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One Down - 49 To Go
Author: BobR    Date: 02/03/2016 14:06:55

It's been a couple days since the Iowa caucuses, and the results will depend upon whom you talk to. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz won, but really - Marco Rubio won because he beat expectations. Trump lost, but gave an uncharacteristic nice concession "speech". On the Democratic side, Clinton won, even though it was pretty much a tie, but actually Sanders won because he too beat expectations. If your head is spinning, it's because of all the spin coming from the campaigns and their supporters.

The results on the Republican side were fairly definitive. There was no real controversy with the results, nor with the process used to create them. The Democratic side, however, is a whole 'nuther story...

The results (as we have them of this writing) show a virtual tie:

Clinton: (49.9%) 23 Delegates
Sanders: (49.6%) 21 Delegates
O'Malley: (0.6%) 0 Delegates

As we've seen leading up to this moment, there are rabid supporters for both Clinton and Sanders, and they are all stinking up the blogosphere with their name-calling, taunting, paranoid conspiracy theories, and general bad behavior and absolutist rhetoric. The scorched-earth insanity has been difficult to read. With such a close finish, the ugliness has been ratcheted up even more. Supporters of Sanders have accused the Clinton campaign of "cheating", and Sanders hasn't helped in that regard.

Part of the problem is that about 12 delegates were decided by a coin flip because the caucus precinct was at a loggerhead with equal numbers of votes for Sanders and Clinton. Settling the vote by coin flip is not unprecedented. What didn't help was that a story began circulating that Clinton won 6 out of 6 coin flips, indicating that she MUST have cheated. This, coupled with a YouTube video showing Sanders winning a coin flip at one of the precincts sent the Sanders supporters into paroxysms of indignant rage at the thought that Clinton and the DNC was secretly working to "steal" Iowa.

The reality, is that it was about 12 - and not 6 - coin tosses occurring during the caucuses, and each candidate won about half of them, which is statistically normal.

Get a grip people - if you don't like the results, work harder to encourage people to vote for your candidate. In case you weren't aware, demonizing the opposing candidate does not work very well, and may tend to alienate voters who might have been inclined to vote for your candidate if you weren't such a dick about it.

I still fail to understand the unearned importance placed upon the Iowa caucuses. Yes, they are the first, but in the history of campaigns, they have had statistically zero impact on the final primary results (not to mention the general election). Just take a look:

1980 (January 21): Jimmy Carter (59%) and Ted Kennedy (31%)
1984 (February 20): Walter Mondale (49%), Gary Hart (17%), George McGovern (10%), Alan Cranston (7%), John Glenn (4%), Reubin Askew (3%), and Jesse Jackson (2%)
1988 (February 8): Dick Gephardt (31%), Paul Simon (27%), Michael Dukakis (22%), and Bruce Babbitt (6%)
1992 (February 10): Tom Harkin (76%), "Uncommitted" (12%), Paul Tsongas (4%), Bill Clinton (3%), Bob Kerrey (2%), and Jerry Brown (2%)
1996 (February 12): Bill Clinton (98%), "Uncommitted" (1%), Ralph Nader (1%)
2000 (January 24): Al Gore (63%) and Bill Bradley (37%)
2004 (January 19): John Kerry (38%), John Edwards (32%), Howard Dean (18%), Dick Gephardt (11%), and Dennis Kucinich (1%)
2008 (January 3): Barack Obama (38%), John Edwards (30%), Hillary Clinton (29%), Bill Richardson (2%), Joe Biden (1%)[25]
2012 (January 3): Barack Obama (98%), "Uncommitted" (2%)[19]
2016 (February 1): Hillary Clinton (49.89%), Bernie Sanders (49.54%), Martin O'Malley (0.57%)

1980 (January 21): George H. W. Bush (32%), Ronald Reagan (30%), Howard Baker (15%), John Connally (9%), Phil Crane (7%), John B. Anderson (4%), and Bob Dole (2%)
1984 (February 20): Ronald Reagan (unopposed)
1988 (February 8): Bob Dole (37%), Pat Robertson (25%), George H. W. Bush (19%), Jack Kemp (11%), and Pete DuPont (7%)
1992 (February 10): George H. W. Bush (unopposed)
1996 (February 12): Bob Dole (26%), Pat Buchanan (23%), Lamar Alexander (18%), Steve Forbes (10%), Phil Gramm (9%), Alan Keyes (7%), Richard Lugar (4%), and Morry Taylor (1%)
2000 (January 24): George W. Bush (41%), Steve Forbes (31%), Alan Keyes (14%), Gary Bauer (9%), John McCain (5%), and Orrin Hatch (1%)
2004 (January 19): George W. Bush (unopposed)
2008 (January 3): Mike Huckabee (34%), Mitt Romney (25%), Fred Thompson (13%), John McCain (13%), Ron Paul (10%), Rudy Giuliani (4%), and Duncan Hunter (1%)
2012 (January 3): Rick Santorum (25%), Mitt Romney (25%), Ron Paul (21%), Newt Gingrich (13%), Rick Perry (10%), Michele Bachmann (5%), and Jon Huntsman (0.6%)[21]
2016 (February 1): Ted Cruz (27.7%), Donald Trump (24.3%), Marco Rubio (23.1%), Ben Carson (9.3%), Rand Paul (4.5%), Jeb Bush (2.8%) [26]

Once New Hampshire and South Carolina are over, we can settle into a nice normal primary, right?


18 comments (Latest Comment: 02/03/2016 21:44:33 by Raine)
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