Last week's predictions of the Iowa caucus results were quite popular, especially for people searching for explanations of Cruz's win so we thought another post was due for the New Hampshire Primary this Tuesday. First our thoughts on last week's Iowa Caucus.
Last week we picked Clinton to win the Democratic caucus (she did) and Trump to win the Republican caucus (he lost by 4% to Ted Cruz), but with major caveats for each party. Some thoughts on actual performance:
- Democrats: This race was quite a bit closer than expected, with Hillary winning by 0.2%. It seems that was largely due to Bernie's voters showing up in higher numbers than expected, as we pointed out in our blog entry, that was the biggest question in the democratic race. This is probably the most positive news for the Sanders Campaign so far, almost winning a Midwestern state.
- Republicans: Last week we mentioned that there were a lot of questions around turnout of Trump voters. We've seen some data this week that demonstrates Trump supporters just didn't show up, especially when compared to Cruz supporters. That's bad for Trump, as the biggest concern for his campaign is that Trump voters might end up being a bit.. well, flaky. Another impressive element was Cruz's ground game,* which seemed to go to work hard in the last week of the campaign; possibly tipping the race into Cruz's favor.
And on to New Hampshire, here are our picks (with probabilities):
Other sites are a bit more bullish in their odds for Sanders and Trump winning (in excess of 80% at times), both candidates have nearly double digit leads in recent polling. I'm not as convinced that it's as cut and dry, for a few reasons:
- Polling in Iowa was only accurate to a level of about +/- 8.5 % , meaning we shouldn't have a ton of confidence in even 10% leads in primaries. We'll do a future post on polling certainty.
- Trump's leading, but his voters may not turnout. We have at least some evidence from Iowa that the Trump people may not be the greatest at showing up.
- Cruz's ground game may give him an edge. See note below.
- Sanders lead in polling looks like it was closing in latest poll.
*Ted Cruz's impressive ground game, we're using this term of art for the efficacy of the campaign in the last few days, including two controversial (by some commentators unethical, or even fraudulent).
- First he use a mailer that insinuated people weren't very good citizens according to their voting record.
- Second his staff told caucus-goers that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race (Carson being politically close to Cruz, the assumption was Carson supporters would have a second choice of Cruz)