Political Pearls

A Good Night, Not Great Night for Sanders

Let me be clear, I am still undecided on which candidate I am supporting in the Democratic Primary. Mostly because I do not want to accept that The Obamas are leaving the White House. However, by the time the Maryland primary rolls around I will be ready…I hope.

As for last night, Senator Sanders had a good showing, but I didn’t see any true political revolution as he claimed. This is based on the numbers. When you take the emotions and media hype out of the discussion, you will see Senator Sanders didn’t have a great night. Many have quoted how he made terrific gains because he closed the 30 point lead Secretary Clinton had in 2015. Equally, supporters and political pundits alike point to the large crowds attending his events indicating he has the enthusiasm, the momentum. While closing of the gap and large crowds are true, it didn’t translate into a solid victory for Sanders.

Last night, approximately 171,100 voted in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. During the Obama/Clinton (and others) campaign, 239,000 participated. This was an overwhelming increase from the 124,000 that participated in 2004. Because of this increase Obama handed Clinton a significant loss. Obama won 38% of the delegates and Clinton came in third, with 29.5, behind John Edwards. Yes, Clinton came in third but more importantly, Obama’s fierce ground game in Iowa brought thousands of new caucus goers to the game and that delivered him a solid victory. Let’s not forget, prior to that, according to the polls Clinton was leading Obama anywhere between 20 to 30 points depending on the day and the poll. While Clinton went on to win the next primary, New Hampshire, the Iowa win was definitely the wind that sent Obama to victory.

Sanders needed to repeat and exceed what Obama did in order to have an amazing upset and he did not. What the numbers show from last night’s caucus is the Sanders campaign, just like the Trump campaign, has a serious problem converting crowd size to voters. Those that support Sanders’ policy platform and believe in his ideas must do more than #FeelTheBern they must #VOTEforBern. #politicalpearls

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