Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

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IlliniDave
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Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

First, the traditional Des Moines Register Poll was buried. Then simultaneously while the Iowa festivities ramped up DNC rules for debate participation are tossed aside after a candidate makes a notable donation to the DNC (remains to be seen if said candidate will actually be allowed on the stage). Then the whole Iowa caucusing system melts down and results are still pending the next morning. Pre-caucus polls seemed to indicate Bernie had surged ahead. It'll be interesting if someone else is named winner (heard on radio Mayor Pete declared victory, as did Sanders). Have Never-Bernie-ers arisen as a movement within the Democrat party?

bostonimproper
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by bostonimproper »

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

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C40
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by C40 »

I would've thought the DNC learned to clean up their act after the 2016 election... But it seems like they're going to blow it again.

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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by sky »

Idiocracy Now

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Lemur
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Lemur »

I see the DNC is off to a fantastic start again :/ Now the conservative media is going to eat this up...maybe even suggest it was a rigged conspiracy again. Sow discord and confusion. Here we go again, we're just getting started on this ride.

ffj
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by ffj »

I've been watching a lot of commentary from progressive sites and they are absolutely skewering the establishment and the DNC. While they still can't stand Trump they also realize how corrupt the DNC acted in 2016 and are very sensitive to any inconsistencies this go around. A Bernie vote is going to be a F-you vote.

I think we are in for another protest vote with Bernie taking the nomination, unless the DNC can wrangle a last minute save with a limp Biden or Warren finish. I don't see any of them beating Trump in November. I say that as an indicator of the state of the Democratic Party and a case study of very poor decision making and behaviors.

All of this is just my opinion so take of it what you will.

Jason
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Jason »

Suffice it to say, the 2024 election will not be kicking off in Iowa.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

ffj wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:11 am
I've been watching a lot of commentary from progressive sites and they are absolutely skewering the establishment and the DNC. While they still can't stand Trump they also realize how corrupt the DNC acted in 2016 and are very sensitive to any inconsistencies this go around. A Bernie vote is going to be a F-you vote.
The establishment on that side of the aisle has been trying to discredit the 2016 election, trying to discredit the upcoming 2020 general election a priori (be very, very suspicious if Trump gives Alaska to Russia, it might be a tell). And already the credibility of their own primary process is in question before the votes of the first event are counted. I won't belabor it here, but anyone interested should google "Shadow Inc" who made the app all this is being blamed on. Just the firm's name makes choosing them to hire as part of an election event a bad idea. And their founders have been around politics some.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I went. I talked to people in two other sites in town. Ours took the longest :? . The winner and the number of viable candidates varied a lot. I am sure the actual data will indicate a wide open race.

I think it’s not a very good system and it gives us Iowans too much power. It does make for interesting theater. I was literally selected for an AP poll and interviewed by an reporter from a Boston NBC affiliate in the span of half an hour.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:41 pm
I went. I talked to people in two other sites in town. Ours took the longest :? . The winner and the number of viable candidates varied a lot. I am sure the actual data will indicate a wide open race.

I think it’s not a very good system and it gives us Iowans too much power. It does make for interesting theater. I was literally selected for an AP poll and interviewed by an reporter from a Boston NBC affiliate in the span of half an hour.
Wow, thanks for the inside perspective, and thanks for putting in the effort to be part of the system. I don't think Iowans are afforded too much power. Someone has to go first.

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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by jacob »

Here's what I've pieced together, presented in bullet points:

Here's how I understand the process. The process on the ground is literally on the ground, like people physically gathering on gym-floors, living rooms, ... to do their caucusing. This happens in 1600 locations in Iowa. The Iowa (Democrat) caucus process runs as a kind of run-off voting in which people pick an initial first round choice by standing on circles on the gym floor representing their candidates. Then there's some talking and hawking between the circles. Then there's a cutoff and those whose "votes" would otherwise be wasted on a minor candidate go join one of the bigger circles in the second round. The delegates are then calculated based on the second round. The 1600 numbers then have to be accurately(*) added for the final result.

(*) A high bar in this day and age!
  • The process on the ground happened as always with paper documentation and even taking pictures of the papers.
  • However, last time there was some brouhaha about Sanders allegedly having the "popular vote" (first or second round numbers) but Hillary getting the delegates, but since only the delegate counts were reported last time, there was room for conspiracies. So this time, voting officials were to report all three numbers.
  • To do this more effectively and because the Dems want to appear digitally hip, this was supposed to be done by app. The usual phone method were left as a backup with a skeleton crew.
  • The app was designed by a company called Shadow [Note: Never call your apps something nefarious unless it's an actual weapon. That's just stupid :roll: This is where older non-nerds should have stepped in and changed the name] for the princely sum of $60,000.
  • Officials received no training in the use of the app. Some couldn't even download it. I suppose that reception in gym basements in rural Iowa is not exactly stellar? So instead officials started calling it in like they've always done.
  • The skeleton phone crew was consequently overloaded and the phone system borked. People (callers and callees) started giving up and going home handing their results to other principals to call in with some staying up all night.
  • The media expecting some digital fancyworks with dials and bells and whistles had no data and nothing to talk about, so they did just that.
  • Various Dem candidates started declaring victories based on zero results (or "their own" polling).
  • Various GOP started tweeting conspiracy theories.
At some point the day after national level DNC took over the accounting using the old-fashioned way and are apparently still on it. Half the results (62%) were reported yesterday. Maybe the rest today. So far it looks like Buttigieg has the delegates (controls the most districts). Sanders has the popular vote (controls the most people, but mainly in cities). Warren is third. Biden is fourth. Klobuchar is fifth.

Iowa is supposed to be important because it's the first time many voters actually pay attention to the process. It's a lot of free press for the winning candidates. In short, Iowa is perceived to afford leverage to the candidate campaigns. Nate Silver estimates that based on how poll numbers shift that Iowa is second only to Super Tuesday in importance and the effective delegate count of Iowa corresponds to 800 delegates instead of the 41 they actually have. There are ~4000 delegates in the entire country, so Iowa has 20% of the effect with only ~1% of the population. With this screw up the effect will probably be different. See https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/io ... n-process/

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

IlliniDave wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:49 am
I don't think Iowans are afforded too much power. Someone has to go first.
Why does someone have to go first? It's a bad system for the reason Jacob mentions, it gives outsized influence to a small, non representative part of the population.

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Lemur
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Lemur »

@Gilberto

I'm thinking that instead of having 11 candidates coming in on Super Tuesday, having caucuses and primaries prior to that would help 'thin the herd' and some candidates would drop out before then. Whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable I guess. Maybe more of the latter because it means that all these candidates will be spending so heavily on Iowa to get the voting momentum so it does make Iowa seem more important then it really is.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Jacob nice summary. I would point out that the person that is the precinct chair adds this stuff all up with a calculator in front of all the other people there. Volunteers from all the major contenders had their own apps and good numbers.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:00 am
Why does someone have to go first? It's a bad system for the reason Jacob mentions, it gives outsized influence to a small, non representative part of the population.
Well, they don't, they could have them all at once, a national primary, but then all the campaigning would be in a few states like it is in the general election. The primaries are really the only time the candidates visit states like Iowa and New Hampshire, for example. Does that add value? I dunno.

Is Iowa the right state to go first? Is there a perfect demographic state, or collection of states, that would be better? Maybe. Caucusing is a little strange, I admit, but if that's how the people in Iowa want to do it, I don't know of a reason to make them do it another way until they decide themselves.

I think much of what is being made of the deficiencies of the primary system and of Iowa is just running flack for the fiasco. Nobody complained about Iowa when Obama and Clinton were winning the caucuses there and the votes were counted promptly that I recall. But when it's neck-and-neck between Mayor Pete and Bernie, now it's bad?

ffj
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by ffj »

@Dave

I don't particularly ascribe to any of their opinions, although some are quite valid, but one has to pay attention to all sides to get an honest assessment of what is likely to occur. I think that is what blind-sided a lot of people last time in 2016, as in not getting out of their ideological bubble.

This whole Iowa issue is about optics. At some point a clear leader needs to emerge and I would argue strongly, but I don't see that happening. To me that is an indicator of many problems down the road for the Democrats and the general election.

New Hampshire should be telling.

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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by jacob »

Given how the electoral college system determines the total outcome based on just a handful of battleground states, it would be more rational to assign "first attention priority" to the primaries in the battleground states which should therefore go first. This way "first-order-thinking" voters don't "accidentally" elect a national candidate who has little chance of winning the swing state votes due to lack of forward thinking.

Of course this pretty much changes election politics to only focus on that handful of states. Nevertheless, that is the system the founding fathers put in place. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

ffj
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by ffj »

Who would determine what the battleground states were beforehand? Talk about the potential for gerrymandering!

The whole purpose of the electoral college is to give every state equal representation in the process. We don't want California and New York and Florida determining our national elections. We also don't want a battleground state pre-determining anything either, although I understand many times it comes down to a handful of states swinging an election. But I would argue you would have to leave all possibilities open as demographics and population constantly change. California used to be a Republican state for instance.

Tyler9000
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Tyler9000 »

Several states have attempted to move their primary dates ahead of Iowa in the past, and both the DNC and RNC have come down hard on them to prevent that from happening. For example, in 2008 Florida and Michigan voted to move their primary to January, and both parties responded by cutting the size of their delegations in half. IIRC, California also floated the idea recently and backed down when the parties threatened to remove their delegates entirely. So clearly the current system is something the party apparatchiks like.

Personally, I think that party managers love Iowa going first because the complex caucus system is easy to manipulate. The 3-tiered group voting system and proportional delegate allocation makes it easy for campaign managers to encourage people to change their votes in real time to rob the leader of the delegates he/she would otherwise earn with only one anonymous vote. It's the party-controlled way of throwing the brakes on a candidate they don't want to get too much early momentum.

Don't hate Iowa. Hate the primary process.

Jason
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Jason »

ffj wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:00 pm
Who would determine what the battleground states were beforehand?
Um...politics?

I don't see the ramp up to the election changing. People love the drama. You can't get rid of Super Tuesday. That would be too revolutionary. However, I believe Iowa is toast so my guess would be Michigan or one of the other blue wall states that fell for Trump - Wisconsin, Pennsylvania - will fight to be first and will be successful as they can make a claim to being the most "important" or "representative" state. And well, a little more familiar with smartphones.

The voting system is highly eccentric and based on tradition. However, this was a clusterfuck of epic proportions at the exact worse time to have such a clusterfuck. When the good news is "Well, at least it wasn't the Russians!!!!" I don't know who is laughing more. Putin or Trump. They will both save on campaign financing. These bumpkins (sorry Laura Ingalls) had four years to avoid a repeat of the Hillary/Sanders debacle and proceeded to drive the Democratic ship straight into the fucking iceberg. And using an APP from someone connected to the Clinton campaign and giving it to a bunch of chubby fingered, wheat fed, yokels who are used to raising their fucking hands (again, my apologies Laura Ingalls)? Oh for fuck's sake. Should have just had Trump put a hand on the Bible again last night and avoid the rest of this nonsense. The out of touch quotient is just unfuckingbearable.

Edit: My BIL called Mayor Pete "Pete Buttcheeks" and I was humiliated that I didn't think of it first. You have to think Trump is talking to Bannon about how its' employment will solidify the base. I hope they green light it.
Last edited by Jason on Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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