Iowa important ground for democratic party


Vermont senator Bernie Sanders brought his presidential campaign to Davenport on Dec.14. The senator addressed his supporters on what he calls “the real issues of the American people.” Photo by Ryan Jenkins.

On February 1st, 2016 all the political foreplay of the last two years will finally ease its way toward the frenzied, pre-presidential coitus we have all long been awaiting.
Finally, citizens will get some reprieve from the uncertainty polls and predictions, the Iowa caucuses mark the official beginning, and first concrete vote, of the 2016 presidential nomination race.
Of course, the sheer amount of polls will actually increase, and the predictions will evolve into lengthy assertions and forewarnings. But, by the end of the caucus there will be an indicator of who the nominees for each party will eventually be.
Despite the widespread hype and anxiety from hopefuls in each party, it is the democratic candidates who should view their campaigns in Iowa as ‘sink or swim’ endeavors.
Since 1972, the Iowa caucus has correctly predicted the Democratic nominee nearly every year, with the exception of 1988 and 1992. Conversely, the caucuses have correctly predicted the eventual republican nominee only two times (1996 and 2000).
However, this year’s Democratic candidates are anything but linear.
Hillary Clinton, our champion against sexism, has set her philandering husband loose on the campaign trail amid her own nasty email scandal and public corruption charges.
Bernie Sanders, a politician with 40+ year experience, has campaigned as a political outsider pushing to fix corrupt institutions by administering a dose of ‘democratic socialism’, which would more than likely result in even more institutions, with an equal amount of susceptibility to corruption.
And Martin O’Malley…wait, who is that?
Regardless of my anguish for the inaccuracy of polls, the race between Clinton and Sanders appears to be tightening. Through December Clinton averaged 24.3 points above Sanders, per RealClear Politics. The average gap has been reduced in January to a 13.2 point lead for Clinton.
However, the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics, a generally well-respected poll, has calculated the lead to be a mere 2 points for Clinton, with a margin of error plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
In the coming week, expect a bloodbath to erupt between these two heavyweights, with O’Malley as the ring girl popping in between rounds and stealing some applause.
Generally, I would love increased media attention on these two, and certainly not because I like either of them. Simply because up until this point the majority of attention has been on what the Republican candidates are saying and doing, which includes topics about birthrights, bibles, and that inflatable girdle Chris Christie thinks nobody notices.
Maybe the last one was just me, but the point is there is so few conversations that are actually concerned with the future of our nation.
The traveling circus that is the Republican Party candidates is entertaining, yes, but it is now crunch time. While success in Iowa does not guarantee anything, failure does.
At the conclusion of the caucuses citizens believe they have a better idea of which candidates are electable and which are not. With the over-saturated Republican side it is inevitable that at least one contender is forced to hang up their dancing shoes.
The axing of two or three candidates will hopefully serve as a sober reminder to the remaining that ludicrous, unsupported claims will not hack it in national politics.