January 31, 2020

Iowa Caucus Prediction

We see a lot of profiles in pusillanimity in pundit-land so this blog means to fill the gap.  Instead of some mamby-pamby "it's murky" malarkey, I'll tell you the exact order of finish with percentages.

We start from the premise that Iowa is 50-50 hard-left versus left.  This was shown by virtual dead heat in '16 between Clinton and Bernie.

We also start by using the gold-standard Des Moines Register poll, which has:

Sanders:20
Warren:17
Buttigeg:16
Biden:15
Klobuchar: 6
Yang: 5
Booker: 3
Bloomberg: 1
Other: 5
Unsure: 11

This neatly dovetails with the hard-left/left-left breakout, 41% to 40%, lending further credibility to the poll.

My almost completely ignorant understanding is that after the initial vote (we'll use the Des Moines results above), anyone under 15% has to caucus for another candidate (hence the term "caucus").   So now we have to figure how'll they'll break.

Klobuchar’s Midwestern-friendly vote goes to Buttigieg (4%) and 2% to Biden
Yang vote goes to wild Sanders (3%) and back-slappin' uncle Biden 2%
Booker goes to fellow senators Biden (1.5 and Warren (1.5).
Bloomberg’s goes to Biden/Butt (.5/.5).
"Other" gets apportioned to all candidates evenly.

So now the leaders are:

Sanders: 23%
Warren:18.5%
Buttigeg:20.5%
Biden: 19.5%

Next, the undecideds.  They should skew to Buttigiege and Biden since Warren and Sanders are “love them or hate them” types, and if they aren’t already with them they’ll probably pass.

So accepting 60% of 17.5% goes to Biden/Butt that’s 10.5% or 5.25 apiece;  40% of 17.5% goes to Warren/Sanders, 3.5% apiece:

So this ends up with:

Sanders: 26.5%
Warren: 22%
Buttigieg: 25.75%
Biden 24.75%

Hence, the final order: 
Sanders
Buttigieg
Biden
Warren

Take this to the bank.  If I'm correct, I will predict New Hampshire, else I will end my career in punditry in ignominy and disgrace.

UPDATE: Not too bad a prediction; as of 71% of the vote in it's looking Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren, Biden.  I overestimated the number of second choice voters going to Biden.

2 comments:

Jim Curley said...

Give us NH. You were close enough.

Jim

TS said...

Done!