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Iowa Republican Caucus 1/15/2024


Hestia

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Hello y'all! In honor of my home state holding the first caucus tonight, I'm starting this thread for the results tonight, but also to share your predictions. Feel free to do it in any way you desire, and share your thoughts on what you think may happen tonight. I am excited to be working as an exit poll reporter tonight at one of the many precincts across the state. 

The weather here has been awful this past week, but today at -3 degrees is warmer than it was yesterday! That may play some sort of role tonight, though it's unclear. Road conditions are still somewhat poor in the rural areas, but most have been cleared at least in the western part of the state. Turnout may be better in the urban areas. The rural eastern portions may suffer to a degree in turnout, but their cities should be cleared. 

My overall prediction tonight is: Trump 47%, Haley 24%, DeSantis 20%, Ramaswamy 7%, Hutchinson 2% (roughly). 

A few things I'm keeping in mind: 

1) Trump is an incredibly strong frontrunner and is the immediate favorite. It would be a huge surprise if he finishes below 45%, even. Iowa is very evangelical and is definitely to the right of New Hampshire in its state party. If a second place finisher (Haley/DeSantis) can narrow the margin to even less than 20%, it will be seen as a significant result. He has quasi-incumbent bonus here.

2) Trump is strong in the eastern portions of the state along the Mississippi River - those counties are more akin to what you may see in the Rust Belt than in Iowa. DeSantis should theoretically be strong in the rural, Evangelical part of the western side of the state - but Trump is also showing strength in those areas as well. Haley will be banking on strong returns out of Polk County (Des Moines), Johnson County (Iowa City), Dallas County (DM suburbs), Story County (Ames) and Linn County (Cedar Rapids). 

3) The race for second place is real here. A DeSantis third place finish could mean the end of his campaign, and would be a huge stumbling block to him on the eve of unfriendly territory in New Hampshire and Haley's home state of South Carolina. Haley finishing third would humble her on the route to NH, but may not be as big of a block as it would for DeSantis.

4) How could this be shaken up and what would be the driver? Well, Iowa is famous for its retail politics. Trump does not interact with the people and has made rare trips to the state to give speeches and flies out. DeSantis and Ramaswamy have been pounding the doors here for some time, and Haley has to a degree as well. Is this the death knell of Iowa's retail politics being king - at least for this cycle? If Trump stumbles tonight - finishing below 45 or even 40, its possible voters were irked that he didn't spend more time in the smaller towns and cities that dot the state. 

5) Last but not least - the weather. As I mentioned, the weather is a bear here right now. What impact does this have? I'm not entirely sure right now. Iowans are used to the cold, but this is something else entirely - and the roads may be slick. I see it going one of three ways. First - Trump voters are most enthusiastic and turn out, drowning out comfortable urbanites who don't make their way to the polls. Second - Haley/DeSantis voters are closest to their caucus locations and are able to make it tonight, while lower propensity Trump voters and older voters aren't able to leave their homes. Third - a combination therein, which results in a wash.

 

My key counties tonight:

Polk - Des Moines. Haley will need a strong return here to be a competitor statewide. Rubio won Polk County in 2016 with 26.9%, finishing with 23.1% statewide in a narrow third. Haley should be aiming for at least that 27%.

Sioux - Orange City. Trump struggled mightily here in a rural western county. Is this a place where DeSantis can take over from Cruz's successful 2016 venture? Cruz won 33.2% here in 2016, with Trump having a dismal 10.9%.

Pottawattamie - Council Bluffs. I will be in this county tonight, where Trump won in 2016 with 34.5%, followed by Cruz at 21.5%. If Trump is having a good night, he will likely be above 50% here. As the ninth largest county, Pottawattamie is the largest batch of votes in the southwestern part of the state. DeSantis will need to be competitive here.

Scott - Davenport. Davenport and the surrounding areas are one of those Rust Belty types on the eastern side of the state. Rubio actually won here in 2016, with 26.2%, followed by Trump at 25.3%. Haley will likely not win here, but if she is en route to a decent night, she will be posting decent numbers in this county. 

Marion - Pella. Pella is well known as one of the most conservative towns in Iowa - Nikki Haley was here today. DeSantis has also visited, and it will be interesting to see how it votes. Cruz won a huge 35.2% of the vote here in 2016, followed by Rubio at 21.1%, and Trump in third at 18.8%. 

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23 minutes ago, Hestia said:

My overall prediction tonight is: Trump 47%, Haley 24%, DeSantis 20%, Ramaswamy 7%, Hutchinson 2% (roughly). 

This is similar to the latest Selzer poll. The Race to the WH guy has Trump at 52%. My hope is that Trump gets under 50% and that Haley scores high enough to gain momentum to win NH. She has no shot at the nomination, but I want to see Trump embarrassed. 

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Copy and pasting this from a journalist friend in NE:

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1) Trump will win these counties by a LOT and it won't be close. The most populous among this crop, I believe, is Pottawatamie (Council Bluffs). He demonstrated a lot of strength in that SW corner in 2016 and is likely to do so again.
2) The counties to watch for Haley-mentum - most populous and most educated in the state.
3) If DeSantis is going to wrest away any voters from Trump, this is most likely where it'll be. Dubuque, Davenport, Sioux City - all the working-class major cities with a heavy industrial base, and home to a whole lotta those fabled religious folks.
4) If there's any Ramaswamentum happening, it'll be in this NW corner - Steve King's home turf, which delivered a somewhat massive upset in the Iowa governor's race for Reynolds in 2018. Does Steve King still have any sway in this area? Who knows. If it's not Vivek, it'll likely be RDS that comes in second here - and that might benefit him in the overall total. This is a heavily evangelical pocket too, one where it probably helps to have the backing of someone like Bob Vander Plaats.
5) These are decently educated counties (with a couple of Trumpy ones mixed in that have enough suburban precincts and are included in those metro areas) - where it will likely be a Trump-Haley contest more than a Trump-RDS contest. But if RDS has more momentum than Haley heading in, then he'll probably be doing well here too.

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It's looking like Ron in second place. Distant second after devoting his entire campaign to Iowa over the past few weeks, no prospects in New Hampshire or South Carolina. He's done still, this only matters insomuch as it dims Haley in New Hampshire. 

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10 hours ago, The Blood said:

It's looking like Ron in second place. Distant second after devoting his entire campaign to Iowa over the past few weeks, no prospects in New Hampshire or South Carolina. He's done still, this only matters insomuch as it dims Haley in New Hampshire. 

It was fun watching some of the hardcore DeSantis supporters on twitter last night- I’d say it generally was months of delusional, head in the sand denial, then last night shifted to a one to two hour meltdown and raging that the media shouldn’t have called the obvious result so early, then shifted right back to denial, with loads of tweets about why this is actually a great result for DeSantis!

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16 hours ago, Willthescout7 said:

In a shocking upset, Fmr President Donald Trump has been projected as the winner of the Iowa Caucus

this might be the biggest election upset of all time. still have to see the Democratic primaries though, you've got major possibilities for upsets like President Joe Biden somehow winning Iowa, or any other state for that matter.

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15 hours ago, Pringles said:

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The crosstabs from the entrance polls were bad for Trump on questions like if caucusgoers were MAGA or if they would vote for him if convicted, but also, nearly two-thirds of the non-Trump vote was just for alternative hard-right candidates (Vivek, DeSantis). Like, your average DeSantis caucuser isn't going to throw their vote to Biden, unlike a large amount of Haley voters. Just a note, there's still bad news for Trump just in Haley voters' attitudes towards him. 

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47 minutes ago, The Blood said:

Like, your average DeSantis caucuser isn't going to throw their vote to Biden, unlike a large amount of Haley voters. Just a note, there's still bad news for Trump just in Haley voters' attitudes towards him. 

This is correct, however, I would wager a significant portion of DeSantis voters are willing to stay home or even vote for RFK Jr should he make it on a ballot outside of Utah. For better or worse, I know DeSantis supporters who are planning to do the latter option.  

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35 minutes ago, Pringles said:

This is correct, however, I would wager a significant portion of DeSantis voters are willing to stay home or even vote for RFK Jr should he make it on a ballot outside of Utah. For better or worse, I know DeSantis supporters who are planning to do the latter option.  

I think this depends a lot on how DeSantis eats the L. I know there's a group of supporters who will refuse to vote for Trump, but I don't think it'd be particularly impactful if DeSantis eventually accepts the L and endorses Trump, or at least promotes voting for Trump in the general election. If he copes and seethes about it (very possible), then I'd say it'd be a significant portion.

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At this point, I think we all have to accept that it is looking like it will be Trump vs Biden again. I am interested in knowing how much the weather affected the outcome. I read (in what I believe was 538) that the enthusiasm for Trump among his supporters dwarfed his opponents. Therefore, I wonder how much the poor weather affected the margins of victory. That being said, I will be paying attention to New Hampshire, because some polls are predicting a Trump landslide, while some are showing Haley and Trump at neck-and-neck. My guess is that it will be somewhere in between.

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1 hour ago, Pius XIII said:

At this point, I think we all have to accept that it is looking like it will be Trump vs Biden again. I am interested in knowing how much the weather affected the outcome. I read (in what I believe was 538) that the enthusiasm for Trump among his supporters dwarfed his opponents. Therefore, I wonder how much the poor weather affected the margins of victory. That being said, I will be paying attention to New Hampshire, because some polls are predicting a Trump landslide, while some are showing Haley and Trump at neck-and-neck. My guess is that it will be somewhere in between.

Yeah it’s idiotic that Iowa and New Hampshire have their primaries in January 

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