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.
1/ Nobody knows nothing. Anecdotes, rumors, speculation, parachuting journalists and Iowa folk wisdom driven by noisy polls…
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 1, 2016
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.
Just as interesting — the stats for candidates caucus goers will not vote for:
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.
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:
If you sat in front of 5 TVs tuned to 5 networks on 1/28 in Des Moines, here's how bombarded you'd be with ads: pic.twitter.com/pU5ENKcoiE
— Alex Lundry (@alexlundry) February 1, 2016
Good luck sleeping tonight!
Our watchful protector / new king pic.twitter.com/ySRaqkIYvf
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) February 1, 2016
Raises speculative brow
Bill Clinton on HRC's chances in NH: "It depends on what happens in the next few days and how people react to unfolding events."
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonDC) February 1, 2016
Um, well, I guess that’s one way to handle protesters?
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) February 1, 2016
I think we finally found Kasich’s lone supporter
— William Heisse (@BillHeisse) February 1, 2016
Watch the fun!
Live inside a Republican Caucus:
And from a Democrat Caucus:
Legal Insurrection Authors:
Political media reaction:
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