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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 208)

Here’s Why It’s So Hard To Predict Who Will Win

Westlake Legal Group 5e383baa220000520023e454 Here’s Why It’s So Hard To Predict Who Will Win

Over the weekend, the most closely watched poll of the Iowa caucus was abruptly shelved over concerns about a possible mistake. As Washington Post reporter Mike Madden noted, that’s as good a metaphor as any for the larger state of Iowa caucus polling: rife with uncertainty and a hard-to-quantify potential for error.

Even with one fewer poll than planned, there’s no shortage of data on the race. But rather than providing clear guidance about who’s likely to win, the picture it presents is of a closely fought, volatile race, with former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) narrowly edging their rivals, and considerable possibility for movement. 

Taken in aggregate, the polls suggest that Sanders and Biden are virtually tied in standing, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren well within striking distance. FiveThirtyEight’s average puts Sanders at 22%, Biden at 21%, and both Buttigieg and Warren near 15%. 

Underlying those tight numbers is considerable variation between many of the surveys conducted in the past few weeks. The final New York Times/Siena College poll found Sanders with a 7-point lead over Biden; a Suffolk University/USA Today poll had Biden up about 6 points over Sanders. In between, Monmouth University and CBS/YouGov surveys found the two candidates more or less deadlocked.

Nothing about the polling augurs a clear winner ― which doesn’t make the data useless. Without it, it’d be equally plausible to assume that one of those contenders was on track to a runaway victory. Still, if there’s any point of agreement between pollsters, it’s that this isn’t a simple race to call in advance.

“Caucus electorates are the most difficult to model in polling,” Monmouth University polling director Patrick Murray wrote. “The smartest takeaway from this, or any Iowa poll for that matter, is to be prepared for anything on Monday.” 

“Our data indicate it’s still a very tight race, and we’re prepared for pretty much anything tomorrow night,” CBS’ Kabir Khanna wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

A few reasons why there’s so much uncertainty:

Voters could change their minds. Across polls, a significant percentage of voters say they’re not entirely committed to their first choice of candidate. The Democratic pollster Civiqs, for instance, found that 40% of voters said their minds were less than firmly made up; Suffolk University/USA TODAY polling a week before the caucus saw a majority either undecided or saying they might change their minds. It’s also worth noting that much of the polling on the race wrapped up a few days ago, meaning any significant last-minute swings toward a candidate might not be fully reflected.

The caucusing process is complicated. In a primary, the voting process more or less resembles the process of being polled: voters pick one candidate from a list. Iowa’s Democratic caucus is more complicated, including provisions for voters to realign their support if their first-choice candidate fails to hit 15% of the initial vote.

It’s not clear what the electorate will look like. “It all comes down to turnout” is in the pantheon of election truisms, but it’s especially true of relatively low-turnout events like a caucus. In surveys of Iowa, pollsters’ methods for determining who’s likely to vote appear to make an especially significant difference on the results.

Monmouth University based their topline findings on an electorate that resembles 2008. But the poll also examined several possible turnout scenarios, with the results of even a small swing in turnout ranging from a +6 Biden lead to a +4 Sanders edge. There’s a glaring generational divide between Biden and Sanders supporters, which makes age a crucial demographic to watch: the Biden campaign needs older, habitual voters to dominate the caucuses, while the Sanders campaign is looking for new voters, like college students, to flock to the polls.

The New York Times’ Nate Cohn, who’s written extensively about modeling likely voters in the race, explains how sampling and assumptions about turnout can help explain the variation in polls: Pollsters who pick their respondents based on a history of voting in other races have tended to find results more favorable to Biden. Relying on voters’ self-reported likelihood of showing up to caucus, by contrast, seems to give an advantage to Sanders. It’s an open question whether Iowans’ history of regularly voting in elections or their self-reported enthusiasm for the caucus is a better gauge for who’ll actually show up this time.

The potential for uncertainty and error may be especially heightened by the circumstances of the Iowa caucus, but it’s likely to remain a theme in election polling throughout the year. Following the 2016 general election, when a perfect storm of issues led to a polling miss in key states and left many voters feeling misled, the survey industry has broadly adopted some fixes, like urging pollsters to weight their results on voters’ levels of education. But there’s also been a renewed effort to highlight the fact that polls are, by nature, neither a precision tool nor a guarantee.

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Iowa caucus

Westlake Legal Group social-share-facebook Iowa caucus
The Iowa caucuses are not first because they’re important; they’re important because they’re first for Election 2020. Iowans have been inundated with roughly 2,500 campaign events as Democratic candidates seek to seize the narrative in the nation’s first presidential nomination contest.

Iowa’s complex system of caucuses and delegates was set up, in part, to incentivize candidates to campaign statewide. The number of delegates is capped by precinct, forcing candidates to campaign beyond the state’s most populated counties. Nevertheless, candidates have paid outsized attention to Polk County, which includes Des Moines, and Linn County, which includes Cedar Rapids, because they have the most available delegates.

State Delegate Equivalents (SDEs) in Iowa represent the number of state convention delegates the candidates will receive based on the results of each precinct caucus. SDEs are inflated by 100 at the county level by the Associated Press. Statewide SDE totals include results for satellite caucuses, where voters may caucus outside of geographic precincts.

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Devin Nunes cares more for Trump than his district. Vote for Phil Arballo for Congress

Westlake Legal Group 3GB58mAURVWE1C1vwMLCMUm0ye6ZMgNBJvW6uN-rQBI Devin Nunes cares more for Trump than his district. Vote for Phil Arballo for Congress r/politics

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Halsey Slams Instagram Haters: ‘I’m Not A Real Human Being To You’

Westlake Legal Group 5e3849c2230000fa066ed215 Halsey Slams Instagram Haters: ‘I’m Not A Real Human Being To You’

Halsey has had it with haters and isn’t afraid to tell them so.

On Sunday, the day after the singer confronted a heckler at a pre-Super Bowl concert in Miami, she shared a photo on Instagram showing her being held in the air by fellow performers. 

“She flying,” Halsey wrote in the caption.

But haters quickly flooded the comments with the same taunt the heckler yelled at Halsey in Miami ― “G-Eazy.”

G-Eazy is Halsey’s rapper ex-boyfriend. They split in 2018.

Halsey, whose real name is Ashley Frangipane, hit back at those who left comments on her Instagram post.

“You’re at home on your iPhone and I’m not a real human being to you,” she wrote. “I hope to God you never have to experience an abusive relationship. And if you do, I hope the world is kinder to you than you are to me.”

During her performance on Saturday, a heckler repeatedly yelled “G-Eazy,” according to Billboard. She finally told him: “If you say G-Eazy one more fucking time, I will kick you outside this party. I will kick your fucking ass out this party, test me. Fucking test me.” 

Halsey urged fans in an Instagram story on Sunday to not put up with disrespect “in the name of being ‘nice.’” 

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Planters’ Baby Nut debut in Super Bowl ad divides Twitter

This is nuts.

Just 10 days after Planters announced the sudden death of their 104-year-old mascot Mr. Peanut, the brand resurrected their dapper ambassador in the form of “Baby Nut,” reincarnated in infancy, with a gimmick that has social media commenters thoroughly divided.

During Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Planters’ broadcast a 30-second spoof of the elder Mr. Peanut’s funeral, which included the likes of Mr. Clean and the Kool-Aid Man paying their respects. As the service proceeded, the teary Kool-Aid Man cried onto the grave’s mound of dirt as the clouds parted and a sprout magically grew from the earth.

KANSAS CITY HOSPITAL BABIES DRESSED AS CHIEFS PLAYERS AHEAD OF SUPER BOWL

Then, a baby-sized Mr. Peanut lookalike emerged from the plant’s leaves, complete with the famous mascot’s signature top hat and smile.

“What is that, a baby nut?” a stunned attendee wondered.

Westlake Legal Group baby-Mr.-Peanut22 Planters' Baby Nut debut in Super Bowl ad divides Twitter Janine Puhak fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c889f08b-0f4b-535a-ae2b-8ad6475c3b8e article

Just 10 days after Planters announced the sudden death of their 104-year-old mascot Mr. Peanut, the brand resurrected their dapper ambassador in the form of “Baby Nut,” incarnated in infancy. (Planters)

The Baby Nut cooed and made dolphin noises, revealing that all was well in the legume kingdom, after all.

“Just kidding, I’m back,” the nut announced. “Where’s my monocle?”

“Hello world, I’m happy to be back! I can’t believe everyone came together for little old me!” reps for the newborn peanut later tweeted, adding the hashtag #BabyNut.

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Naturally, Twitter users had a field day with the shocking reveal. Some fans warmly welcomed the birth of Baby Nut, while others were more skeptical of Planters’ stunt, arguing that it was a knockoff of the beloved new Baby Yoda character from Disney’s Star Wars-inspired series “The Mandalorian.”

On Jan. 22, Planters’ reported that their iconic Mr. Peanut mascot had “died” following a car crash.

Though the unexpected passing of the dapper legend certainly got people talking on social media, Planters’ paused the campaign following news of the tragic helicopter crash that killed NBA great Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, on Jan. 26.

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Westlake Legal Group baby-Mr.-Peanut22 Planters' Baby Nut debut in Super Bowl ad divides Twitter Janine Puhak fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c889f08b-0f4b-535a-ae2b-8ad6475c3b8e article   Westlake Legal Group baby-Mr.-Peanut22 Planters' Baby Nut debut in Super Bowl ad divides Twitter Janine Puhak fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c889f08b-0f4b-535a-ae2b-8ad6475c3b8e article

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Chinese teen with cerebral palsy dies after coronavirus quarantines sole caretaker: report

Westlake Legal Group image Chinese teen with cerebral palsy dies after coronavirus quarantines sole caretaker: report

A 17-year-old Chinese teen with cerebral palsy died reportedly after his father and sole caretaker was quarantined amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak that’s killed more than 300 people in China and sickened thousands of others across the world.

The teen, identified as Yan Cheng, was from a rural village in Hubei province, where the epicenter of the outbreak — the Chinese city of Wuhan — is located. Cheng was reportedly found dead at his home last Wednesday, nearly a week after his father was quarantined at a facility roughly 15 miles from their village, The Guardian, citing local media, reported.

CORONAVIRUS MAY TRANSMIT THROUGH DIGESTIVE TRACT, REPORT FINDS

Cheng’s father, whose identity was not immediately clear, was taken to the facility because he had reportedly developed a fever, a common sign of the illness. After he was quarantined, he allegedly took the Chinese social media platform Weibo in a plea for someone in the village to check on his son. Local officials reportedly came to the family’s home, but the 17-year-old was only fed twice over a six-day period, The Guardian reported.

One of the teen’s aunts also reportedly visited him but was not able to reach him in the final days of his life after her own health deteriorated.

CHINA SEES BIRD FLU OUTBREAK NEAR CORONAVIRUS EPICENTER: REPORT  

Two officials were later removed from Hubei province following the teen’s death, Reuters reported.

“The local government was not practical and realistic when carrying out work and failed to perform its duty,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Westlake Legal Group image Chinese teen with cerebral palsy dies after coronavirus quarantines sole caretaker: report   Westlake Legal Group image Chinese teen with cerebral palsy dies after coronavirus quarantines sole caretaker: report

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Trump impeachment trial nears end with closing arguments

Westlake Legal Group image Trump impeachment trial nears end with closing arguments Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4a32ac15-9876-5ddf-aa88-4b0a5a8a12d2

The impeachment trial of President Trump drew closer toward its almost-inevitable conclusion Monday, with Democratic House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team presenting closing arguments on the Senate floor.

Each side is permitted up to two hours to make their final case, as proceedings stretch into another week amid expectations that a largely party-line acquittal awaits the president by Wednesday afternoon.

The final statements come after the GOP-led Senate voted 51-49 last week not to call any additional witnesses to provide testimony, despite House Democrats hoping to hear from individuals such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who said he would comply if he received a subpoena from the Senate.

SCHIFF ON SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: NOTHING DEMS COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY

Republicans cited the Democrat-controlled House’s failure to call Bolton and others, as well as their insistence that they already had enough evidence to support their case.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead House impeachment manager, said on Sunday that he believes the Democrats “proved” their case against Trump and that there was nothing they could have done differently

“Look, there’s nothing that I can see that we could have done differently because, as the senators have already admitted, we proved our case. We proved our case,” Schiff told CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

Schiff on Sunday also denied that it was a “misstep” for the House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs, to drop the subpoenas for a number of current and former high-ranking Trump administration officials. He added that it could have taken years for a court to decide on the Bolton subpoena.

MURKOWSKI APPEARS TO DING WARREN IN STATEMENT ANNOUNCING ‘NO’ VOTE ON IMPEACHMENT WITNESSES

In a statement explaining his decision to vote against calling witnesses, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., acknowledged that the House managers proved their case regarding the factual allegations that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter and that he withheld military aid as leverage, but that this did not warrant impeachment.

“I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” Alexander said.

Alexander said that while Trump acted in a manner that was “inappropriate,” it should be up to American voters to decide his fate in November’s election.

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“The Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate,” he said.

This echoed the argument put forth by attorney Alan Dershowitz, who claimed that the allegations did not constitute an impeachable offense.

A final vote on Trump’s removal will be held on Wednesday, when the president is expected to be acquitted by the Senate’s Republican majority.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Trump impeachment trial nears end with closing arguments Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4a32ac15-9876-5ddf-aa88-4b0a5a8a12d2   Westlake Legal Group image Trump impeachment trial nears end with closing arguments Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4a32ac15-9876-5ddf-aa88-4b0a5a8a12d2

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Pranksters troll 2020 Dems in Iowa with outrageous stunts, making for awkward final moments

Westlake Legal Group elizabeth-warren-prankster-1-AP Pranksters troll 2020 Dems in Iowa with outrageous stunts, making for awkward final moments Tyler Olson fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/andrew-yang fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4c96320f-3585-59ee-81e2-434d07261af9

Two pranksters appear to be trolling the candidates across Iowa in the lead-up to the state’s caucuses Monday night — with antics ranging from mock proposals to presidential contenders to fake playbills handed out at rallies.

“The Good Liars,” a New York City-based comedy duo of Jason Selvig and Davram Stieflier, have created awkward moments for 2020 Democrats looking to make a good last impression on Iowa voters before the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Most recently, they asked former Vice President Joe Biden for some marriage advice at a Saturday rally.

AS JOE BIDEN COMPETES FOR A WIN IN IOWA, ONE GOP SENATOR IS ALREADY TALKING ABOUT IMPEACHING HIM

A person appearing to be Selvig stood up and asked Biden what he should do after his wife left him, prompting Biden to say he would have that conversation after the event. When the prankster insisted on not putting off the conversation, Biden zinged back, “I’m beginning to see why your wife left you.”

“The Good Liars,” also showed up at an Elizabeth Warren rally, where one of the rascals, appearing to be Selvig, got on stage and bent to a knee before asking Warren, “Will you be my candidate for president?”

Warren laughed before responding, “Yes, I will be your candidate for president,” then hugging him and shaking his hand.

The Massachusetts senator then allowed the prankster to say a few words, which she likely regretted.

CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR CLOSING CASES ON THE EVE OF IOWA’S CAUCUSES

“My friend Dale, where’s my friend Dale, there he is. He’s an incel and he just wanted to say his first words to a woman in a long time,” Selvig said.

“Hi Elizabeth,” the man allegedly named Dale — most likely Stieflier — said.

“Hi Dale,” Warren replied. “It’s good to see you and I’m hanging on to the ring … So, I will be your candidate.”

TRUMP CAMPAIGN PRISON REFORM SUPER BOWL AD FEATURES ALICE MARIE JOHNSON

Selvig and Stieflier were also spotted at an Andrew Yang rally, calling him a robot. But the pair doesn’t just take shots at Democrats. They showed up at President Trump’s Jan. 30 rally in Des Moines to hand out fake playbills which featured a mocking outline of how the rally would go.

In “Act 1,” the playbill predicted Trump would say “witchhunt ten times in 2 minutes” and accuse the “media of not reporting size of rally.”

The second act supposedly would feature a segment where “Trump publicly admits to a crime” and a “‘Build the Wall,’ Reprise.”

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Some of “The Good Liars'” previous work includes New York City subway ads from last year advertising the “Law Offices of Crazy Rudy,” a spoof on Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and “Occupy Occupy Wall Street,” a prank in which the pair posed as investment bankers protesting against the anti-business protest movement.

One of their signs read, “We are the 1%.”

Fox News’ Allie Raffa contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group elizabeth-warren-prankster-1-AP Pranksters troll 2020 Dems in Iowa with outrageous stunts, making for awkward final moments Tyler Olson fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/andrew-yang fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4c96320f-3585-59ee-81e2-434d07261af9   Westlake Legal Group elizabeth-warren-prankster-1-AP Pranksters troll 2020 Dems in Iowa with outrageous stunts, making for awkward final moments Tyler Olson fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/andrew-yang fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4c96320f-3585-59ee-81e2-434d07261af9

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Iowa Caucus 2020: What to Watch For and When to Expect Results

  • The Iowa presidential caucuses begin at 8 p.m. Eastern time at more than 1,600 sites across the state. The caucuses vary in length; small gatherings can be over in minutes, larger ones can last up to two hours.

  • The first results are expected at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, with most results in hand by 11 p.m.

  • Seven Democratic candidates are mounting competitive campaigns in Iowa. They are Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusets, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former tech executive Andrew Yang and former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer.

  • There will also be Republican caucuses, which President Trump is expected to win handily.

  • Polls show an exceptionally fluid race among Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg, with Ms. Klobuchar trailing.

  • There are 41 delegates up for grabs, a tiny number considering a candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the party’s presidential nomination. But Iowa is all about political momentum heading into the next contest: the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11.

  • The New York Times will have the latest caucus results, comprehensive visual graphics and live political analysis and news coverage by 13 reporters across Iowa.

Be prepared for Iowa caucus night. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link to our live coverage.

DES MOINES — After more than a year of campaigning, the Democratic presidential primary gets underway Monday night in Iowa — and the race is nearly as muddled as when it began.

With many voters split along ideological and generational lines, and others still undecided because they were not sure who would be their best chance to defeat President Trump, any of the four leading candidates could plausibly win Iowa.

Those four candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg — campaigned across Iowa over the weekend, making their final pitches to voters and, in some cases, reigniting divisions that had surfaced in the party four years ago. Mr. Sanders, considered the one to beat based on recent polling, drew most of the fire.

Much of the uncertainty heading into Monday night stems from the unique nature of Iowa’s caucus system. Attendees can rally behind another candidate on a second ballot if their preferred choice does not claim 15 percent in the initial round.

It is those voters who will play the most pivotal role Monday. Mr. Sanders, for example, might garner the most overall votes on the first ballot, but if one of his rivals could amass enough support from the lesser candidates, he or she could vault past Mr. Sanders on the realignment round.

Westlake Legal Group promo-image-articleLarge-v3 Iowa Caucus 2020: What to Watch For and When to Expect Results Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

How the Iowa Caucuses Work

On Monday, Democrats will make their choice for the Democratic presidential nominees at more than 1,600 precincts across Iowa. Here is how that will play out in one middle school gym.

The key question, then, is where do the backers of Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Steyer and Mr. Yang, who have all been polling below 15 percent, go on that second vote?

But it gets even more complicated. Caucusgoers can also stand as “Uncommitted.” So those most determined fence sitters could emerge as power brokers on the second ballot.

Welcome to Iowa — and hang on.

One of the biggest predictors of who will finish first, second and third will be not just who votes but also how old those voters are.

Age has been one of the biggest divides in the 2020 race, especially between Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders. Young voters have generally swooned for Mr. Sanders and old voters have flocked to Mr. Biden.

The New York Times/Siena College poll last month showed Mr. Sanders, 78, carrying a sizable 40 percent of voters under the age of 30. That was the highest percentage for any candidate for any age group. Support for the Vermont senator declined in each successively older age bracket down to single digits — 9 percent — among those who are 65 or older.

It was the opposite story for Mr. Biden, 77, who captured a 32 percent plurality of those who were 65 or older. His worst group was younger voters under 30. He only carried 10 percent of such voters.

The same split has been present in poll after poll. The Des Moines Register/CNN poll in early January showed Mr. Sanders with 38 percent of voters under 50 — and Mr. Biden with 37 percent of voters over 65.

Typically, older people are more reliable voters. But caucuses are different, as our colleague Nate Cohn recently pointed out, and much of the differences in polls that show different leaders can be traced to different projected models of who will actually turn out on Monday.

Westlake Legal Group democratic-polls-promo-1560481207024-articleLarge-v20 Iowa Caucus 2020: What to Watch For and When to Expect Results Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

There are 11 Democrats running for president. Here’s the latest data to track how the candidates are doing.

The leaders of Iowa’s county Democrats are a group that has long been in search of a candidate to fall in love with. Since 2018, they have harbored suspicions about septuagenarian candidates and have longed for somebody fresh and new.

And now many of them think that Mr. Sanders, aged 78 and a member of Congress for three decades, is going to win the Iowa caucuses.

In conversations this weekend with 24 of 99 county chairs, 14 said they believed Mr. Sanders would place first in Monday night’s caucuses. Six predicted Mr. Biden would win, while four said they still could not say who would win.

“I suspect that Bernie will end up in first place, as the polling indicates,” said Nathan Thompson, the party chairman in Winneshiek County. “It’s consistent with what I’ve seen in northeast Iowa.”

Several acknowledged that their favorite candidate was not likely to win.

Marjie Foster, the Decatur County chairwoman, said she planned to caucus for Ms. Klobuchar but predicted she would finish behind Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg.

Terry Kocher, the Humboldt County chairman, said he expected Mr. Biden to win but was hoping that Mr. Buttigieg, for whom he will caucus, did well.

And Rachel Bly, a co-chairwoman in Poweshiek County east of Des Moines, predicted a split decision, with one candidate taking the most delegates and another winning the most raw votes.

“Sanders has pockets of support, but won’t necessarily carry the rural areas or get delegates in as many places as some of the others,” she said. “He may win the numbers game, but not the delegate game.”

Iowa traditionally winnows the field, extinguishing the hopes of more than one candidate. But with so many Democratic hopefuls dropping out in the lead up to the caucuses, few in the party expect to see more than one contender quit after Monday night. And even that may be overstating it.

With each of the major candidates having already qualified for the debate Friday in New Hampshire, and the state’s primary taking place on the following Tuesday, the challengers will likely want to at least give that state a shot.

So what will be the impact of Iowa? It will reward the winner, giving him or her a shot of momentum and a burst of contributions.

But the bigger impact of the caucuses this year could be who they hurt.

Ms. Klobuchar has been to all of Iowa’s 99 counties and needs a strong showing to continue in the race; Mr. Buttigieg has surged with the state’s heavily white electorate but without a solid performance may not be able to find his footing in more diverse states later this month; Ms. Warren has spent considerable time in the state and also needs liftoff here because of her relatively weak standing in the coming states.

And Mr. Biden will go on if he finishes out of the top two in Iowa but he will have missed his best early opportunity to take command of the race — and may find it hard to find his footing in New England, home to two of his rivals.

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Iowa Caucus 2020: What to Watch For and When to Expect Results

  • The Iowa presidential caucuses begin at 8 p.m. Eastern time at more than 1,600 sites across the state. The caucuses vary in length; small gatherings can be over in minutes, larger ones can last up to two hours.

  • The first results are expected at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, with most results in hand by 11 p.m.

  • Seven Democratic candidates are mounting competitive campaigns in Iowa. They are Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusets, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former tech executive Andrew Yang and former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer.

  • There will also be Republican caucuses, which President Trump is expected to win handily.

  • Polls show an exceptionally fluid race among Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg, with Ms. Klobuchar trailing.

  • There are 41 delegates up for grabs, a tiny number considering a candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the party’s presidential nomination. But Iowa is all about political momentum heading into the next contest: the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11.

  • The New York Times will have the latest caucus results, comprehensive visual graphics and live political analysis and news coverage by 13 reporters across Iowa.

Be prepared for Iowa caucus night. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link to our live coverage.

DES MOINES — After more than a year of campaigning, the Democratic presidential primary gets underway Monday night in Iowa — and the race is nearly as muddled as when it began.

With many voters split along ideological and generational lines, and others still undecided because they were not sure who would be their best chance to defeat President Trump, any of the four leading candidates could plausibly win Iowa.

Those four candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg — campaigned across Iowa over the weekend, making their final pitches to voters and, in some cases, reigniting divisions that had surfaced in the party four years ago. Mr. Sanders, considered the one to beat based on recent polling, drew most of the fire.

Much of the uncertainty heading into Monday night stems from the unique nature of Iowa’s caucus system. Attendees can rally behind another candidate on a second ballot if their preferred choice does not claim 15 percent in the initial round.

It is those voters who will play the most pivotal role Monday. Mr. Sanders, for example, might garner the most overall votes on the first ballot, but if one of his rivals could amass enough support from the lesser candidates, he or she could vault past Mr. Sanders on the realignment round.

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The key question, then, is where do the backers of Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Steyer and Mr. Yang, who have all been polling below 15 percent, go on that second vote?

But it gets even more complicated. Caucusgoers can also stand as “Uncommitted.” So those most determined fence sitters could emerge as power brokers on the second ballot.

Welcome to Iowa — and hang on.

One of the biggest predictors of who will finish first, second and third will be not just who votes but also how old those voters are.

Age has been one of the biggest divides in the 2020 race, especially between Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders. Young voters have generally swooned for Mr. Sanders and old voters have flocked to Mr. Biden.

The New York Times/Siena College poll last month showed Mr. Sanders, 78, carrying a sizable 40 percent of voters under the age of 30. That was the highest percentage for any candidate for any age group. Support for the Vermont senator declined in each successively older age bracket down to single digits — 9 percent — among those who are 65 or older.

It was the opposite story for Mr. Biden, 77, who captured a 32 percent plurality of those who were 65 or older. His worst group was younger voters under 30. He only carried 10 percent of such voters.

The same split has been present in poll after poll. The Des Moines Register/CNN poll in early January showed Mr. Sanders with 38 percent of voters under 50 — and Mr. Biden with 37 percent of voters over 65.

Typically, older people are more reliable voters. But caucuses are different, as our colleague Nate Cohn recently pointed out, and much of the differences in polls that show different leaders can be traced to different projected models of who will actually turn out on Monday.

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The leaders of Iowa’s county Democrats are a group that has long been in search of a candidate to fall in love with. Since 2018, they have harbored suspicions about septuagenarian candidates and have longed for somebody fresh and new.

And now many of them think that Mr. Sanders, aged 78 and a member of Congress for three decades, is going to win the Iowa caucuses.

In conversations this weekend with 24 of 99 county chairs, 14 said they believed Mr. Sanders would place first in Monday night’s caucuses. Six predicted Mr. Biden would win, while four said they still could not say who would win.

“I suspect that Bernie will end up in first place, as the polling indicates,” said Nathan Thompson, the party chairman in Winneshiek County. “It’s consistent with what I’ve seen in northeast Iowa.”

Several acknowledged that their favorite candidate was not likely to win.

Marjie Foster, the Decatur County chairwoman, said she planned to caucus for Ms. Klobuchar but predicted she would finish behind Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg.

Terry Kocher, the Humboldt County chairman, said he expected Mr. Biden to win but was hoping that Mr. Buttigieg, for whom he will caucus, did well.

And Rachel Bly, a co-chairwoman in Poweshiek County east of Des Moines, predicted a split decision, with one candidate taking the most delegates and another winning the most raw votes.

“Sanders has pockets of support, but won’t necessarily carry the rural areas or get delegates in as many places as some of the others,” she said. “He may win the numbers game, but not the delegate game.”

Iowa traditionally winnows the field, extinguishing the hopes of more than one candidate. But with so many Democratic hopefuls dropping out in the lead up to the caucuses, few in the party expect to see more than one contender quit after Monday night. And even that may be overstating it.

With each of the major candidates having already qualified for the debate Friday in New Hampshire, and the state’s primary taking place on the following Tuesday, the challengers will likely want to at least give that state a shot.

So what will be the impact of Iowa? It will reward the winner, giving him or her a shot of momentum and a burst of contributions.

But the bigger impact of the caucuses this year could be who they hurt.

Ms. Klobuchar has been to all of Iowa’s 99 counties and needs a strong showing to continue in the race; Mr. Buttigieg has surged with the state’s heavily white electorate but without a solid performance may not be able to find his footing in more diverse states later this month; Ms. Warren has spent considerable time in the state and also needs liftoff here because of her relatively weak standing in the coming states.

And Mr. Biden will go on if he finishes out of the top two in Iowa but he will have missed his best early opportunity to take command of the race — and may find it hard to find his footing in New England, home to two of his rivals.

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