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Nine days before Iowa and the top 5 contenders are within 12 points of each other

January 25th, 2020

Chart from Fivethirtyeight.com

A week on Monday we have the very first event in the 2020 White House Race. This is of course the caucases in the midwest state of Iowa which has a reputation of pulling off some surprises and having a big impact on the nomination races overall.

This involves voters doing much much more than turning out at a polling station to cast a vote. At 1600+ events starting at 7:30 in the evening local time Democratic voters attend a meeting in their precinct. Initially there is a headcount of backers each of the contenders and only those that are able to get 15% at each meeting stay in. For those supporters of candidates getting below 15% at their meeting they have to to choose another candidate. This is all within the meeting itself and experience tells us that having a good local organisers at each event is part of the recipe for success.

The chart above from Fivethirty-eight shows weighted average of the recent state polls taking into account each pollsters’ record and approach.

Next weekend we should get the final polls with the one by Anne Seltzer for the Des Moines Register having the strongest reputation for getting this right. I’ll be waiting for that before making my final bets.

Mike Smithson