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Iowa Caucus Open Thread

Iowa Caucus Open Thread

It begins

Welcome to our Iowa Caucus open thread. We’ll be updating periodically, so be sure to refresh your browser for the latest.

Caucus results will posted in a separate thread beginning at 8:00 PM ET, when the Caucus begins.

How does the Iowa Caucus work?

First things first. The Iowa Caucus explained:

Iowa Caucus, Voxsplained Edition:

What’s at stake?

52 Democratic delegates and 30 Republican delegates. Caucuses are closed, so only registered Democrats can participate in Democratic caucuses, etc. Winner’s don’t necessarily go on to win the nomination, see also Huckabee in 2008 and Santorum in 2012. In the 2016 Republican field, perception and momentum are up for grabs.

Who’s going to win?

GREAT question. No one knows. Seriously, no one knows. Why? Too many wild cards. At least for the Republicans. Mainly thanks to Trump who’s support base is so unpredictable. Anyone’s guess is as good as mine or yours.


A poll released by Quinnipiac today highlights why it’s so difficult to make any good determination, “today, 3 percent are undecided and 28 percent of those who name a candidate say they still might change their mind.”

Here’s Bernie Sanders in a low budget film from 1999

Because who am I to deprive you of such internet treasures?

What’s happening on the Republican side of the fence?

If polls are an indicator, Quinnipiac confirms what many others have indicated — only three Republican candidates are consistently breaking into double digits — Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 3.55.21 PM

Just as interesting — the stats for candidates caucus goers will not vote for:

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 4.00.29 PM

Because you asked — the dumpster fire is back


What’s happening in Democratic utopia?

Polls have Sanders ahead of Clinton, but like Trump, Sanders is banking on the support of many first-time caucus-goers to pull off an upset.

CNN reported:

In Iowa, it actually does all come down to turnout. A larger turnout should favor Sanders, who is banking on bringing younger voters who haven’t participated before in presidential elections to the caucuses. Smaller turnout will likely favor Hillary Clinton, who has concentrated on the more traditional, committed Democratic audience. How those two campaigns are able to get their backers to show up Monday will play the key role in determining how far the Democratic primary goes

In 2004, about 124,000 people showed up — with that year’s liberal insurgent, Howard Dean, particularly let down by the turnout, losing to John Kerry and never recovering. Four years later, in 2008, an intense three-way race and Barack Obama’s vaunted field operation nearly doubled that number, to 239,000 participants.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton fight to claim Obama’s legacy

No one — not even Sanders himself — is forecasting turnout that high again.

“Frankly, I don’t think we can” match 2008, he said Monday.

But Sanders’ overwhelming advantage in polls among young people and first-time caucus-goers makes clear that the more people who participate, the better he’ll do.

Clinton’s campaign, however, is way ahead of the organization game.

Her hyper-organized campaign manager Robby Mook dispatched 30 paid staffers to Iowa last spring while Sanders was still little more than a protest candidate. By August, Clinton’s campaign had at least one supporter in each of Iowa’s 1,681 precincts.

The jump-start in recruiting an army of volunteers and “precinct captains” meant Clinton’s campaign could more quickly identify her supporters, make personal contacts, deliver door-hangers and help her backers find their caucus sites. That’s all particularly important in Iowa, where caucusing can be a three-hour, public affair that pits friends and neighbors against each other.

“It takes a lot of time and energy to get these people really engaged,” said Norm Sterzenbach, a strategist at GPS Impact and former Iowa Democratic Party executive director. “You need local volunteers to help you do this. You need Iowans to help explain this strategy and get people to do this.”

What’s it like to be in Iowa right now?

To start with, you’re inundated with wall to wall political ads:

Good luck sleeping tonight!

Raises speculative brow

Um, well, I guess that’s one way to handle protesters?

I think we finally found Kasich’s lone supporter

Watch the fun!

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Live inside a Republican Caucus:

And from a Democrat Caucus:

Legal Insurrection Authors:

Political media reaction:


Ace of Spades Decision Desk

Self-updating and kind of the best thing in the world. Also wicked accurate.

Click here, then come back and visit us.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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to the full extent allowed by law.


Well laid out, informative post Kemberlee Kaye.

Now… let the will of God and the people be done.

Corn ethanol will be spilt tonight.

I watched that video, the one explaining what caucuses are, not the Bernie Sanders one, ugh. So…

-Republicans cast individual votes.
-Democrats do their mob thing.

Should I be surprised ?

Kemberlee: Can we have another graphic of a dumpster fire?…or maybe an ethanol plant fire?

Recently Off the Tweeter Feed…

Catherine Rampell @crampell – Poll: 25 percent of federal employees would quit under Trump presidency


As if that would be a bad thing in the conservative voter majority’s eyes.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to VotingFemale. | February 1, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I wonder what percentage of that 25% would really do it? The quota-fillers? Or, the ones who actually produce whatever it is the agency, department, commission, bureau, or administration it is they are employed by?

      There is always a slow exodus after a change of POTUS command, either voluntarily or otherwise. So there is some merit to it.

      About as many as left when Bush won reelection – None.

      More on this:

      Poll: 25 percent of federal employees would quit under Trump presidency

      By Nick Gass

      02/01/16 03:29 PM EST

      About 1-in-4 federal employees would consider leaving their jobs if Donald Trump is elected president, according the results of a recent survey conducted by the Government Business Council.

      Overall, about 2-in-3, or 67 percent said they would not think about leaving the federal government if Trump becomes president, but 14 percent said they would and 11 percent said they would “maybe” leave. Just 8 percent said they did not know. The share of Democrats who said they would leave is higher, with 42 percent indicating that they would exit or could exit.

      Among all of those surveyed, 59 percent said they would be embarrassed to have Trump as president, compared to 49 percent who said the same for Hillary Clinton, 45 percent who would be embarrassed with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 37 percent with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and just 20 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

      Of those surveyed, 42 percent identified as Republicans, 31 percent as Democrats, while 8 percent said they did not know and 19 percent declined to state.

      Among Democrats, more than half—56 percent—said they would support Barack Obama for a third term over the current crop of candidates in their party.

      The poll was conducted Jan. 20-26, surveying 688 federal employees. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.


      Nick Gass
      [email protected]

      Read more:

    sjf_control in reply to VotingFemale. | February 1, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Now that’s the best reason I’ve seen for voting for Trump!

Hot Off The Twitter Wire Just Moments Ago…

Anderson Cooper 360° @AC360

.@CNN Poll of Polls: @realDonaldTrump w/ 7-points over @tedcruz among #Iowa Republicans

Twitter Wire Service

moments ago:

Patrick Svitek @PatrickSvitek

In Marion, @tedcruz talks of a Supreme Court under @HillaryClinton. “That’s the consequence of getting it wrong at seven o’clock tonight.”!

Twitter Wire Service

moments ago:

Benny @bennyjohnson

Photo of a VERY packed Iowa church where @tedcruz is speaking. At capacity, Fire Marshal turning people away.

Twitter Wire Feed

minutes ago:

.@BretBaier: “The national debt…has officially passed the $19 trillion mark.” #SpecialReport

Twitter Wire Feed

Chris Wilson

.@tedcruz is top candidate
#Iowa today for Republicans searching “how to caucus for…”-Trump not in top 5

    HandyGandy in reply to VotingFemale. | February 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Well that’s good for Trump. His voters know how to caucus.

    Shouldn’t be a big surprise, if you saw his mailers. Let’s just say he isn’t wasting time scaring voters with fake voting violations.

Twitter Wire Feed

A minute ago:

Laura Ingraham

My Pre-Caucus Take from Iowa: “Trump & the Revenge of the Blue Collar Workers” via @LifeZette

Twitter Wire Feed

just in:

FoxNewsInsider @FoxNewsInsider

.@mcuban: Like @realDonaldTrump or Not, He Projects Power and Gets Things Done @TeamCavuto

“I came for the incisive political commentary; I stayed for the dumpster fires.”

Thank you Kemberlee! 😀

Twitter Feed


National Review @NRO

Ex-Spies Say That Clinton’s Illegal Server Triggered Widespread Devastation

Twitter Feed

one minute ago:

Ben Jacobs @Bencjacobs

I am at a Republican caucus on the east side of Des Moines, Democratic leaning blue collar area. There is huge turnout here

Twitter Feed

Greta Van Susteren ‏@greta 20 minutes ago

This is a @foxnewsalert: presidential candidates starting to arrive at #Iowa caucus sites -OTR #greta @FoxNews

Twitter Feed

Tom Abrahams

29 of 1682 pcts reporting @realDonaldTrump 34.7% @tedcruz 30.7% @marcorubio 13.6% #IowaCaucus
6:39pm · 1 Feb 2016 · Twitter for iPhone

Twitter Feed

Rhys Blakely

Just a handful of precincts have reported — but @realDonaldTrump leads @tedcruz in Iowa. @marcorubio in 3rd

19% in
Cruz 30%
Trump 27
Rubio 19
Carson 10
rest single digits


Checking that decision desk link, something interesting came up.
Maybe it’s the way they count the votes, but at 10:55 PM it reports:

Republicans: 159,051 votes
Democrats: 9,901 votes

If those numbers are accurate, Dims are in trouble. Yay!

Good job, Kemberlee! We desperately all needed your sense of humor over the last week or so!