted that Donald Trump would win Iowa.  I now want to change that prediction. I think Senator Ted Cruz will win Iowa, narrowly edging out Trump.  Third place will be Florida Senator Marco Rubio followed by Kentucky Senator
Rand Paul, nearly reaching double digits.  Ben Carson, who one time led the Iowa polls, will fall to fifth.

In the last couple days, two polls that were released show Trump's lead over Cruz at 1%.  Two others showed the lead at 5% and 7%.  I don't buy that Trump supporters, people who will stand out in the cold for hours to hear him speak, won't go to sit in a warm church basement for a couple hours to vote in the caucus.  But I think, in the end, the Cruz organization will push him ahead of Trump...albeit barely.  Exit polls will show that a key factor in the Cruz win will be Trump's decision to skip the last debate.  While that decision only influenced a small percentage of voters, it would only take a small slice of the electorate to push Cruz ahead of Trump.

Democrats:   Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has led in most Iowa polls though a Quinnipiac University poll released today shows Sanders ahead by 3%.  Although the polling edge goes to Clinton, polls are poor tools when it comes to measuring enthusiasm.  There is no doubt there is a major enthusiasm gap in the race that heavily favors Sanders.  I think Sanders will win by at least 5%.


leon dixon said... She ought not get any vote in Iowa. As for your aversion to Trump lets just wait until the real poll is taken. A beer says Trump beats Cruz.

LamLawIndy said...

I do tend to agree on both counts: Cruz's ground operation is a wonder to behold, and Sanders has a huge enthusiasm bonus over HRC.

Anonymous said...

There is something fundamentally unfair about these caucuses in general. If you have less than 15% required, you are bounced unless you're willing to throw behind another candidate & opens the door to vote buying and horse trading votes. One man-one vote only applies if you have a candidate meeting the 15% threshold. No wonder the winner of the Iowa Caucus fails often to reflect the final national outcome.

Anonymous said...

Darn, lost half the farm thanks to Paul. But good call on Cruz.