On Monday residents in Iowa were able to cast the first votes in the 2016 presidential primary race. At the end of the caucus we learned that Ted Cruz defied the polling leading up to the caucus by defeating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clinched a victory over Bernie Sanders by the skin of her teeth. This week I wanted to take a look back at the strengths and weaknesses exhibited by the leading campaigns:
The Cruz campaign also used some effective, albeit ethically questionable, voter turnout techniques that included sending targeted Iowans a misleading “voter violation” mailer and promoting a rumor that Ben Carson was exiting the race.
On Monday night the real estate mogul delivered an uncharacteristically humble concession speech however he has since changed his tone and has begun accusing Sen. Cruz of cheating in the election with shady campaign tactics.
The former Secretary of State barely pulled off the ‘W’ in Iowa (but no, it was not decided entirely by coin flips). What is notable about the Clinton victory is who she won and who she lost. She did great among older Iowans that had been to a caucus before but lost voters aged 17-29 by 70 points and lost first time caucus-goers by 22 points. This seems to indicate there is not much enthusiasm for Clinton outside of the older more established members in the party
While Bernie’s showing in Iowa sure to excite his supporters it is important to note that Iowa is 92% white, a demographic group Sanders polls well in. Sanders may have harder time in states with a more diverse electorate that doesn’t “feel the Bern” as much. However given his campaigns aptitude for fundraising, especially the $3 million pull the day after the caucus, we could expect to see Sanders in it for the long haul.
My biggest takeaway from Iowa was that this will be one of the most unconventional presidential campaigns in recent history. As the partisan campaigns try to sell their spin we will make sure to tell you like it is.