Who Won The Iowa Caucus 2016? (Final)

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UPDATE (Tuesday Morning):

In the Democratic Caucus, Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by an amount so small that the caucus results have to be regarded as tie.

Clinton: 49.86%
Sanders: 49.57%
O’Malley: 0.57%

Lesson learned: Those who caucused for O’Malley for ideological reasons, knowing he could not possibly win, account for a larger percentage of the overall caucus than the difference between the top two contenders. If most of those O’Malley voters would have been Sanders voters had O’Malley not been in the race, then they effectively Nadered Sanders.

Ted Cruz won the GOP caucus.

Cruz: 27.7
Trump: 24.3
Rubio: 23.1
Everybody else: Less than 10% each
Fiorina, Kasich, Huckabee, Christie, Santorum and Gilmore got zero delegates.


CRUZ is the winner in the GOP caucus.

For the Dems, at this moment it is too close to call, but with just over 90% of the precincts reported in, Clinton is ahead of Sanders by under 1%.

To give you a feel for the last hour or so, here’s some data:

DEMS at 8:35 Clinton 50.8, Sanders 48.6
DEMS at 8:42 Clinton 50.9, Sanders 48.6
DEMS at 8:45 Clinton 50.7, Sanders 48.7
DEMS at 8:55 Clinton 50.5, Sanders 48.9
DEMS at 9:00 Clinton 50.4, Sanders 49.0 About 70% reporting.
DEMS at 9:13 Clinton 50.3, Sanders 49.1
DEMS at 9:20 Clinton 50.2, Sanders 49.2 – 1% difference, c/ 85% reported
DEMS at 9:31 Clinton 50.0, Sanders 49.3 0.7% difference
DEMS at 9.34 Clinton 50.0, Sanders 49.4 0.6% difference
DEMS at 9:38 Clinton 49.96 Sanders 49.38 86.79% reporting
DEMS at 9:42 Clinton 49.96 Sanders 49.39 87.69% reporting
DEMS at 9:44 Clinton 49.92 Sanders 49.44 88.64% reporting
DEMS at 9:52 Clinton 49.80 Sanders 49.56 89.53 % reporting
DEMS at 9:57 Clinton 49.80 Sanders 49.56 89.65% reporting STALL
DEMS 10:01 Clinton 49.84 Sanders 49.53 90.01% reporting REVERSAL
DEMS 10:03 Clinton 49.80 Sanders 49.57 90.48% reporting SWTICHBACK
DEMS 10:09 Clinton 49.84 Sanders 49.53 91.26% reporting REVERSAL
DEMS 10:13 Clinton 49.84 Sanders 49.53 91.43% reporting STALL
DEMS 10:14 Clinton 50.15 Sanders 49.32 91.73% reporting REVERSAL
DEMS 10:22 Clinton 50.15 Sanders 49.32 92.5% reporting STALL
DEMS 10:27 Clinton 50.15 Sanders 49.32 92.8% reporting


We still don’t know, but …

Trump and Cruz started out the evening in a real horse race, but for the last 50 minutes or so Cruz has been ahead by a few points (currently 29.7-26.6). It may be the case that my prediction, which no one believed I might add, will come true.

See: Dark Money by Jane Mayer

Meanwhile, I hear reports from college enclaves that Sanders is doing really well, in the order of 2:1 over Clinton. But state wide the evening started out with Clinton well ahead and holding (ca 52-47%). But over recent minutes, that gap has been narrowing. As of this writing the spread is 51.0-48.4%. I don’t know the exact percentage of precincts reporting so far, but it is a lot, possibly well over half.

So, so far, it looks like this may be Cruz and Clinton in Iowa. But things could change.

We don’t know yet! But I will post what I know here when I know it. Meanwhile, you might want to follow live results, which will not be available until evening Monday 1 Feb, here:

Live Results Iowa Caucus

Meanwhile, we can speculate on who might win.

Who will win the Democratic Iowa Caucus?

Recent polling has shown that Clinton has been in the lead, by a substantial but shrinking margin, util recently. Then, Sanders caught up and about two polls back the two candidates were in a statistical tie. The most recent poll, by Emerson, covers January 29th through 31st, and shows Clinton advancing beyond statistical dead heat with an 8 point lead. Recent analysis by the Des Moines Register and others suggest that both Clinton and Sanders are well liked by Iowa Democrats, but Clinton may have some stronger numbers in her base.

In my view, it is too close to call; There is no obvious likely winner. Having said that, if I were to bet five bucks I’d bet on Clinton winning. I would not take a bet for more than five bucks, though.

If Sanders comes to within a few percentage points of Clinton, he still “wins” (as does Clinton) in a way because he meets expectations. If the spread is greater than 8 or 9 point, whoever wins wins big because they exceed expectations. That’s just my opinion, of course. In the end, a close result simply confirms that the Democrats have two viable candidates.

It is also possible that O’Malley will surge. The way the caucus system works tends to X-out candidates that are very low in percentage point. If O’Malley does better than that, he will have exceeded expectations and interesting things could happen.

Who will win the Republican Iowa Caucus?

Trump has been ahead all along, but he has fallen into a statistical dead heat with Cruz over the last few polls. A Trump loss, even by a little bit, will probably be seen as falling below expectations. A Cruz win will probably be seen as surpassing expectations. Rubio is not far down in third place. If he finishes second, or even a very close third, that will be meaningful.

ADDED: News is that Cruz is playing a very intense ground game in Iowa, and Trump is not. Trump is relying on an entirely off the books strategy, which seems to consist of, well, being Donald Trump. This makes the outcome of the GOP Caucus even more interesting. It suggests that if we live on Normal Earth, Cruz will surpass trump, because they are very close but the ground game wins it in Iowa. If, however, we live on Bizarro Earth, Trump’s alternative strategy will not only keep him ahead but possibly propel him even further .

By the way, it is generally true that whoever wins the Democratic Iowa Caucus ultimately wins the nomination, but I’m pretty sure that is less of a certainty with the GOP Iowa Caucus.

Stay tuned, and thanks, Iowa, for your electoral service!

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In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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38 thoughts on “Who Won The Iowa Caucus 2016? (Final)

  1. “… if I were to bet five bucks Iโ€™d bet on Clinton winning. I would not take a bet for more than five bucks, though.”

    Checking one predictions market, Clinton 68%, Sanders 37%. I wagered $99.65 on Sanders, at 54:56 odds.

  2. It pisses me off that Hillary’s people keep coming to my house. Stay away! I’m caucusing for Bernie.

    I will have a general feeling at 7 pm. If the building is full and loud, it’s going to be Bernie’s night. If it’s half full and subdued… then it’s going to go to Hillary.

    I have fond memories of 2008. My precinct went to Obama.

    1. Randy: It pisses me off that Hillaryโ€™s people keep coming to my house. Stay away! Iโ€™m caucusing for Bernie.”

      Well there you do, then: tell them you’ll be caucusing for Ms. Clinton. It’s politics: LIE, DAMN YOU!

  3. @ Desertphile

    They’re young people with a passion. This is a good thing even if I don’t agree with them. I would never be rude.

    I just them them that I am going to the caucus for sure. Guaranteed. I know where it is. They smile…. (I just fail to tell them that I’m going for Bernie) They leave happy. All is well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Randy: I just them them that I am going to the caucus for sure. Guaranteed. I know where it is. They smileโ€ฆ. (I just fail to tell them that Iโ€™m going for Bernie) They leave happy. All is well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You mean you did not outright t lie to them? How very unamerican.

      If it were not for Ms. Clinton’s disturbing “whatever you want me to do” behavior with corporations who have actively harmed the USA, I would probably be signing up with her campaign here in New Mexico.

      The governor of New Mexico has been working tirelessly to prevent American Indians from voting; she is doing this “to fight voter fraud.” She insists that people who only speak Athabaskan, and have no state ID other than a driver’s license, are in the country illegally. No, really.

  4. It’s 7:42 pm here. I just got back from one precinct site out of approximately 1800. This particular precinct went for Obama in ’08.

    Turnout was not very high tonight. There were 0 (zero) people for O’Malley. Hillary got 54% and Bernie got 46%. However, based upon the equation used to determine delegates, we ended up split at 50/50.

    Excuse me while I go have a beer now…………………….

  5. heres my question, Bernie says every one who gets his new single payer insurance will save 5000 in taxes for the year after they pay 5000 for higher taxes to pay for the insurance. what if you don’t want single payer insurance? do you get your taxes back or are we just going to pay for others insurance. demos generally don’t run on increasing taxes, this is a huge mistake I think.

    1. Darryl Gorham: Bernie says every one who gets his new single payer insurance will save 5000 in taxes for the year after they pay 5000 for higher taxes to pay for the insurance

      No, he did not; No, he did not.

  6. hey Trump, loser,!!! loser!!!, loser!!!. all that bragging and you got your ass beat, loser!!! loser!!!. you said the other day your fans would get tired of winning and I guess they did, ha, ha, ha, ha. loser!!!

  7. Cruz is also a candidate that appears to be dangerous if he every got to be president, he reminds me of some type of dictator leader, Watch out for him!!!!

  8. Cruz is also a candidate that appears to be dangerous he reminds me of some type of dictator leader, Watch out for him!!!!

  9. Here’s a suggestion, take your pencil out and write in Darryl G. Gorham for President of the United States,

  10. Not that it matters, but it appears Senator Sanders and Ms. Clinton both won. I wonder what that does to my predictions market stock— I recall no mention of what a tie pays off.

  11. Apropos of your post on Trump losing Iowa, can I say that you were both right and wrong?

    You were right that the ground game means that in a caucus state, no ground game = no win.

    However, Trump got ~25% of the vote — that is, without a ground game to speak of.

    That means to me that Trump has real support. And in a non-caucus state, i.e. most of them, he can do surprisingly well. Trump has an outside shot at running away with GOP delegates in New York, California, Illinois, Florida and New Jersey, to name a few that are (I think) closer to his thinking than Cruz is. And they happen to be the big states.

    Should Trump get the nomination, being from New York, he’d make the state competitive for Republicans. Think on that possibility. Trump may be a fascist but he isn’t stupid, and his remark that GOP candidates don’t usually campaign here (NY) was right: there hasn’t been an effective or competitive GOP candidate in New York State since the first Bush. Trump could alter that calculus. (He wouldn’t get many votes in New York City, but NY State has a lot of upstate regions where he could do well).

    1. West Davenport and Polk County delegates reported they tossed a coin to determine who won: Clinton won both coin tosses.

      It could be that Iowa Democrat candidate will be determined by coin toss. Couldn’t everyone have just saved tens of millions of dollars and start with a coin toss, months ago?

  12. You also called Trump correctly, contrary to most people who put a hell of a lot of money on it. I could have “bought Cruz” for even money, damn it.

    95% reported for Democrats, still a tie. I have $99.65 riding on the outcome, and I just looked at the market rules. “The candidate receiving the greatest share of delegate support in the 2016 precinct-level Democratic Iowa caucuses shall be the candidate identified in the answer, according to Iowa Democratic Party.” That means the Democrat Party must declare a winner, even if both candidates have the same number of delegates.

  13. What struck me most wasn’t that Cruz beat Rump โ€“ he is, after all, a spanker โ€“ but that Rubio to such an extent outdistanced the remaining candidates.

    Marco Rubio 43,132 23.1%
    Ben Carson 17,393 9.3%
    Rand Paul 8,478 4.5%
    Jeb Bush 5,235 2.8%
    Carly Fiorina 3,483 1.9%
    John Kasich 3,473 1.9%
    Mike Huckabee 3,344 1.8%
    Chris Christie 3,278 1.8%

    Bush got less than 3% and the bottom four less than 2. The last winner, Santorum, isn’t even listed. Rubio is a far more gifted candidate than the others โ€“ he consistently says the wrong things the right way, and he appeals to the “take our country back[wards] again” sentiment while projecting more sincerity and rationality than either Cruz or Rump. It’s now a three man race, and Rubio is well positioned to win it.

  14. Desertphile: I’d need to see solid information on how many coin tosses there were. There were a lot of caucuses. Coin tosses usually determine part of the outcome, not the whole thing, in a given caucus. They are not uncommon. I doubt there were only two.

    1. Greg Laden: Iโ€™d need to see solid information on how many coin tosses there were. There were a lot of caucuses. Coin tosses usually determine part of the outcome, not the whole thing, in a given caucus. They are not uncommon. I doubt there were only two.

      So far as I have read this morning (between being stepped on by a horse and head-butted by a heifer), at least three delegates tossed a coin. I also see that two precincts have not reported yet (7:46 AM MST). Someone on PredictIt stated that Ms. Clinton won six out of six coin tosses— p = 0.0156 which is not quite a miracle.

  15. This just in:

    “Hillary Clinton won the Iowa Democratic caucuses, according to the Iowa Democratic Party. Based on the results of Monday’s caucuses, the IDP says Clinton received 699.57 state delegate equivalents, to Sanders 695.49.
    There are currently 2.28 outstanding, not enough for Sanders to make up the difference. There is no mechanism for a recount.”

  16. #18
    “Should Trump get the nomination, being from New York, heโ€™d make the state competitive for Republicans.”

    I’m not sure that one roots for a local “politician” the same way one roots for a local sports team. Romney lost in Massachusetts. Gore lost in Tennessee. McGovern lost in South Dakota. Location works when it complements ideology and policy. When the divide is too great, it doesn’t. Besides, Clinton was a New York Senator, the state is the Clinton home, and no one would claim that Sanders has a New England accent.

    “Trump may be a fascist…”
    No. Trump isn’t a fascist, and calling him one reduces the term to a pejorative without analytical value. More than anything, Trump is Trump, a self-obsessed sometimes brutal opportunist with traces of racism and no easily defined ideological moorings.

  17. Rooting for the home team does translate into votes in primaries.

    But right, not necessarily in general elections.

    Trump does seem like a fascist to me.

    1. Greg Laden: Rooting for the home team does translate into votes in primaries. But right, not necessarily in general elections. Trump does seem like a fascist to me.

      Winning six coin tosses in a row means the gods wanted Ms. Clinton to “win Iowa.” Regardless of the missing 60 delegate votes, and the one precinct that hasn’t reported and apparently never will. Gosh, it’s almost like it was New Mexico and not Iowa.

      As for Trump and fascism, one can listen to Dan Carlin’s HARDCORE HISTORY series about the rise of fascism in the 1910s and 1920s, and compare it with Trump; looks like a perfect fit to me.

  18. She should have been in Las Vegas at a roulette table instead of where ever she was at the time.

    Or trading more cattle futures.

  19. I’ve ridden RAGBRAI (big bike ride west to east across Iowa the final week of July) about 15 times.
    There is nothing like being in the middle of nowhere on a 100+ degree day, sweating on a hot asphalt road, and getting a whiff that tells you you’re approaching a big hog farm.

  20. No, I am NOT obsessed! I can q-q-q-quit any t-t-t-time!

    The results from 90 precincts’ head counts in Iowa for the Democrat nomination are still “missing.” One precinct was not allowed to report their result, being judged too late to include because there was some kind of hurry, somewhere, by someone, to report who won. Six more precincts were decided by coin toss, all going to Clinton, with odds (1/64) less than a USA roulette wheel (1/38)…..

    …. and Ms. Clinton is still insisting she “won Iowa.”

    I have a question: how many results from precincts did the Republican Party lose that same night?

  21. #31
    Yesterday on Danish radio someone compared Trump to the Danish People’s Party, and I think that’s a valid comparison. Both are Islamophobic, but neither seeks to abolish democracy and replace it with a movement based authoritarian system. Trump may be supported by extreme right wing elements, but there is no attempt to organize them into an anti-democratic movement. The looming violence against perceived opponents he sometimes provokes at his rallies is frightening in itself, but he stops short of encouraging actual violence and doesn’t use violence as a political tactic. Trump is so personality based that he was oblivious to the need to organize a ground game to win the caucus.

    It would be fair to call him an American chauvinist, but not a jingoist. Above all, Trump defines himself as a deal-maker, a great negotiator. There is no glorification of militarism. Yes, you’ll find the obligatory โ€œbomb the shit out of Isisโ€ rhetoric, but you don’t find the intervene everywhere mentality that flourishes among prominent establishment Republicans. You’ll find nasty comments directed at individual women, but no cult of masculinity or kinder-kuche-kirche nostalgia.

    There are ample reasons for criticizing Trump, but I can’t see the evidence that justifies calling him a fascist. One can make a better case criticizing what he is than what he isn’t.

  22. There are rumors coming out of Nevada that I find unbelievable, where it is being alleged:

    people were required to wait for a few hours to cast a ballot, just to be told they must wait longer, then told the balloting period was over. Large numbers of people reported they left after not being counted. Some precincts had “sign in sheets” that were sheets only caucus members who supported Clinton were supposed to sign (caught on video). Some caucusing voters did not register first, which skewed the count in one candidate’s favor (caught on video). At least one new voter registered to vote as a Democrat, and he was immediately placed on the “pro-Clinton” caucus list, against his wishes, and it took him three demands before he was removed. And Clinton supporters dressed up as nurse union members, perhaps to deceive pro-Sanders caucus members. There is even a video of a Clinton campaign staff telling caucus volunteers to get away with whatever they can to pad Ms. Clinton’s count.

    I have no idea if any of these rumor are true: I was not there.

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