February 2, 2016

My Iowa predictions: Good, Bad and Ugly

Yesterday I hastily added my predictions to the outcome of the Iowa caucuses. Time for a brief analysis of my efforts. Results in terms of vote percentages and delegate count that I'm basing my post analysis on, can be found here.

On the Democrat Side, here's the good, the bad and the ugly of my prognostications.

The Good: I predicted a close contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side. I was right.  It was a razor thin contest, less than 1% separating the two.

The Bad:  I predicted Sanders would win, his momentum carrying him ahead of Clinton.  He lost.

The Ugly: CNN cutting off Ted Cruz' speech to cut to Hillary Clinton's speech, even though Bernie Sanders had not yet conceded defeat in Iowa.  The ugly is both Clinton stepping on Cruz, deliberately, and CNN having the bias to not even split screen or tape delay Clinton.  Clearly they value her win more than Cruz's.  Ugly on my part?  Nothing really. My predictions were close enough that I'd call them a win.

On the Republican side, I didn't fare quite as well, and my good, bad and ugly look a little different.

The Good: I predicted Rubio, Cruz and Trump would do well.  Cruz and Rubio over-performed, Trump under-performed but still did respectably well. The interesting thing was a record turnout.Seemed to help non-Trump candidates better than Trump. A lot of anyone but Trump in Iowa.

The Bad: I predicted Trump would win.  I thought he might see a bit of decline from his high water mark, but I figured he had enough leeway to still win.  He didn't Cruz sailed to a comfortable victory, thanks in part to his ground game and his use of analytics (something team Obama used masterfully in 2012, and something I've been advocating for the last 7 years.  Oops, missed that one). Cruz is a Tea Party conservative.  I'd be happy if he won the presidency.  I don't know if he can win the general election,but it was good to see him win Iowa.  It was also impressive to see the efficiency of his organization and the results of his analytics and GOTV efforts.

The Ugly:  I thought Chris Christie would fare better.  I didn't see him doing as well as Carson , or the top 3 finishers, but I did expect he'd be a strong #5, coming in at 7 or 8 percent.  It looks like all of the establishment support went to Rubio.  Chistie didn't do as well as Jeb Bush, and that's a bad sign.  Now Iowa isn't his back yard and he'll probably do better in New Hampshire, but he has to finish Top 3 or he's pretty much done.

I wasn't too far off on the GOP side, but things were definitely different than I'd expected. Overall I'd give myself a B-.  Solid work but wrong conclusions.  I'll take a B-, it's better than a lot of my predictions over the last 6 years.
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