My Predictions of the Winners of the Democratic Caucus in Iowa and Primaries in New Hampshire and Nevada

Citizens and pundits alike are saying “anything can happen” in the Democratic primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Actually, no, that is not true.

At this point, money and organization are more important than the candidate themselves — although a major mistake by a candidate like we’ve seen with Warren, won’t help them.

And only a few candidates have the infrastructure and the ability to execute the correct turnout strategy to win. It’s not magic. It’s a predictable event.

At this point, it’s not about who is a better candidate. It’s also not about whether the moderate or progressive wing of the Democratic party has more or less support. Also, it is not about who is ahead in the polls.

From now on, the winners in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada will be the candidate whose campaign can get their supporters to the caucus or the polls. It is the only thing that matters.

This is why the “anything can happen” line is wrong: we know the winners are among the top four — Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg — those that have the infrastructure.

Here are some observations about the Democratic primary, then my prediction. In general:

  • The Democratic voter is nervous, anxious and does not want to pick the wrong person to go up against President Trump.
  • This indecisive nature of the Democrats is further compounded among the voters or caucus-goers who are more comfortable in the more moderate Democratic candidates: they are still shopping, checking out the Biden alternatives — is it Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Harris, or Yang?
  • Senator Warren took herself out and not simply because of her Medicare for All fumble. She will not last.
  • But in a period of great uncertainty and confusion, the steadiest, most sturdy and unwavering candidate will attract the uncertain.
  • Finally, this year especially, there is a massive delta between those who tell pollsters truthfully who they want to be the nominee, versus those who actually show up at the caucus in Iowa or polls in New Hampshire or Nevada.

The key question for everyone should be, who can turn out their supporters best? Is it Biden, or is it Sanders?

Biden, by all accounts, is running the oldest-old-school campaign.

Sanders, by all accounts, is running a highly innovative relational organizing campaign that’s embedded in his campaign DNA. (The only other candidate who has made the same commitment to relational organizing is President Trump, according to top Sanders staff.)

Furthermore, old-school Biden is going after known caucus-goers and Dem primary voters.

Sanders’ new-school is going after both known voters as well as non-voters, who are so fed up and dislike the political system so much, they refuse to legitimize it by voting.

Plus, unlike Biden, Warren, Yang, Buttigieg or Klobachar, Sanders has the only freshman Congresswoman with coat-tails on his team: AOC.

So, given all of the foregoing: Sanders wins Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Just to clarify — “winning” does not mean Sanders will get a majority (over 50%) of the delegates or over 50% of the vote. When I predict Sanders will win Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, I mean he will have the highest number of delegates of any candidate after the Iowa caucus or NH and NV primaries.

Yang, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar have not sold Biden voters that they should bolt.

As an aside, the candidate that will surprise people the most, I predict will be Yang.

Ultimately, I see Biden and Sanders as the beneficiaries for reduced support for the other candidates, and ultimately, I bet Sanders’ new voters (and much higher turnout among the known and unknown under 40 voters, thanks to AOC’s presence and her own U.S. House campaign experience where she managed to have the under forty turnout equal to the over-60 turnout, which, simply put, is unprecedented) added to the known voters who pick Sanders over Biden, means Sanders takes the first three states.

The biggest wild card is still Bloomberg. Specifically, the percentage of voters he gets on Super Tuesday. If it exceeds 15% in every State he will arrive at the convention with enough delegates to play King-maker, in a world when the Dems are lying in bed awake in horror of a contested convention as Politico reports.

Meanwhile, Bill Schneider writing in The Hill is quite clear, for him, there cannot be a contested election as the anti-trump coalition fights the progressive movement — regardless of who is the Dem nominee. Schneider touts Bloomberg as the man who can unite the anti-Trump coalition, and lead it. But it remains to be seen if Bloomberg shows to the Dem convention with delegates.

We will know about Bloomberg’s viability as a delegate winner and therefore King-maker over the next four weeks, as serious polling begins in the Super Tuesday states, where Bloomberg’s digital ad saturation bombing campaign has blanketed the airways and internet hourly.

Bloomberg is not just buying ads in the Super Tuesday states, even in Connecticut, whose primary is almost two months after the Super Tuesday primary (April 28th) residents report seeing Bloomberg ads every time they open their internet browser. No one should doubt Bloomberg’s will to spend or do what is necessary to win and compete.

Siders in Politico, summarizes the Bloomberg strategy well:

“The Iowa field is bunched together with little daylight between a handful of well-funded candidates. Each of the four early voting states continues to present the prospect of a different winner. And, at the end of that gauntlet on Super Tuesday, a free-spending billionaire —Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor — is waiting to challenge whichever candidate or candidates emerge.”

Whether Bloomberg’s strategy or whether Bloomberg, himself, as a candidate, works in the Dem primary, is what has yet to be seen.

P.S. If you want a deeper dive into why Sanders will win? Watch this 8-minute video, and read this very long article in the Intercept.

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