And is the race about to get tighter?
Last I head we have something like 23 announced democratic prez candidates, and I saw someone at a local dem meeting the other night with the number “24”. But at several candidate’s events in Iowa I’ve noted a lack of the usual “field” operation- Stuff like capturing attendees contact info, etc.. Now just about every candidate has raised dollars by the millions, so there’s no excuse to not have paid staff and at least one office in Iowa for them to work out of. They should also be developing a volunteer base… I get almost daily fundraising e-mails from one candidate, but have yet to be asked to volunteer. It says something that only about half the candidates have a place on their website for volunteers to sign up. And while the Obama campaign would tell volunteers what opportunities were near their zip code by this time in 2007, I found only five candidate’s websites offering that no longer advanced technology. Throw in the fact that a whole lot of the candidates are congresscritters or senators and in most cases they can legally transfer left over presidential campaign (slush) funds to future fed campaigns, and it’s pretty clear that probably half our near two dozen candidates aren’t real seriously running for president, at least this time around.
Of the dozen dem candidates clearly “in it to win it”, some are developing impressive field operations despite bumping along in the polls in the low single digits- The best example is Congress member Delaney who has opened 8 campaign offices and campaigned in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties before this critical campaign year even started! Averaging the polls, only 2 candidates, Biden and Sanders, have double digit support with Biden at 27% and Sanders at 18%. Buttigieg, Harris and Warren trail at 9% each with O’Rourke at 5%.
So what chances do this half dozen candidates who have found at least 5% support have of winning the nomination. As always, 538 has the answer and it won’t cost us a cent, here’s the link to their most excellent analysis. 538’s results are sobering- a candidate at 5% has about a 4% chance of winning the nomination, and even at 9% the chances only improve to about 7%… However, we do have 3 candidates at 9% and throw in Beto at 5% and there’s a 25% chance one of these 4 will be the breakout candidate that wins the nomination. 538’s analysis predicts that Bernie at 17% has about a 14% and Joe Biden at 27% has about a 32% chance of heading the dem ticket in 2020. And I know, that don’t all quite all add up to 100%…
So the race is probably narrowing to Bernie and Joe and probably just as tight as Bernie and Hillary’s fight last go-round, with at least 3 or 4 more great democratic candidates running serious campaigns too in case they should falter. And looking at the crosstabs, Bernie may very well catch Joe, and I’ll have a bunch more interesting finds from digging down in the crosstabs in a future post.