- Bob FertikWant to meet our members? Click 'Join' above!
The Iowa Caucus was a watershed election which could bring about the transformation of America politics.
While Democrats didn't run against Republicans directly, Democrats beat Republicans in turnout by over 2:1 - even though Democratic voters had to endure a 2-hour ordeal while Republican votes just had to vote.
Even though the Democratic vote was split three ways, all three leading Democrats trounced Mike Huckabee in raw votes (out of 356,000 cast):
11.4% Huckabee (R)
Chris Bowers found mind-bending numbers:
Which caucus each group attended
Moderates: Democratic 88%--12% Republican (I keep saying it--the Democratic Party is Unity08)
Urban: Democratic 87%--13% Republican
Age 17-29: Democratic 80%--20% Republican
Independents: Democratic 75%--25% Republican
Suburban: Democratic 73%--27% Republican
Women: Democratic 72%--28% Republican
Age 30-44: Democratic 70%--30% Republican
Age 45-64: Democratic 62%--38% Republican
Age 65+: Democratic 61%--39% Republican
Men: Democratic 60%--40% Republican
Rural: Republican 53%--47% Democratic
Not only did self-identified liberals out-number self-identified conservatives, but 88% of self-identified moderates caucused with Democrats? Not only did self-identified Democrats outnumber self-identified Republicans by 20%, but 75% self-identified Independents caucused with Democrats?
Looking at it from a national perspective, Iowa is a swing midwestern state dominated by white rural voters. If Democrats can win Iowa as we did last night, we can win just about every state outside Dixie, the Mormon states of Utah and Idaho, and the dark-red states of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Indiana. That means we can win big battleground states like Ohio, Missouri, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado - and produce a sweeping Electoral College victory.
Democrats are united internally, and united with Independents and even many Republicans on the need for comprehensive political change after Bush.
Who will be the Democratic nominee? Obama has GHWB's famous "Big Mo" (momentum), and he's got both an excellent message (speeches) and ground game (field organization). He will get a big bounce in the next round of polls, and that bounce will get twice as big if he can make up a small 5% deficit in New Hampshire this weekend and beat Hillary a second time.
After that comes Nevada, which is getting zero attention in the media. Hillary leads by 22% there in pre-Iowa polls, but Obama could easily win there if he wins New Hampshire. Next comes South Carolina, where Obama trails by only 6% in pre-Iowa polls. Since 1/2 of SC Democrats are black, Obama will definitely win there if he wins NH and NV. If Obama wins NH, NV, and SC, the media coverage will be so overwhelmingly positive for Obama that it will be impossible for Hillary to win.
Bottom line: my money is on Obama.
The Republican coalition is turning into a circular firing squad, with ideologically-committed working class evangelicals (led by Huckabee) at war with rich and cynical capitalists (led by Romney and Giuliani). As Scarecrow writes,
The Republican annointers had already rejected Huckabee; last night, Huckabee's supporters rejected those who once annointed Republican candidates. Their party has now inherited its own sectarian cultural war.
The Republican establishment hopes old John McCain can win a cease-fire and keep the GOP coalition together, but McCain lost the religious right forever in 2000 when he personally attacked Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance." Despite McCain's popularity with pundits, he always had the toughest challenge because of his age, which would make him even older than Reagan if he won. McCain lost any appeal to Democrats with his wretched "bomb-bomb-Iran" joke and his laughing when asked "how do we beat the bitch," but this week's promise to stay in Iraq for 100 years (or one million years) guarantees his defeat by independents and even Ron Paul Republicans.
Progressive bloggers seem to be deeply worried that Republicans will end up nominating someone who can beat our Democratic nominee. But after Iowa, I'm not worried about that at all. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will do so barely and by default because there simply is no one who can unite the evangelical and capitalist wings of the GOP. If McCain or Romney win the nomination, evangelicals will stay home; if Huckabee wins, capitalists will stay home. Without a completely united base, the GOP cannot win, and if the GOP base is divided down the middle, a sweeping defeat is guaranteed.