Tuesday, February 2, 2016

So the Iowa caucuses are over...

So the Iowa caucuses are over...  What did we learn?

Not much, I think.  The big loser would appear to be The Hillary – a tie with an octogenarian socialist is pretty far removed from the expected coronation.  It's only one tiny step from losing to the octogenarian socialist.

On the Republican side, there were three viable candidates going into the caucuses (Cruz, Trump, Rubio) ... and there are three viable candidates coming out.  The three of them finished less than 5 points away from each other, which I'll call a tie for statistical purposes.  So ... a great, big nothing-burger.

Another loser (but this is almost an evergreen assertion these days): the polls.  Not a single one of them correctly predicted this outcome.  Everybody was surprised by (a) Trump's loss, slight as it was, and (b) Rubio's near-tie.  My takeaway from this is the same as my takeaway from the pollsters in the 2012 election: political pollsters and weather forecasters are the only two occupations I know of where getting the wrong answer most of the time isn't career-threatening (I'm looking at you, weather forecasters of northern Utah last week!).  We shouldn't give either group any credibility in our thinking.

I'm feeling ... very reinforced in my lack of excitement and engagement with this year's Presidential contest.  We still have five viable candidates (Clinton, Cruz, Trump, Sanders, Rubio), not one of which I'd look forward to having as my President.

My favorite observation about the evening, made by several people in several forms: the alleged party of old white men (the Republicans) gave over 60% of their votes to (relatively) young minorities, while the allegedly minority-friendly party of the people (the Democrats) gave 99.4% of their vote to old white folks...

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