Iowa Caucuses and Trump Supporters

If the polls and surveys are correct, a large percentage of Trump supporters have never been to a caucus before, and many don’t even vote regularly. I’m not sure they know what they’re in for.

First off, next Monday night is setting up to be ugly weather-wise - cold, snowy, windy in Iowa. Secondly, it isn’t just showing up any old time and dropping off a secret ballot and going home. You have to devote your entire night to it, and it can involve a hell of a lot of standing around doing nothing. I know the angry old white male demographic isn’t going to like it. The question is, do they have enough passion to stick with it through the end? I saw people walking out of the Obama/Clinton Colorado caucuses in 2008 when the race was still too close to call.

That was only two candidates, too, not a dozen like this R field. The other thing is that it isn’t secret - you have to gather in groups in public with your neighbors who may support other candidates. They may be your kid’s teacher, an influential church member, or the bank President who loans you the money to buy new equipment and seed to plant in spring on your farm.

It also isn’t like talk radio or Fox News where you can say any crazy old shit and never be challenged. In a caucus you will be challenged to defend your choice. “Trump Rules! Cruz Drools!” ain’t going to cut it. A good speaker can influence voters to switch, especially if they know their chosen candidate has no shot, like a lot of them.

Obama won the D nomination due to his performance in the caucuses, not so much in primaries. He had the organization and dedication of followers who knew what to expect and had the passion and persuasiveness to pull in votes.

I’m not sure Trump has any of that. In fact, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.

We’ll see in a few days.

I remember seeing something that suggested Trump had a surprisingly good ground game in Iowa, but after that, the wisdom seemed to be that he had none. I’m not sure where I saw the first report. Hell, maybe I saw it on Hot Air or some other worthless site.

I’m not sure the Republican caucus is that messy (the Democratic one is).Per here, the R’s will basically just do a vote, and be done with it.

The Democrats apparently do the classic caucus, with lots of wheeling/dealing around grabbing votes from less popular candidates to get over a 15% threshold. Of course, with only two viable candidates (sorry, Martin) there will be lot less of that.

Yeah, I live in Iowa. The Republican version is much shorter. The Democratic caucus involves determining viability (usually need 15% of participants)…then a reshuffling of unaligned caucus attendees. This is where the Clinton/Sanders folks will try to convince the O’Malley folks to join them.

Actually Trump’s ground game isn’t very good. (At least as of a couple of weeks ago)

Found the original. Washington Post, but it’s from August:

I predict he’ll lose Iowa to Cruz and then lose New Hampshire, primarily because of turnout problems.

The question is, how much difference does a ground game make in an event like the Iowa Caucus?

In a November election, the CW seems to be that it might net a candidate a few additional percentage points at most. My sense is that there’s more opportunity for a ground game to make a bigger difference in low-turnout elections, and the Iowa Caucus certainly qualifies as low-turnout. But how much more opportunity? Damned if I know.

I think the key thing that will come out of Iowa with respect to Trump’s support is what sort of drop-off there is between his support as measured by the polling averages, and his support in the voting. He’s currently averaging 31% in 538’s weighted polling average for Iowa. If he gets 28% of the vote on Monday night, similar attrition isn’t going to hurt him down the road. But if he gets 22%, that’s a whole 'nother deal.


25% of the individuals Caucusing voted for individuals other than the top 3 finishers. That leaves the three dividing up 75% of the vote. A little math computation shows Cruz getting only 21% of eligible voters. Doesn’t seem like a clear mandate to me. I see the results indicating a movement towards moderation. The proof being the number of voters who supported the candidacy of Marco Rubio. I find it funny that so many people are placing so much importance on the Iowa results.

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Ted Cruz’s utilization of “Cambridge Analytica” services from Oct-Dec 2015 amounted to over 3,000,000. It might do well for Posters to Google: Robert Mercer – Keep the Promise I. We’ll see how many other Hedge Fund people Ted squeezes for cash. Eventually he’ll have to pay “The Piper.”