Will Someone Break Out of Iowa Who Can Trounce Trump? Anyone?

The Hawkeye State gets a lot of flak for its first-in-the-nation caucuses, but its conception of democracy has staying power.

Comments: 254

  1. Biden and Bloomberg can defeat Trump. The Southern states have a dismal track record on women's rights, African-American rights and gay rights. They are petrified of the word socialism. Unfortunately with the American Electoral College being one of the most undemocratic institutions in the world, they are the ones choosing the President many times.

  2. @GB Not exactly. There are deep red states, as in the South, and deep blue states, as in California and New York. The Electoral College votes in these places are fixed for the foreseeable future. That being a given, it’s clear that the presidency will be decided by the purple states, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

  3. @GB Joe Biden can't defeat Donald Trump. Biden was listless, exhausted and inarticulate long before Trump decided to "criminalize" Joe and Hunter Biden. Trump will eat Biden alive. Iowa better move on to a better candidate because if Biden is the nominee, we're doomed. Bloomberg may be our last hope.

  4. @GB Biden cannot beat trump! Hillary was a stronger candidate. Blessington bumble every sentence and lose it with voters.

  5. ~"Trounce" ?~ The dictionary definition: "defeat heavily in a contest" In the last election of 2016, the combined total of votes for candidates other than trump was 11,000,000 more than votes for trump. He got trounced but "won" just the same. I, for one, will be satisfied with a Democratic Electoral Victory.

  6. @Allen82 Trump won the contest, although nobody got “trounced” in the process. However, and in answer to the headline, all I have to say at this point is “doubtful.”

  7. @Allen82 Clinton won twice without every breaking 50%.

  8. @david We should not have a President who gets less that 50% of votes.

  9. Gotta say, here in NC we're seeing a lot of Mike Bloomberg's ads, and they are good - concise, focused, professional. I will not be surprised to see him surge on Super Tuesday, when he will first be on ballots. I have to believe that he could really take it to the incumbent, and I am sure he's in Trump's head, his worst nightmare. Kinda gets me excited just writing about it.

  10. @Michael if you could be so easily brought by adverts it is a sad indictment of the American electorate as well as American politics, and Bernie Sanders or in a way Elizabeth Warren are the only ones to address the issue of billionaire's buying elections. But only Bernie Sanders has a mass movement of people behind him, which will be necessary both to trounce Trump and exert pressure on the government to enact the will of the people.

  11. Michael in NC, we also have Bloomberg ads playing here, each with concise messages about where he stands on issues like climate change (think preserving the Everglades and cat 5 hurricanes); gun safety (think Parkland high school and Pulse night club) then concludes with the fact he can beat #45. All 3 of those are why he'll get my vote.

  12. How is it that Bloomberg would appear first on the NC Dem primary ballot? Does that slot go to whoever forks over the most $$ for TV ads? Alphabetically both Bennet and Biden would precede him. I for one will have no trouble skimming way down the ballot to vote for Warren.

  13. Iowa is one of two big rituals I have been watching since I was a teenager many moons ago. There is Iowa and then New Hampshire and historically whoever masters the retail politics of these two states becomes the presidential nominee of either major political party. But the primary system is changing. We now have Super Tuesday exactly one month after the Iowa Caucuses. Essentially, with 40 percent of the delegates or thereabouts, that multi-state primary that includes both Texas and California will decide who the nominee is. If it doesn't, we might have brokered. We also have a big primary day on March 17, and I think the last big one is the first week in April. It is virtually all done in two months. At that point a winning nominee will be declared or unlikely but still possible this year, the nomination will go to the floor of the convention in July. And that is it. The first week in April is seven months from the actual federal election that will decide the fate our democracy. The Democrats need to mobilize like never before to make sure they win. If they don't, four more years of what we have just experienced. Sounds inviting?

  14. Of course someone will break break out of Iowa who can trounce trump: Bernie Sanders. And the 'Times won't like it a bit and will do everything in its editorial power to block or diminish Senator Sanders. But just like last time, America still needs and hungers for change and the one real change agent in the pack is Senator Sanders. And then, two weeks later in New Hampshire, we will endorse him as well. And with just a little luck, he'll go on to unseat Trump and transform America back to a country for the 99% rather the the 1%.

  15. @Butterfly > Not Bernie Sanders. > No Bernie Bros will rush to save us Ahh, the opponent's favorite trope! The curious thing about that allegation is that if you look at who the "Bernie Bros" are, they are everyone. Here in New Hampshire, it wouldn't be surprising to find that the majority of the "Bernie Bros" are women. And while some of them are indeed grumpy old men like me, even more of them are the young. We don't have many racial minorities in the Granite State, but nationwide, many of the "Bernie Bros" are Latino/Latina, African-American, and other minorities. I'm sorry Bernie doesn't please you. But as our President, he will still working for your benefit.

  16. @Atlant Schmidt Well then you can keep Bernie darling in NH. Where he belongs. He can't beat Trump. Bloomberg could. But then as a lifelong resident of NYC I know what he can do. With the distinct advantage of not hollerin' to do the hard work. Bernie is like the old man sitting in his porch rocking chair yelling at kids to get off his lawn. Bloomberg is an adult. He's focussing on the same healthcare and climate problems. But he actually has practical solutions. That's the difference.

  17. I know Bernie's ideas. what I don't know is what ideas he has been able to pass while in congress. also, I haven't heard how he plans to handle abortion if all healthcare is publically funded.

  18. Alas, Gail Collins, which Democratic candidate for our presidency can trump Trump in November? We are reeling today from the incipient and apparent victory of the Republicans in Donald Trump's Senate Impeachment Trial. Bright side gut check: maybe someone will rise from The Hawkeye State on Monday to rally America forward into a new new Democracy!

  19. @Nan Socolow "We are reeling today from the incipeint and apparent victory of the Republicans in Donald Trump's Senate Impeachment Trial." Really? Where have you been? As a Democrat I knew since the beginning of the House Impeachment proceedings that trump would NEVER be found guilty. I also believe he will win reelection no matter who the Democrats eventually decide to nominate.

  20. MB for president. No other democrat can beat trump. K, maybe but no one else. Sad state of affairs for Democrats, especially now. I never liked Sanders and that opinion has not changed. Will i vote for him? I am not sure. The down line for sure.

  21. @Robert Black Okay, who is MB? Michael Bennet or Mike Bloomberg?

  22. "And whatever you think of Sanders, it’s hard to imagine that a politician who cared only about his image would decide to become a cranky-looking white-haired guy who shouts a lot." Is this code for "pushy"? Really, people need to be a little more self-conscious about physical characterizations. The endless references to Bernie's volume, gestures, appearance are starting to make me a little queasy.

  23. @Jim Holstun Such references reflect anti-Semitism, ageism and the terrified desperation of corrupt corporate centrists. Fortunately the vast majority, as illustrated by the broad multi-ethnic, multi-racial working class movement behind Sanders show that these views are not widely held.

  24. "The endless references to Bernie's volume, gestures, appearance" On the other hand, time one spends commenting on his appearance is time they don't on yet another woman's. Clouds and linings...

  25. They will get worse.

  26. Iowa caucus results are overplayed for their impact. Yes it is the first data point on how voters perceive candidates. Remember though, this is a time consuming (vs go to the voting booth and pull the lever) exercise on a typically cold February night. It is also a process in which voters are buttonholed by others to shift allegiances. It has little resemblance of an actual election. There should be a more sober assessment of what the results mean. Separately, but related, a Bernie Sanders presidency will be as strident and divisive as the current one. He won't be Trump, but there is almost 0 chance that he will be able to heal the divides in the country. It's that divide that most urgently needs to be repaired,

  27. @HPower how can we heal when we have radically different objectives? There is no point in papering over my differences with the insurance exec down the road who wants me to die to ensure his profits, or the evangelical down the other road who wants to outlaw abortion for my friends and family. Let’s finally have it out, honestly.

  28. @M You can't be suggesting that this is a pure power struggle between groups, a kind of lowest common denominator clash, where winning is all that matters. That would sound very much like the current president and his minions. If so, I'd refer you to David Brooks' column today.

  29. @HPower Of course it’s all that matters! One side endangers the health and welfare of the others in exchange for greed and must be stopped at any cost. Brooks is one of them, so I can’t imagine caring what he has to say this week in his latest effort to try and forestall the many rising against the elite.

  30. It is sobering to consider that the problem may be more with the electorate than the candidates: that and the laws related to elections. My fear is that if it all goes bad again that we'll see more of the best leave the country in disgust leaving a still more concentrated problem.

  31. Biden produces no energy in the voter. Democratic leadership and big money want Biden. Biden will probably lose. Sanders and Warren fire up the voters. Warren hurt herself my saying no one can keep their healthcare if they like it and even bringing up the statement that a women cannot be elected president. Sanders is the winner by default. He is too old. Warren is the best candidate to lead the U.S. into the future. She can win with a few corrections of self induced errors.

  32. Why is there only the media class who fail to recognise the electability of Bernie Sanders? Actually, I think they're lying because if they didn't recognise his electability they wouldn't be doing everything they could to try and bring him down. Luckily it's the people who will decide, including unfortunately those who still trust what they read in the papers to be true. I don't think there's ever been such a a big ground game in American history as that supporting Bernie Sanders so we'll see what happens. Stay tuned! (Or not!)

  33. @Aaron I'd prefer to see a National Primary Day using Ranked Choice Voting. The Convention date should be moved much closer to November, and the Primaries a couple weeks before the Convention.

  34. @Aaron A lot of effort has gone into trying to define the term "electability". Whatever does it mean? How electable - realistically - is a 78-year old recent heart-attack survivor who might well not see out half of his first term? Warren might be less popular than Sanders, but is 95% on the same page as him in terms of policy proposals, is more articulate when presenting them, is quite a bit younger, and is almost as energetic but without the constant borderline aneurism-inducing rage.

  35. @Paul OUr doctors actually fix diseased hearts. People live for decades after a repair. So that's not a serious issue. His heart attack and its subsequent repair have significantly improved his longevity and quality of life. Ask someone who's had a stent put in or a bypass.

  36. Aside from the demographics that are less like the nation's and more like the GOP's convention, the other problem with Iowa is the entire caucus system. Who aside from "activists" wants to spend hours and hours debating personal views with neighbors? If a GOP Governor forced voters to wait this long to vote, Democrats would rightly decry this as voter suppression. Look at the 2016 Washington State caucus. Bernie won by 46 percentage points! But in the simpler non-binding vote (which had 3 times more participants than the caucus), Hillary won by 6 percentage points. The caucus system is great for die hards, but it does not reflect popular will.

  37. @Upstate Albert : The caucus system’s other problem is that it is very difficult for many registered voters to attend. Folks working two jobs, mothers with young children, disabled folks - all face significant barriers to participation. Perhaps Iowa should consider something with less spectacle and more practicality? Say, ranked voting?

  38. I agree that Iowa deserves to be first - in a tie with ALL the other states.

  39. Any candidate can beat Trump, who is going to break out? The candidate who can beat trump is the candidate who can ignore the slander to come, being teflon and create the Trump back lash that will get people to the polls. This is a motivation election if there ever was one. And the stakes are high, saving our country or burying our country. Rest In Peace.

  40. @Allen82, well said. If you don’t carry the electoral votes, you lose. We have a representative government which people tend to forget. Electoral votes and representation in The House are both based on the census. You cannot accept one and deny the other because it doesn’t fit your needs!

  41. Now that we know that Iowa still has Jim Crow voting laws which disproportionately affect blacks , The DNC should bump Iowav from its coveted first in the nation status and give it to a state with some diversity and fairness. I spent a good part of my life in a caucus state, Texas, seeing very few candidates. The change to presidential primary was a big improvement, especially with early voting. It gave more voters a voice.

  42. This a farce. There are no such laws and your accusations that there are, are promoting victim hood. If voting is important to you you’ll find away.

  43. The broadcast media frenzy over Iowa and and New Hampshire is a cynical and disingenuous media attempt to raise ratings and boost revenue. Only a total of 65 delegate votes are at stake. On Super Tuesday, March third, around 1340 delegates, are up for grabs,including the states of Texas (228) California (416),and Virginia (99). When you add the fact that both states are demographic anomalys, all the attendent type is simply misplaced.The Democratic party should alter its primary schedule to more accurately reflect the national demographics.

  44. @Don Shipp. You castigate the media for its “frenzy” but then blame Iowa. What’s that about?

  45. There's a strong case to be made for a return to the proverbial "smoke-filled room!" Kidding, but not completely ...

  46. Already done during the last election- hence, HRC and therefore, Trump

  47. The polls show someone doing just that, someone who can trounce Trump. That is Bernie Sanders but corporate opinion writers seem unable to see or acknowledge that.

  48. @Al M Nikita Khrushchev could beat Putin. I still wouldn't vote for him.

  49. @Al M. I, for one think the NYT should curtail its Rep, or Rep-like leanings.

  50. I'm sure that I had zero comprehension of what it means to be 70 years old when I was 30. It's clearer to me at 70. And I hate to sound like an anti-Bernie troll, but I think the 5 year survival rate of 78 year old white male heart attack patients, is not going to be a comforting number. I would very much like to have a candidate who will not be over 80 years old in a second term, or for a re-election campaign. it's not ageism, it's just reality.

  51. @Lon Newman well, at least you found the one criticism of Bernie that is actually true: he's old. And that is agism.

  52. @Lon Newman, I would vote for any Dem candidate even if he/she was already expired.

  53. @Lon Newman You are going to be stuck with a fossil in spite of your age-prejudice. Biden (already drooling and spouting nonsense on the podium is Bernie's age. Warren is over 70. Trump is in his 70''s. Ditto Bloomberg. And there is the spectacle of Pelosi pulling the puppet strings as she nears 80. God help us, Hillary (waiting for the call) is in her 70's too.

  54. My problem with the Iowa caucuses is that they are caucuses designed to collect the preferences of the rabid party faithful. They may work where there is a rigid two-party system but here in Maine almost 40% of eligible voters are "unenrolled", that is, not affiliated with any party; Independents, if you will. Massachusetts has a semi-open primary; only those registered as Dems AND those "unenrolled" in any party can for in the Democratic primary. (Same goes for the Republicans.) It's not worth moving to Massachusetts but it seems like a good system.

  55. None of the Democrat’s socialists will beat Trump at this point. People are wallet voters and the economy is quite strong. Moreover, the Republican base is very, very motivated this year. Democrats have squandered the modest advances they made in 2018.

  56. @Once From Rome What is your opinion based on? Bernie has been coming in 1st or 2nd place (and always winning) in head to head debates vs Trump the past year. Of the 23 states Bernie won in 2016 most were rust belt states that flipped to Trump in the GE. He might have the single BEST shot to beat Trump

  57. Unpopular on here for sure, but if Bernie wins Iowa and goes on to grab the Democratic nomination, then not voting will become a real (and real painful) consideration for me. Never thought I'd be in that position...

  58. @John S. Can you explain why? I feel the same way except replace Bernie with Biden/Klobuchar/Buttigieg - but I don't fool myself that not voting is an option even if I despise the centrists.

  59. A better hope for Iowa would be that nobody wins and the nomination comes down to a brokered convention where people have to cooperate. At the moment, Dem candidates are doing more harm to themselves than they are to Trump. An even better hope would be that we change this process entirely. To be this fixated for over a year on the election is warped and clearly hasn't done much for the creation of a rational platform. Lincoln is a good example. He took his opponents into his cabinet. His presidency, given the odds it faced, was the best we've ever had and many of his opponents became his biggest fans. The ones who weren't converted got out of politics.

  60. Iowa is an anachronism-in 2020 one of the whitest, most rural states should not go first in nominating a Democratic candidate.Super Tuesday, a month later, will give a much better idea of electability.Iowa is a distraction and I hope people do not spend all their time focusing on the results-whoever emerges from this Byzantine process will tell us only one thing-the candidate who can win in a white, more rural state!

  61. Did anybody think that Trump was electable at this time in 2016? Although Trump is going to be acquitted and not removed from office the Democrats have looked pretty shady and out of whack. Trump's "supporters" in the GOP follow up support with caveats about Trump's clownish corrupt behavior. So Sanders' could win. Once in the general election campaign Sanders fully realizes he will walk back towards the middle. But he can stretch the boundaries.

  62. I vote for Ranked-Choice Voting. We need a system that lets all voters select their first and second choices. It is similar to the caucuses without the shouting and arguments and gives a voice to those who need to work on a Monday night in Iowa. The current system allows places like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Michigan to end up in Trumps hands. If we had ranked-choice voting, I am sure that of the over 500,000 Green and Independent voters in those states, the majority would have preferred Clinton over Trump. A reminder that only 77,700 votes for Trump spread over those three states gave Trump the electoral college victory. EVERY vote will count in November. Vote BLUE, period. Now Trump is cutting Medicare. And Trump brought us children in cages, tax cuts for the wealthiest, trillion dollar deficits, and conservative Supreme Court justices. Thank you to Green Party and Independent voters in 2016 who enabled Trump, who brought the worst environmental law changes in decades.

  63. You make your point in your final paragraph: Dems take Blue states for granted, and write off Red states. Then they run around wondering why the sky is falling. Perhaps if they could agree on a better way to organize primaries and be consistent with their values ('we are against Citizens United unless a billionaire is willing to buy our nomination or hold secret wine-cellar fundraisers) they might cease squandering energies and resources and actually mount a meaningful and successful opposition.

  64. So, glad to have you in charge, Iowa. If some smallish, rather homogeneous state had to be given the privilege of starting the Democratic presidential selection process every single time, you seem like an excellent choice.“ I rarely disagree with Gail Collins but Iowa is smallish, almost all-white and favors through its caucus system, only the most dedicated party stalwarts and not the average American voter. Because of its placement on the calendar, it distorts the nominating process. Fortunately, the gap of time is narrowing between primaries. Other states with voter polling and a better representation of American demographics will be coming soon.

  65. @JT FLORIDA Look up US demographics. The US is still around 75% white. While Im sure that number may tick down a little after the latest census, whites still make up an overwhelming majority. So complaining that the first state to vote is too white, and doesnt represent America is a bit wrong.

  66. One of the Middle Democrats might be a drawcard to those in the center who voted Republican. Constructive and fair criticism of Trump may benefit. He was not brash but selfishly truthful. He was with great respect to differences and foreignness highly parochial. He was not strange in private affairs but a realist who had secrets that should not have interested us except one family member. He was not without rationality but often did not handle well, such as in his public relations, great guidance. He was a great man, and ought to leave to a greater person the US office that’s an oval shape.

  67. @M. C. Major If not selfishly truthful, he could have been but provocative as a challenger, somewhat a brash spokesman (speaking for ones who wished for a Republican CEO), and a some way awesome one who did really care for himself and, somewhat, every other, as well.

  68. @M. C. Major I know this is all nonsense. Trump makes it difficult to love. I struggle and feel just a lot of hatefulness towards him.

  69. @M. C. Major If not selfishly truthful, he could have been but provocative as a challenger, somewhat a brash spokesman for ones who voted in a Republican CEO, and could be unselfishly super (as a person)!

  70. The whole Iowa caucus is bad for democracy, but it makes great TV, especially on Fox PsuedoNews. It is good for Trumpist advertising/innuendos (or worse), especially on Facebook, where one ad will be sent to targeted accounts for free. There is nothing better than free advertising. However, I seem to recall Ms. Collins rolling her eyes at Hillary Clinton four years ago, sighing loudly and other "I'm superior to you" messages that helped elect Trump. These negative messages stick. It's like the whole Biden "thing". If a reporter actually looked at other Senators (Lamar? Barraco? Susan Collins?) they might find at least some who have family members directly benefiting from their elected relatives. Hunter is chump change. It takes guts to report that story. A reporter might explain how an adult might actually not agree with a parent, and become an artist rather than a cardiologist. Their are two issues in this election: who will be the best against Trump, and will this election be fair? Iowa no longer represents the United States. It will make Dems stay home. It does have two Senators, and I would like to hear about how the Dems plan to win and hold onto those seats. Apparently, according to President McConnell, that is where the action is.

  71. I live in one of those places that never see a candidate, NYC. Yes its true that myself, the city and the State will back whoever runs against trump however I would love to have a say in who that is. I don't think Bernie or warren could beat trump or be effective presidents. Not because of their age or sex but what comes out of their mouth. I really wonder in Biden can beat trump or be an effective president because of his baggage. I believe Amy Klobuchar would work out very well, could beat trump and be a effective president. That said I dough I will every have the pleasure to vote for her because of our system.

  72. @Thomas Renner "...never see a candidate?" Ask a friend to allow you to watch his TV for a while. " I would love to have a say...?" Try voting in the primary. Overall, however, I suspect you mean you would like to have the determining say in the matter, and that's very modern and very American... and increasingly, it is the curse of liberal democracy. And BTW, another way of voting is with $$$.

  73. "Then it’s time for the final election, when we can get back to complaining that nobody visits us..." Not me! Nobody comes to true-blue Connecticut and I think that is fine with most of us. We get only local campaign junk stuffed into our snail mail and email inboxes and very few dinner time phone calls. (Independents get most of it but they asked for it by registering independent.) So bask in the warmth of your fifteen minutes of ethanol-fueled fame, Iowa. We don't envy you here in the Nutmeg State.

  74. I think after the results of the farce trial is out Gumby should be able to beat Trump in November.If the Dems can't run away with this they should pack it in. My gut is people hate to be made to feel like fools and this one takes the cake.Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war. Bolton's blood must be boiling after Trump's minions called him a liar. No matter what side of the aisle you are on nobody likes to be played. I think The Republicans just guaranteed a similar turnout to 2008 in the general election.The gang Trump is leading needs to be taken down and this I think is going to ignite a firestorm to clean house.Question to the Senate Republicans? Don't you think any journalist worth their salt isn't going to put the full court press on getting Bolton's secrets out? Bolton's book is on a level of the Pentagon Papers.

  75. I think we Dems should all take a pledge that no matter who our candidate turns out to be, we will all do everything we can do get the person elected in November. If we had all done that in 2016, Trump would not be president. T

  76. and, the DNC needs to remember that one-third of the electorate is independent

  77. Most of us did. Stop perpetuating this myth.

  78. Trump's upcoming acquittal will mark the end of the idea that Congress is a co-equal branch of government. One wonders if the voters will take this new removal of restraint on the presidency into consideration when they cast their votes.

  79. No one breaks out the entire primary season. It is going to be a brokered convention and, everyone should already know it. Hillary Clinton knows it. She will be one of the names in the Hat the Nominee comes out of when the Insiders choose one. Write all the articles you want pretending otherwise.

  80. What in the world are you talking about, Greg P ? Obama 'broke out' during primary season. Trump 'broke out' during primary season. Bernie's breaking out right now. Not everyone will Feel The Bern, but many are and many more will. Hillary had her chances, and she forgot to campaign hard. Bernie will not make that mistake against Impeached Individual #1 as he fights for the people instead of the right-wing oligarchs that have wrecked this country.

  81. @Socrates Obama, like Bill Clinton broke out when they gave the keynote speech at the conventions prior to their election. Both of them were moderates who inspired people. Bernie spent the last primary season destroying the democratic party. It's not a surprise that the Democrats had a landslide election in 2018 when Bernie was on the sidelines.

  82. @Socrates I am sure Sanders is Trump's dream candidate - because Sanders will be much easier to beat than Biden or Bloom. Bloom is the scariest for Trump. Go Bloom!

  83. The "Surge for Sanders" among the below-30 year old's is easy to explain. They don't have the frame of reference necessary to assess the implementability of the Socialist Senator's ideas. As soon as people have life experience, especially unpleasant life experience, e.g. of how intransigent, molasses-slow and unimaginative government institutions can be and often are, they tend to look at great sounding ideas with a lot more skepticism. And when they've been sitting around the kitchen table the 20th wondering how to stretch the remaining dollars to the end of the month, they tend to become very fidgety when someone proposes free money, because they know there is no such thing. The Democrats have but one task. To nominate someone who can kick the snot out of Trump. This is NOT about what X or Y will do after Trump is beaten, this is about beating Trump. Or about licking your wounds and suffering through (at least) four more years...

  84. @Rudy Flameng Some of us who support Sanders are older with a broad frame of reference. Many of us remember FDR once a month as we get our inadequate lifeline of Social Security. We remember what a progressive New Deal president achieved and how vital a return to that is, especially given the broken, corrupt state of affairs which exist today. Tthere is reason to see the next year as one of desperate struggle with the real possibility of progress in spite of what corporate media shills tell us. Can we roll back the monstrosity of corrupt fascist reaction, even against the odds? We must!

  85. @Rudy Flameng "Don't have the frame of reference" >didn't get brainwashed by the red scare

  86. @Al M Vote BLUE no matter who! RBG is not getting any younger. The Supreme Court alone, once shifted to the right, could cause a generation of horrific decisions.

  87. Iowa is the first inning of what could be a long game. Still time for candidates to push their ideas to voters in other states. Time to discuss health care - whether we want a government run system or to update and improve the Affordable Care Act. Time to discuss climate change, a carbon tax and the saving of the environment for future generations. Time to discuss affordable education. Time to discuss a fair tax system to replace one that favors the ultra-rich and corporations.

  88. The Iowa Caucus is the Groundhog Day of politics. A ridiculous, outdated February event held in rural America that garners disproportionate attention as a predictor. (After which we all promptly go back to not caring what groundhogs or Iowans think about anything.) We need to have 1 primary day, with ranked choice voting.

  89. @Matt do you think New Hampshire is any better? If anything, NH is an even smaller state that has even more influence than Iowa...

  90. @Richard Ralph No, I don't think NH is better. Hence, "We need to have 1 primary day, with ranked choice voting."

  91. @Richard Ralph No, I don't think NH is much better. Hence, "We need to have 1 primary day, with ranked choice voting." Although the process of a caucus is way more time consuming and unnecessarily complicated than simply voting.

  92. Ms. Collins doesn’t care to mention, in basically stating the case for Iowa to go first, that the stare is basically lily-white?

  93. "Memo to Iowans: don't worry about Social Security. No Democrats going to touch it." Worry about Social Security! Vladimir Putin is going to slash Social Security during Trump's second term.

  94. No one will be trouncing Trump. If anything he will be, once again, making a mockery of all those who claimed we wouldn't survive his presidency. We've not only survived but thrived economically. The NYT continues to encourage its readers to think unrealistically.

  95. Who can trounce Trump? That comes down to PA, MI, WI, AZ, OH, FL, IA and NC, with the absolute emphasis on PA, MI and WI. Given the candidates still in the race, it's Biden. Another candidate who looked particularly promising but dropped out was Steve Bullock. What about a Biden-Bullock ticket? I'd also go for Biden-Klobuchar or Biden-Warren.

  96. 94 y/o and attending FIRST caucus? Doesn't sound so serious to me.

  97. America has got to find a better way of growing presidential candidates. A last minute tussle where they tear each other apart and appeal to different factions produces a divided party and exposes weaknesses for the opposition. Parties need to thrash out policy and groom candidates so that the American public can have confidence in them. This affects both main parties. As much as readers of the NY Times want a radical candidate, the election will be decided by voters in middle America. The first objective should be ensuring that a vile, intemperate and impulsive person is not re-elected. The first question should be, "Who and what Democrat policies appeal to Middle America? As British experience should teach Democrats, having a hard-left person with ambitious, hard-left policies, while appealing to young idealists and dyed-in-the-wool lefties, results in defeat.

  98. I will vote blue no matter who all the way through. Republicans won’t do anything for average Americans and if they win the senate or the whitehouse they will destroy social security and Medicare as we know it. That is your binary choice.

  99. Of course there are viable candidates in the Democratic field: Warren, Biden, Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar, Buttigieg. But if the "liberal" media continues to amplify their differences into reality show hysterics, if the "liberal" media continues to magnify every misstep, every suspicion in their pasts, every "minority" voter who won't vote for them, then the "liberal" media will get their money-maker: 4+ more years of sensationalism, racism, autocracy, overt corruption, misogyny, kleptocracy. The current stain in our White House is not worth the soil on the shoes of the worst of the Democratic field. And there is NOTHING he can do that will sway his unprincipled, immoral, anti-democracy cult.

  100. Thanks to you, Gail, for your blending of spry humor with acute observations about Iowa's unique, and uniquely influential, role in shaping the course of the campaign. Still, you conclude by listing the places where the rubber really hits the road--and will again--Electoral College-wise (homage to you, Gail, and your hyphenated neologisms). We can add Wisconsin, and possibly Arizona--another rising purple state--this time around. Those are the places which will determine either the dumping of our impeached imposter president, or the dumping of core democratic values and the rule of law. Will watch for your tongue-in-cheek, heart-in-the-right-place reports from Miami, from , from Charlotte, from Philadelphia, Gail!

  101. "Rather homogeneous"? According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Iowa was: White: 90.28% Black or African American: 3.51% Asian: 2.40% Two or more races: 2.10% Other race: 1.25% Native American: 0.37% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.10%

  102. Sanders could have beaten trump in 2016 without the Clinton purchase of the DNC. he can beat Trump now. Any other candidate -- including Biden -- will fail.

  103. I have the feeling that in this particular race, it is all academic until Super Tuesday.

  104. What is missing from this discussion is Michael Bloomberg, who seems to be rather shrewd in avoiding the qualification traps that the DNC has created for its own candidates and the overemphasis of campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire for a close to a year, while Super Tuesday are allowed only 30 days to "kick the tires" on the candidates that remain in the race. Once people get over the hang-ups that Bloomberg is a self-made billionaire, from New York City, an old white man, Jewish...they will find the candidate that checks all the boxes of competency, experience and vision that this diverse country desperately wants and needs right now in a President. Bloomberg is also the only candidate who knows where Trump's dead bodies are located and how to take the fight to him in a general election. Any New Yorker knows that Bloomberg delivers and should not be overlooked.

  105. @Mulholland Drive My two cents for what it's worth. Had dinner last night with a few old and new friends. Sat next to a (very nice and intelligent) Republican who dislikes Trump intensely. As a Democrat I asked him which of the Democratic candidates he would vote for (since this is a topic of concern to all of us Dems right now) and he said not Warren or Sanders but he would vote for Mayor Pete which surprised me. I then asked about Bloomberg and it was an enthusiastic yes. Full disclosure - I plan to vote for whomever is the Democratic candidate. My heart is with Bernie but maybe my head is with Bloomberg. I have no doubt that he will hand Trump an embarrassing loss. With the circular firing squad of current Dem candidates I fear they will cancel each other out and Bloomberg, sitting on the sidelines, will emerge the victor in the end. We could do worse. My heart is with Bernie but I'm afraid.

  106. @Veester Full disclosure as well...my heart (and campaign contributions) have been with Elizabeth Warren, as I also hold the belief that we have deep "structural" issues as a country that have long been ignored by our elected leaders and needs immediate attention. Warren is my first choice, but as a New Yorker, I would be very comfortable with Michael Bloomberg as the Democratic nominee and as our next President. I believe COMPETENCY is what our country desperately needs right now in government. It all starts at the top. A Warren/Bloomberg or Bloomberg/Warren ticket is unbeatable in my view.

  107. @Mulholland Drive I lived in NYC during Bloomberg's reign. He delivered racial profiling, corporate control of public education and lots of money for those with lots of money. Just like America! I guess that makes him ideal in your opinion.

  108. Corruption is at the root of most national problems. Warren offers the best chance for the American people.

  109. Iowa and New Hampshire, with an assist from South Carolina, will essentially select Democratic nominee. Fair? Of course not. And while I don't doubt that Iowans take their responsibility very seriously, the state is about 90% white and about 4% black, with very little Hispanic or Asian population. How is that remotely representative of America? It is not even representative of the Democratic party. And don't even get me started on the whole caucus thing.

  110. It feels like watching a serious movie on your watch. Let’s rotate it to other parts of the country, involve other Americans.

  111. HELLO IOWA! Good luck with your caucuses. While you're at it, try to get more Iowans to register to vote and find a way to shlep them to the polls on election day. Or to give them absentee ballots.

  112. America will eventually vote for a woman President. However it won't be until they can find a trustworthy person who is truthful. Simple really.

  113. @Hozeking Nikki Haley, 2024!

  114. You have just described Amy Klobuchar.

  115. To beat Mr. Trump, Democrats would have to give up the biggest political weapons they have been wielding recklessly for three years: bad faith and mendacity. Mr. Trump may be crude, but his adversaries look unscrupulous, dishonest, and often plain evil.

  116. @jim kunstler Ouch. The truth hurts though. Trump may have been wrong with Ukraine but it was not an impeachable offence. Schiff is a hypocrite who wanted to call the whistle blower until it came to peoples attention the WB was at Bidens side when Biden threatened to withdraw 1 Billion in aide to Ukraine when Hunter was milking money from a known corrupt firm So corrupt one of his business partners stopped doing business with him. the WB also was known to have been plotting to get Trump removed in white house conversations. You can expect Schiffs staff the WB and others to be called to the Senate to testify.

  117. What Collins doesn't seem to understand about voting is that it isn't supposed to be a marathon. It isn't supposed to be an iron man or woman competition that tests your stamina or endurance. Compare the Iowa caucuses to states that permit voting for all over the course of up to 10 days and you realize how grotesquely undemocratic and inconvenient the Iowas caucuses are. There's nothing admirable about being undemocratic. There's nothing desirable about having an unrepresentative state go first in the Democratic Party. There is no benefit (except to Iowans) that candidates exhaust their fundraising on a small, rural, nearly all-white state. Ask Harris, Booker and Castro how wonderful they think Iowa is Gail. This isn't hard to figure out: put Iowa in the middle or back of the pack where they belong. Do it this year. I for one am sick and tired of Iowans and their milking the Democratic Party for attention.

  118. @Laurence Bachmann Well, Laurence, perhaps the media is moved a little by watching dedicated Iowa voters march through all this madness. But you’re right, there’s absolutely no reason one state should always get to be first. Just that given all the things there are to worry about in the world, most people don’t put the caucuses-first issue at the very top of their list. Just Iowans.

  119. @Laurence Bachmann, aw, don't worry. After February 3rd, no one will care a whit about Iowa until the next presidential election. But don't expect us to go to the back of the pack next time around. Fair or not, it's not happening. You could come out here and campaign for your favorite candidate, though. We've seen lots of people from other states who are that dedicated to their candidate. Even Floridians, who are overwhelmed by our cold and snow! But these people make a difference, even though they don't live here.

  120. @TD Shriver If that were true, we'd not continue to have the indefensible ethanol requirements.

  121. Gail, there’s a question I just keep wondering about: what if this surreal nightmare does NOT end in November on Election Day? What then? Try as I might, I can’t escape the constant onslaught of destruction to any remaining democratic principles this country was supposed to stand for. Trump’s stench has permeated EVERYTHING. What if it doesn’t end in 10 months?

  122. I have read a lot of comments here saying Bernie's people didn't vote for Hillary giving us Trump. That it was Bernie's fault. Well let me be the first to tell you that if the DNC , DCCC and Democratic party actively working with Corporate media to stop Bernie Sanders nomination this time the Democratic party is finished for a long long time.I will never vote them ever again. Figure that into the equation when you pull the handle for your person. I not only held my nose and voted for the war monger I held back my disgust at her rubbing elbows with wall street. Bills and Hills selling their influence is on par with trumps hotel in DC. Bidens kid getting a seat on the board of a Ukrainian oil company is just as bad .Corruption is corruption. As a working class guy Bernie is the only chance we have.

  123. @gene, If the DNC cheats Bernie out of the nomination again, that will be the day I de-register as a Democrat and become an Independent officially. I am only registered D to participate in the primaries, but if the primaries are rigged anyway, what is the point of that?

  124. gene: Biden’s “kid” is a man in his 40s with a law degree from Yale and years of experience as a consultant. Yes, they wanted him on the board because of his last name probably. Just as Theranos, whose founders are now being charged with massive fraud, wanted Jim Mattis, Betsy DeVos and George Schultz on their board to give them legitimacy and access to more investors. It’s standard for companies who want to succeed to get big names to give them credibility. And now we have Jarvanka in positions of power, who actually have benefited from their positions financially. It’s never going to stop, but there is no evidence that the younger Biden tried to influence his father for the benefit of Burisma. And there is no evidence that Trump ever discussed corruption in his conversations, that we know about, with president Zelensky

  125. Brigadoon is a lesser Lerner and Loewe musical about a Scottish village that come to life only one day in every century. Our version of Brigadoon is called Iowa.

  126. Can’t help but think that American politics will swing wildly again....from the institutional order of Obama, to the right mindless chaos of Trump...to the left delusions of Sanders and Warren. So I can’t help but favor Biden, Mayor Pete, or Wang. You know, a little middle of the road rational calm and normalcy? What will Iowa do? I have no idea.

  127. Joe Biden is uniquely positioned to defeat Donald Trump by a historic margin this November. We just saw an impeachment trial where the Republican Party blocked witnesses to Trump's corruption despite at least 70 percent of the American people favoring such witnesses. Biden, much more than Sanders or Warren, will be able to exploit this chasm between Trump and the views of the broad electorate. Why the elite left continues to ignore and disrespect Biden's candidacy is beyond me... do they actually harbor a secret wish for Trump to stay in power? I don't get it.

  128. I'll vote for Biden, but his time was four years ago.

  129. Really, having lived in Iowa (8 years), Illinois, NJ, and South Carolina, I'm ok with not having presidential election campaigns which never seem to end. In Iowa, candidates start "testing the waters" mid way through the current POTUS' term (no matter who that is). The TV/radio ads go on and on and on and one (then another round happens for many Iowans when neighboring states are approaching their primaries). It is also a bit phony to paint Iowa voters as so very much more committed than the rest of us. Note that only 25% participate in caucuses (a number likely influenced by the limited time nature of the caucus itself) and the man who spoke of his 94 year old mother going to her FIRST caucus. Getting to meet your favorite (& famous) person is lovely, but does not, in itself, necessarily mean commitment any greater than that of the rest of us who show up and stand in line to cast a ballot for primaries in other states.

  130. ANY of the Democratic candidates can beat Trump. The question is, who do you want as president? It is making the case for a particular leader and a particular vision that will win the election, not trying to guess what will sell to people you don't understand to begin with.

  131. @Martin, Can I say agree with ANY. In my opinion, the ONLY democrat who can win the popular vote is Scranton Joe. Moderates, will never vote for Warren or Bernie and unfortunately, as much as I like Bloomberg, his appeal resides mostly on the coasts. I think he’ll have issue with the fly over states. I think, moderates would sign up for another 4 yrs of Trump if faced with Bernie. Dems are fooling themselves if they think any candidate can unseat a current president. Similar to 2016, you are underestimating Trump..and we know how that played out.

  132. @Paul I didn't underestimate Trump the last time; I thought he would win. Because the Democrats nominated a politician they thought was electable, rather than a leader who would get people's attention & make them think. As you are advocating they do again.

  133. Bloomberg's entry into the race made it more possible for Bernie to get the nomination. Bloomberg is rising in the national polls because he is siphoning votes from Biden. Bernie's base isn't getting larger, but they are loyal. There are just too many other candidates fighting for the rest of the pie.

  134. None of the Democratic candidates can beat Trump. Biden is ruined, Bloomberg wont win, Warren is not going to win. Sanders would be a nice nominee to face off with Trump.

  135. Why does there have to be a state that goes first? Why can’t the delegates be chosen in each state say within the period of a week?

  136. @Sierra This is often proposed but has the great disadvantage of forcing the candidates to campaign nation wide from the start. This would all but eliminate those without really deep pockets. I do however favor moving away from Iowa as the first state. Much of the continued aid to corporate farmers can be attributed to pandering to Iowa. Subsidies to true family farms is one thing, but that’s not where most of the money goes.

  137. @Sierra Maybe the smaller states would never see a candidate.

  138. @Sierra I think the order should be rotated and introduce some other states into the early game.

  139. The people to worry about are not the caucus goers. The people to worry about are the ones who don't vote. That's how Trump gets elected. The people to worry about are those who are engaged, but if they can't have their ideal dream candidate, either don't vote or vote for some third candidate in protest. Then they claim they were true to their feelings. That's how Trump gets elected.

  140. @Bruce Rozenblit Good points. A full 12% of Bernie supporters voted for Trump in 2016, which is mind-boggling.

  141. @EJ > A full 12% of Bernie supporters voted > for Trump in 2016, which is mind-boggling. The problem is that people look at that statistic upside down and draw the wrong conclusion. These folks weren't Democrats, they were Republicans and independents who would have preferred Bernie, but when that door was closed, they went back home to the Republicans (and Trump) rather than vote for Hillary. My wife, a successful Democratic State Representative here in New Hampshire, met many of these sorts of folks when she was campaigning door-to-door in 2016. They wanted change and they were going to get it. They'd have preferred Bernie's change but when that path was blocked, they supported Trump's change over Hillary's very much status quo politics. That's the power of Bernie as a candidate: he draws back to the Democrats many of the Reagan Democrats that we've been losing for decades and the Democrats would dismiss him again at their peril.

  142. @Bruce Rozenblit Regardless of who wins the nomination, that person is going to have to work very hard to reach out to the other candidates and to the supporters of those other candidates to get them on board. That goes for the liberals as well as the moderates. Each candidate has strengths. Each candidate has weaknesses. Sanders or Warren are going to have to convince moderates that everything is going to be alright. Biden or Buttigieg is going to have to work hard to convince liberals that they share their goals and that they are a valued part of the team. From my vantage point as a Sanders supporter that did not happen in 2016. Too bad. In the recently released recording of Trump at a fundraiser among the topics that came up, aside from the Ukrainian situation, was Trump telling close supporters that he feared that Clinton would choose Sanders as her running mate because Sanders was in his words “very strong on trade”. Fortunately for The Donald she chose her ideological mini me and lost the industrial Midwest. Bottom line you can’t just sneer at people and say “Where else are you going to go.” They just might give you an answer you don’t like.

  143. Who could have predicted these past three years insanity? As for Iowa, it's simply one of the many caucuses. It's impossible to predict what will happen between now and July or who may, last minute, enter the race. Trump has been ordained King- we've a massive mountain to climb and right now the Democrats are at the base of the mountain trying to figure out their strategy to the peak.

  144. The Iowa caucuses need to move to a different state. Why should the opinions of the good people of Iowa carry more weight than the rest of the nation?

  145. Move the Iowa caucuses to a different state? Did you think that through?

  146. In 2016, the media gave Trump about $2 billion in free advertising, without being critical of what he said, and simply repeated whatever nonsense he uttered. In 2020, the media are going to be calling Trump out for his lies, and reviewing his incompetent performance, including reminding people how many times he "hired the very best" and then fired them and hired the next set of "the very best" for his chaos reality tv presidency. In addition, the Ukraine story will not go away, but rather there will be a drip, drip, drip of new information, right up to the election. The guy who is going to sink Donald Trump will be ... Donald Trump.

  147. @Joe From Boston Thank you. Thank you. I've pointed this out innumerable times over the past four hideous years. Our press was totally complicit in bringing us this disaster. They gave him significantly more and less critical coverage; by the same token, Clinton received less overall coverage and what she did receive had a negative slant. We heard about her emails about 10,000 times (not an exaggeration) and about the five crimes he'd committed before taking office almost never. We can only hope they've learned from this mess and intend to do rigorous fact checking and call out every lie--which will mean no "speech" (it never arises to a speech; it's pure demagoguery spewing forth) can be presented as is--and that his opponent gets a fair shake. It's only the fate of the nation that rides on getting it right.

  148. @Joe From Boston I really hope you are right, but more importantly people need to show up to vote for the Dem nominee no matter who it is.

  149. @Joe From Boston That free advertising works both ways. Republicans made sure Joe Biden got plenty of it during the impeachment proceedings. The trickle of new info about Trump won't compare to the flood of misinformation against his opponent.

  150. Gail nails Iowa -- and she understands why it matters. It forces candidates to repeatedly encounter voters in unrehearsed circumstances. Authenticity -- or its lack -- gets magnified in Iowa. As for Bernie, he was a practical, non-nonsense mayor. He's a community-first, self-second guy. Lenin would have read him out of the Bolshevik party. Bernie is a lot closer to what Democrats were in the 1960's.

  151. Here we go again. OK, Ms. Collins, given what matters most to an unfortunately high percentage of American voters, I endorse Bernie Sanders because I think I would enjoy sitting down and having a beer with him. Even if he raised his voice, even if he was gruff ( both overplayed by the media), I would never doubt the sincerity and principled motivations driving his manner. I would find it rather refreshing - bracing, in fact - after so much smiling and smooth talk, the soft spoken promises that lose form and substance as they are silently trampled by the very people who utter them. Besides, we have seen Bernie Sanders measured and calm, whether it be in a Fox(!) forum or as a guest on late night television. Can we please stop with the grumpy old uncle bit?

  152. North: I think you might want to consider choosing a President by a higher standard than whether or not you would enjoy having a beer with him.

  153. @The North He probably shouldn’t be drinking beer with his heart problems.

  154. The short answer is no. Love him or hate him, Bernie is a spoiler for the Democratic Party. He holds a swath of voters that he and he alone cultivated. The trouble is after hobbling one another in the primaries the next candidate will walk into a general election with a limp. If history is any indication, Sanders will be be unwilling, or I personally believe unable to deliver his voters to anyone other than himself in a general. I actually agree that there needs to be a massive pull to the left but I believe it will tear the party apart before it does anything to release the stranglehold Republicans have on electoral politics. Victory will go to Trump, super packs, and big donors, perpetuating the continued cycle of corruption and gaslighting we obviously have come to love and enjoy over the last three decades. Bernie or bust, is a bust for the country this election cycle, no matter who wins the primaries. While Democrats are playing game of thrones Republicans don’t have our concerns. Fall in line or else, and they do.

  155. Short answer: No. There is no Democrat that will best Trump, Part II. And just so we won’t have to hear about how unfair the Electoral College is, he will win the popular vote.

  156. @Cjmesq0 If Sanders is the nominee Don Trump might win the popular vote. Otherwise he will not.

  157. @Mad Moderate Do you see the irony? You also present no evidence. Sanders has been coming in either 1st or 2nd in head to head polls against Trump for a year now. Of the 23 states Sanders won in 2016, most were in rust belt states that flipped to Trump in the GE. I predict that if Sanders is not the nominee the number of people under 40 voting in the GE goes down by a third. On the flip side, while the young are already there you really don't think someone who pledges to firm up social security, medicaid and medicare will get support from seniors eventually?

  158. @Cjmesq0 I found it interesting that apparently the Republicans have decided to toss cash to the "inner city" Black voters. Apparently the GOP is now just handing out cash to voters. Do you think the loyalty of the Iowa farmers after Trump dropped the 26 billion in ag cash for votes only proved that "welfare queens" are welfare queens no matter where they are and their "bought and paid for" votes can be counted on? I'd say that conclusion is a no brainer.

  159. Regardless of the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, you have to appreciate the dedication of all the candidates and the efforts they put into their campaigning. And a special thank you to Iowans for their seadfast support and involvement in this democratic process. Best of luck to all the candidates.

  160. @cherrylog754 Nice sentiment, but it is only about winning.

  161. @cherrylog754 Except for Bloomberg who seems to be running from his armchair. Why get out in the cold and snow of Iowa or New Hampshire when you can just buy a "democracy" on the Internet? What he is doing to the democratic process is on par with Trump, although different in style. We see in them very wealthy people who are insulated from the lives of the voters but arrogantly believe themselves to be saviors. Fix campaign finance by federal funding of elections and a greatly shortened campaign season would be a gigantic leap to cleaning up our ailing democracy.

  162. @cherrylog754 >appreciate the dedication of all the candidates and the efforts You mean the lies (Pocahontas) and the sillines (the others)? You got to be kidding me?

  163. The out-sized clout of Iowa in the nomination process is just one of many things that have contributed to cynicism and disengagement with our system of government. Gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and lifetime Supreme Court appointments, are features of a broken system. Warring political tribes are now so entrenched that a win for “our” side in any dispute is more important than an outcome based on the merits. (See Donald Trump, Impeachment). This is a time for radical reform designed to stop the march toward the extreme left or right. Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell is a master at win at any cost politics and has no interest in finding common ground.

  164. @Joel Sanders I don't disagree--but we must win this election first, no?

  165. @Joel Sanders Two sides to every argument: Lifetime Supreme Court appointments does, too: They can't be bought because they have a permanent job. They need not pander to special interests or groups, so, theoretically, they are independent. Yes, they have biases; we all do, but often we get pretty decent judges, impartial even sometimes, which is about all we can ask of fallible human beings, yes?

  166. @Jim Muncy Mitch McConnell put the final nail in the coffin of a non-political Supreme Court when he refused to even consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. And, have no doubt, if a vacancy occurs in the next few months, he will rush to confirm a Trump appointee. Confidence in the impartiality of the Court would continue to erode as we settle in for a generation of decisions by the “Trump” court. Eighteen year terms with three vacancies every six years would be a healthy fix.

  167. The press needs a story, and so in its 5-minute attention span, Iowa has drawn its focus. Fine. And New Hampshire will be next. But Iowa has, to say the very least, an odd system of selecting a primary candidate. New Hampshire tends to favor local politicians. Let's admit that both these states deviate in very large measure from the demographics of the Democratic electorate as a whole, to say nothing of independents (1/3 of registered voters). So let me encourage Ms. Collins and other pundits to take a longer view rather than focus on just one primary. We may behold a novel phenomenon in recent times: a convention where no one candidate has enough delegates to secure the nomination on the first ballot. There might even need to be some good old-fashioned horse trading for delegates. Horrors! A democratic and a Democratic process, with the final outcome not yet in sight.

  168. Kermit the Frog has a better chance of beating Trump than any of the present Democratic candidates. He also has a better proposed policy platform. In fact, the "Trump must go" Democratic Greek chorus speaks volumes about their unfortunate lack of proposals that would address America's kitchen table issues.

  169. Right, the big problem plaguing the Warren campaign is a lack of proposals.

  170. @Mike what exactly are Trump's policy proposals? please feel free to share as much detail as you can provide. thanks

  171. @AnnaT Warren's my number 2 should anything happen to Bernie. She's the only other candidate I would enthusiastically volunteer and vote for. I'd vote for Biden/Buttigieg/Klobuchar in the GE but without hope.

  172. MN has the caucus system also and as a young anti war activist I organized our precinct to get a win over the Humphrey backers. I was stunned how democratic it was for when my Humphrey supporter father held his precinct caucus in northern KY it was midnight in someone's house. Humphrey won there. Obama got his start there and spoke the best line of his whole campaign " They said this day would never come" which still gives me chills. HRC's fatal vulnerabilities were exposed there first by Obama and then by Bernie. So now it is our the Democratic primary voters responsibility to choose a candidate who can take back MI, PA and WI and maybe win NC. if that happens the rest of the blue states will fall in line and Trump loses. That is why whatever Democratic candidate wins in states like SC, AL ,MS, WVA etc is meaningless for those states have gone to the dark side long ago to never to return to the light.

  173. @Edward B. Blau agree about AL, MS, and SC. However, Sanders won EVERY COUNTY on 2016 and he would clobber Trump in 2020.

  174. Honestly this far out it's way too hard to say who will win in November. If I had to pick a winner, I would go with Trump due to the EC and how the two leading progressive candidates struggled in polls against Trump. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin aren't the same as a solid blue state. Let alone Texas, Arizona, or Florida which are in play nowadays. Yet polls don't show Trump losing to Sanders or Warren today. That said, the moderates fare better, but still a tossup. Again, this is today, so things can change. The fact of the matter is why is Iowa deciding the process? The state went heavily for Trump, and has elected Steve King. To me the state doesn't represent the Democrats at all, or even moderate Democrats. It's basically farmers, a mid-size city, and college students. It's not diverse, not a wide range of issues, and somehow they decide who will have to appeal to bigger states who have a diverse range of problems. The primary process needs to be reform, and after Trump I wish the parties decide their nominee since I'm struggling at trusting the people voting on facts over emotion at this point.

  175. @Patrick Sanders voters love him for policy and consistency. People like Biden promise a return to a civility that never existed. Obama wasted much of the first two years of his presidency trying to get just a handful of Republicans on board and FAILED. Expecting bipartisanship is absurd and listening to kum-bah-yah nonsense from the centrist candidates a sign that you have been duped into supporting the status quo.

  176. Greetings from Britain, where we also have a system in which a minority of the vote can (and does) deliver a handsome governing majority. How long can such systems persist in this day and age? How badly can a candidate get beaten and still "win" the election? At what point must we admit that such a system undermines our notions of what democracy is? Why participate at all if the system appears rigged? It seems plenty of people have already come to this conclusion.

  177. @Nullius The only candidate who has a shot at getting those people out who have never voted before and seem certain that the system is rigged is Bernie Sanders.

  178. IN 1893, it would have been unrealistic to think genuine reform -- of railroad pricing abuses, money owning the politicians, and anti-competition monopolistic practices -- could possibly ever occur. Yet William McKinley died, Ida Tarbell explained chapter and verse on how the Rockefeller fortune was made, and when Teddy Roosevelt was elected in his own right in 1904, the momentum for genuine reform suddenly swept the country. Don't say it can't happen again.[credit to Doris Kearns Goodwin]

  179. Caucusing sounds like ranked choice voting made flesh. Except for the fact that the in-person factor makes the vote inaccessible to many people due to schedule/work conflicts, it makes a lot of sense. I would like to see caucusing/ranked choice voting nationwide and an expansion of first-in-nation states to include greater geographic and demographic diversity in that early weed-out vote—as in, perhaps, South Carolina and Arizona.

  180. @La Resistance agreed. If primaries/caucuses were held on a holiday or weekend, turnout would improve dramatically. I wonder why the DNC doesn't do it that way...?

  181. We have an eight year moratorium on the presidential office with Donald Trump serving as the interim president. Or until the country gets it's act together and restores this office so that real politicians, they're out there, will not only have the desire to serve in this place again but will also be allowed to in the media.

  182. The other way to read this op-ed is "How did we ever end up with this wildly unelectable group of candidates? For anyone of a certain age living in the North Country, pre CNN, the local news concentrated on Bernie. It swung from praise for his actions, to disbelief at his actons, to horror at the implications of his actions. What he said and what he did, well, it was worth a chuckle. We would all wonder how long it could go on. He was entertainment. Now he's just scary and not really all that authentic. Go back and look at that coverage and judge for yourself, Gail.

  183. Bloomberg is the only candidate who can beat Trump. Biden is sadly over the hill. He could have surmounted just working on The Hill for all those years, but his age and lack of energy are really showing in 2020. Warren is an ideas person, not a leader. Buttigieg is compelling, but a gay man will not win in 2020. Bernie, despite his authenticity and passion, cannot win as a socialist candidate in the US. Say goodbye to the suburbs in swing states if he's nominated. Klobuchar was never a serious contender.

  184. If Sanders goes on to win the nomination, the right will look at the Sanders supporters as the left looks at Trump supporters. It'd be another 4 years of non stop partisan bickering and divisiveness. Not what we need right now. So, who could be the great uniter? Bloomberg.

  185. Sanders not only represents the interests of all Americans, but will unite the world to address climate change so we can continue to reinvest in our democratic experiment into the future, for the benefit of all life on earth.

  186. @C And us little people can just pick which billionaire to pledge fealty to, the bad one or the good one. It's more efficient I suppose to just cut out the middlemen and cede control directly to the oligarchs.

  187. I'll vote for Bloomberg if he can buy his way onto the ballot

  188. Every state should switch to a caucus system. It’s a much better way to pick a candidate. Remember: this is not the general election. We’re testing how much support a candidate has to win in the general. This means numbers, but also Enthusiasm. Will you knock on doors and make calls in general election? If you don’t have the time/energy to caucus for your candidate, you have no business complaining when they dot get the nomination

  189. The caucuses in Iowa are composed disproportionately of older white men who drive notions like ethanol production to a national prominence they don't deserve. They exclude everyone who can't get off work, whose partners need the family's only transport to get to work, Who have preventing their using someone's non-ADA adapted home easily, and every single parent who can't get child care. Yep, these are nationally representative okay.

  190. The case against the IA caucus was much stronger in the 90s, back when people were taking ethanol seriously. No candidate is seriously campaigning on this... which is yet more proof that Iowans are especially good at transcending local concerns and picking the best candidate for the Democratic party Iowa, First in The Nation!

  191. After listening to “The Impeachment Trial” and all -that Trump never stopped campaigning. Trump never became a President he became and is, in fact, a campaign rally leader. He cannot lead, he can only buy things and sell them. He just leads rallies and becomes an entertainer. His rally fans come and cheer, listen and laugh, yell, clap and cheer. They’re like a wrestling match crowd oblivious to the reality of their star performers reality. How else could any in those rally audiences allow Trump’s attack on Medicaid and the environment.

  192. The bigger issue is whether we will get behind whoever gets to be the Democratic party nominee.

  193. Will those who still believe we have a ‘normal’ to return to, support the candidate who understands how to create a sustainable future based on uniting the world to address climate change and increasing the quality of life for everyone? In contrast to the Gordon Gecko lemmings diving off the cliffs of toxic capitalism, affluenza and despair...?

  194. Yes, Andrew Yang can beat Trump. His focus is much different than the top 4 candidates.

  195. I wish people would stop focusing on lamenting the absence of a superhero in the race and put the responsibility where it belongs - the people. I’m coming to believe we have the leader we deserve.

  196. The condescension towards Iowans is a nonstop drip coming from the NY Times. Look, I support a nationwide primary as much as anyone, but while Iowa is first, I’m going to defend it. Iowa is not as racially diverse as many other states, but it is not particularly rural, if you compare it to all 50 states. People live in cities, for the most part, which of course exposes them to different points of view. Generally speaking, the people are good, they care about democracy, civic duty, and they hold a lot of basic American values.

  197. If they really cared about democracy they wouldn't have voted for a reality TV host who knows nothing about the institution he's supposed to be leading and they wouldn't be thinking about voting for him again. Just proves they're all hypocrites.

  198. The DNC had plenty of time to work among themselves to source one or two outstanding candidates who had the potential to beat Trump. They couldn’t do it.

  199. @Lenore: And they shouldn’t do it. Have you forgotten how the DNC was clobbered for favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders?

  200. So the DNC was supposed to vet one candidate out of the field, and then let us have the illusion of choice? That’s not how this works bud.

  201. @Lenore they sure tried!

  202. Is there really a Bernie surge or have Trump and his Russian friends meddled in this? A lot of voters want health care for all with the option of keeping whatever coverage they like. Trump needs to lose and lose big.

  203. Bingo

  204. Ahh, yes. The Russians. Democrats always come back to the Russians to explain their stumbles, bumbles, and inability to win.

  205. As a political junkie, I do not see any Pied Piper characteristics in the Iowa Democratic field akin to Obama. Trounce Trump qualities - irrational exuberance. Iowa, a so-called swing or purple state, maybe (and I say this with guarded optimism) Dem's eek out a narrow victory in Iowa over Trump in November. Yeah, that is possible. First, let's see how the February Iowa caucaus participants coalesce around their 'winner' (who likely will get into the mid 20% range) as this nomination process unfolds countrywide.

  206. Trump was boasting at his rally the other night that Mexica WAS paying for the wall, but most people didn't realize it yet. Oh, they'll find out, he said. Mexico is paying for the wall, and repeated that about ten more times to tremendous cheering. Vince Lombardi said the only thing that matters is winning. Trump, by his example, might as well be saying who needs winning if you never admit defeat and have enough mouthpieces at the ready to tie up the courts forever.

  207. Americans will need to ask themselves: do I want healthcare that covers pre-existing conditions, a cleaner healthier environment, government agencies that actually care about: consumer protections, justice, education, fair and equal access to financial services, an immigration policy that leads with decency not cruelty, the rule of law and respect for the constitution, a President that cares about America's standing in the world as a leader of moral right, and strength found in NATO Allies? Any of the Dem candidates will "fit the bill", regardless of which one.

  208. @iriscot Exactly. Do we vote in the best interests of the masses, which most of us don't want to admit we are, or vote in favor of the 18% who only care about the tax cut and did I mention the tax cut?

  209. There probably are potential candidates who would effectively challenge Trump. But, pretty much by definition, these guys - and, reality is, they are guys - would also shed light on the fact that Dem leadership has been soft and ineffective in anything save helping Dems feel better about losing. Such guys aren't going to be nominated.

  210. I am increasingly pessimistic about Democrats (I am one) chances. There is good reason to suspect current levels of polarization will only get worse--or at least so bad that they cannot be corrected by this coming Nov.: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/books/review/why-were-polarized-ezra-klein.html ("Why We're Polarized," by Ezra Klein, just released). If we have to nominate a personality that is resembles Trump on numerous levels, that is a loss for the country. It might happen.

  211. Yes Bernie can and will beat Trump as he is the most Honest candidate in the Democratic field. It is time we give weight to values such as integrity, honesty and virtue in our leadership. With this President we had enough of dishonesty, vulgarity, and nepotism. Enough of whats in it for me politics and have someone who is interested in the betterment of the people. Question should be, " Are we ready to be honest?" I wonder

  212. @Wizarat As an older "Centrist" Democrat I'd vote for Bernie in a second and campaign for him as hard as possible, if and when he wins the nomination. I'll do the same for any Democratic candidate that emerges from the field, except maybe one. If I wanted Donald again I'd vote for Donald. It seems though, where the real problem lies is that many Bernie voters don't feel the same way? That attitude helped give us Donald. Why can't they see we all need to at least vote in our best interests?

  213. @Wizarat Vulgarity. Your comments struck me because we do not hear that adjective enough when we lament about our President. He is so vulgar.

  214. I just have this inkling that Iowa will have little to do with the Democratic nominee selection this year. Watch Mike Bloomberg run a national campaign with unlimited resources starting now. I think he is being seriously underestimated. If Democrats get the sense that he can actually WIN in November. he might take it in a stride. Are we sensible enough? I truly hope so.

  215. @Will. Joe Biden is a far superior candidate to Bloomberg, who is not a real Democrat... Bloomberg should get behind Biden and spend his billions on an anti-Trump advertising campaign, instead of wasting the money on his own ego-trip. Bloomberg risks splitting the vote and handing the nomination to Sanders.

  216. @Will. Mike Bloomberg: What's good for my Empire is good for America. Trump in a different suit.

  217. Bloomberg will be the strongest possible vs Trump

  218. Suggested Iowa talking points: Hogs: Iowa is number one by far. Mention so called renewable biogas for heat and electricity generation to put lipstick on it. Wind: Iowa is number two behind Texas. It just passed 10,000 MW nameplate capacity after 4th quarter 2019. In October and November 2019, more than half of the in state electricity generation was by wind power. Bernie et al should be promoting high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission through Illinois to get Iowa wind to eastern US markets. Perfect timing to do so given Illinois politics as usual might get unusual given the Fed's interventions. Ethanol: Iowa is number one in corn. A big chunk of corn production goes to processing ethanol. US total ethanol production is over 1 million barrels per day or roughly 10 percent of gasoline consumption. That keeps somewhere around 2 million barrels of crude oil per day from having to get produced and refined. I'm guessing here, but a good assumption to make is that ethanol isn't liked by the oil patch either, chiefly refiners - so some environmental groups are in good company (satire).

  219. Why is it so "unexpected" that Bernie Sanders, 78, find a lot of support among voters under 30? If we would talk about policy rather than personality -- "cranky old man who shouts a lot" -- we might see that, more than any other candidate, the Sanders platform gives young people hope for a renaissance in this benighted nation -- hope for relief from onerous student loans, a corporate-dominated economic and political system, endless wars, and last not least, ecological apocalypse. All of the other candidates, save perhaps Warren, are some flavor or another of "more of the same" -- the same neo-liberal, neo-con "misleadership" that gave us Donald Trump.

  220. @ando arike: I beg to differ. Yang is not a neo-liberal neo-con.

  221. @ando arike Yang’s better than Bernie.

  222. While the presidential election gets the most attention, the control of the Senate is critical. Moscow Mitch will prevent anything that the Trump party disagrees with from getting a vote. I 'm hoping the next president will not rule by executive order as the current one does, but rather by working with the legislative branch. We need branches of govenrment to try to work together again. If Trump wins again, a Democratic senate could help put the brakes on his agenda.

  223. Unless you can find a qualified octogenarian to run(frequent naps are allowed), I am not showing up to vote. Everyone knows 80 year old's have all the best new ideas. On a serious note, this is as uninspiring group of candidates as could be found. Until a certain generation gets thinned out, we'll be stuck talking about ideas from the 1980's and watching Senators fall asleep in meetings.

  224. @Edward: Not voting is voting too. You cannot not vote. You will be benefitting Trump if you’re a Democrat who does not vote. If Bernie or Biden is the candidate, I’m sure they will pick younger energetic VPs. The Senate is important too. Without a majority Democratic Senate, a Democratic president’s options are limited.

  225. @Edward So from your opinion I'm taking it you place a Bernie Sanders at the exact same level, in regards to his feelings towards the masses to that of a Donald Trump? Interesting view of American politics. I suppose it all depends if your in it for the jacked up stock market or the tax cut, or both. If those two items aren't your motivating factors I'm assuming it's just ignorance of facts. Things change. It's only vanity that makes you think you can't stop it.

  226. Please please please vote. Everyone!

  227. If you think that Iowa is so powerful, review the list of winners in recent decades and see among them: Ted Cruz; Rick Santorum; Mike Huckabee; Tom Harkin; Richard Gephardt. There are four early states. Each in a different region of the country, each with a small enough population for retail politics, selected to represent rural, suburban, African-American, and Hispanic voters. Even those four don't have anywhere near enough delegates to decide the nominee. We all decide.

  228. @Polaris What a point!

  229. One thing Ms. Collins does not mention: in 2016 Donald Trump won the state's Electoral College votes, with a popular vote tally of 800,983 compared with Hillary Clinton's 653,669. Iowa was a state that went for Barack Obama in 2012 with a popular vote of 822,504 votes to Mitt Romney's 730,617. Why was this? What happened to the Iowa political landscape that (a) depressed the popular vote, but more importantly (b) made their voters gravitate towards Trump? The Democratic candidate who best understands the answer to that question is the one with the best chance of defeating Trump. The problem is, of course, how to answer that question without puncturing the collective ego of that particular party.

  230. I don't believe Iowa plays such an important role anymore. The only one who could take on Trump is Biden who is not my choice; however, I am going to vote for him. None of the others stand a chance.

  231. You think Hillary 2.0 can beat Trump? You think another centrist, status quo Democratic can beat Trump... Idk I feel like some people just don't remember the 2016 election.

  232. Michael Bloomberg is the wild card in this race and would appear to be gaining traction. He is the practical left of center Democrat who could actually beat Donald Trump. He has a well organised, well funded organisation set to spring on Super Tuesday. Given his recent surge in the polls, he is the not so dark horse that could attract independents and moderates. Im surprised that the media is not taking his candidacy more seriously.

  233. @NYer Correct, but can anyone tell me why a card carrying member of the masses would not vote for any Democrat over any Republican? Have people forgotten their payments into SS, Medicare, and Medicaid? Does every single person actually believe they have the clout of a Warren Buffet just because they can get on Twitter and express their opinion?

  234. Caucuses are cool! Uninformed voters get to take a lay of the land and measure actual enthusiasm instead of just checking the name they've seen on TV the most. Re: the headline. I'll give you folks a stock tip... Short Fossil Fuels, Finance, and Health Insurance stocks. Buy Renewables, Beyond Meat (it's on sale!), and GOLD. Sanders is likely to over-perform. The Sanders Sell-Off on Tuesday means the buy-low window is closed. You're welcome.

  235. @Josh Lots of statements and opinions but 0 facts? Sounds a little Johnnie come lately to me? NEE/VLO? Are you recommending exiting horse and buggy stocks as well?

  236. "... when it’s time to complain about the system that gives one smallish, rather homogeneous state so much political clout." Uber White Privilege in an Uber White State. Oh well, the Democrats have pretty much bleached the color right out of their candidates. A happy story for an unhappy day. Comey, Mueller, Stormy Daniels, several House investigations, Michael Cohen, Anonymous and a dozen tell all books have not slowed President Trump. There was even a recording of the President, that, in truth, was not his best speech. President Trump had a packed rally last night. Biden couldn't fill a Starbucks. Bernie has moved into the fast lane and will probably be the unofficial nominee in 6 weeks. Hey, Bernie loses by the least amount in Texas to Trump. So, that is kind of happy. I only wonder when Democrats are going to wake up to the fact, they have been lied to by the press and Democrat leadership. How else can you explain President Trump surviving four years of constant negative press? Endless investigations. More bombshells than a Nancy Grace bombing run over Berlin. Yes Gail, this a happy story for unhappy times. Sunday, we can get a dose of President Trump during the pre-game. Monday is all about the caucuses. Tuesday is the State of The Union. I'm tuning in for that. The following five days will be all New Ham-sha.

  237. @Mike What do you mean, Warren and Yang are POCs.

  238. I’m sad about this but it seems to me that in the end the one damaged the most by impeachment trials will be Joe Biden. All we’ll hear, over and over, is about how corrupt he is. It won’t be any different than Hilary’s emails in 2016. So sad that an honorable man will be treated this way, but I think if he doesn’t confront this issue out in the open over and over he’ll lose to trump.

  239. @Bob Girard That's the Republican Party's secondary goal in the impeachment process. First, exonerate Trump, second put out enough innuendo to smear Joe Biden.

  240. Evaluating this field of Democrats is like evaluating a bunch of used cars: they have some qualities and some serious flaws. Pete is smart but inexperienced and lacking warmth or authenticity. Bernie is an authentic True Believer but much of what he believes is rejected by most Americans. Warren is smart but, like Hillary, comes across like someone who has never actually met herself. This explains her story about her heritage and her embarrassing dancing and beer drinking moments that alienate voters. Biden—well, he simply looks over his head and creates a certain amount of pity in the voters. If only the Dems could take parts from each of them and create a political Frankenstein monster. Short of that, a plummeting economy or a destabilizing political crisis, Trump is likely to win again.

  241. @ehillesum "Bernie is an authentic True Believer but much of what he believes is rejected by most Americans." Do you have any evidence for this assertion?

  242. According to opinion polls in Great Britain, a clear majority of people support staying in the EU. But Britain is leaving the EU. In the United States only about 35-40% of the people support The Donald but he is probably going to be reelected in 2020. In both countries the majority side is divided and distracted so the minority wins. In the United States any democratic candidate is going to face the Fox, Rush, Hannity, and company republican onslaught of smear and propaganda. It will take a special person to stay in the ring with The Donald. The Donald doesn't know diddly about government but he is a past master at smear and jabs and frightening off opponents. He is expert at distracting and dividing. What will happen is that the democrats will nominate someone who would probably make a good president. But the republicans (like they did with Ms. Clinton) will go to work with the propaganda and smear running 24/7. Some democrats will get frightened and start questioning their candidate. They will decide to stay home on election day. Remember how some democrats in 2016 said that Ms. Clinton did not exhibit sufficient empathy. The democrats have zero chance of taking the Senate. That means that Mitch will continue to rule the roost at the capitol.

  243. Population of Iowa: @3.15 million Population of NJ: @8.88 million Iowa Caucus: Feb. 3 NJ Primary: June 2 My home state of NJ has a population 2.8 times larger than Iowa, and much more diverse as well. Typically by the time we vote, many candidates have been winnowed out of the field. As entertaining as it is to watch candidates prostrate themselves before Iowa voters by practically establishing residence there during the coldest season, and eating their deep-fried way through the State Fair, this process gives too much clout to too few people. We need a National Primary Day (better yet, a full weekend) when every state votes simultaneously. Voters would select their top 3 candidates, in ranked order. A system like this would not only be more equitable, but it could help shorten the interminable headache-inducing circus that our electoral process has become. After we get something like this going, time to set our sites on the Electoral College.

  244. A single day, national primary would be utterly undemocratic. We need a year-long process, replete with caucuses and primaries, and emphasizing lots of retail politicking and news coverage to get to know the candidates. We want time for investigative reports, a series of intense debates (but in different formats, including direct candidate to candidate exchanges and even scenario analyses), and for information to come out. It should never be rushed. A national primary, like Super Tuesday, goes to the candidate who can saturate airwaves, not to one with the best policies and most people-friendly, social justice campaign.

  245. @Marsha Pembroke I would say the candidates could campaign anywhere and everywhere they want, for as long as they want, leading up to a Springtime primary. But in the present system, citizens from late-voting states -- even those with large, desering-a-voice populations -- wield diminished influence. No voter should feel like the last person in a buffet line.

  246. @D Price To pre-empt the grammar and spelling police, yes, I meant "sights". Not sites.

  247. My grandfather had a '57 MG. British racing green. Stunning. He promised each of his six grandchildren they would get the car when he was gone. I've never viewed it as a lie; it was an aspiration. He truly wanted to give it to each of us. Bernie can't realize his aspirations, but many, many people want what he's promising. They want it enough to believe him. You can't blame younger people for being excited about free college, or anyone without insurance for wanting insurance for all (even people who are happy with what they have). Yet many people don't believe him and I'd agree, some of us don't really even like him. He's a divider aspiring to be a convener. If we had the primaries closer together and had ranked voting, we would see better who most Democrats prefer. It seems impossible, just like getting rid of the electoral college, but its work we must somehow do. Needless to say, none of the grandchildren got the MG.

  248. Lots of countries have universal or far cheaper healthcare and free or near free universities, not sure why that should be considered unimaginable.

  249. @Lucie Sanders' divisiveness is what would make him a terrible president.

  250. Elizabeth Warren did not make the recent announcement regarding the conversation between herself and Bernie Sanders. The story broke just before the CNN debate, but the sources were four people who were familiar with the conversation, and not Warren, herself. If you carefully read the NYT articles reporting this, despite the misleading headlines, the four sources had relayed what Warren told them about the conversation closer in time to when the conversation happened. Bottom line: Warren did not, herself, nor through surrogates, recently bring up the conversation with Bernie Sanders. I learned this from NPR's On the Media, and then confirmed it through research. The narrative that she brought it out as a last minute attempt to throw mud at Bernie Sanders is not true.

  251. @Mike Did she keep a private conversation private to begin with? Did she attempt to quash it immediately? Did she blow it out of proportion? Did she attempt to fundraise off it? Did she correct the CNN debate hit? Did she attempt a hot mike attack? It wasn't a last minute attempt to throw mud...it just happened at the last minute, were she threw mud; but missed and smeared herself. As long as she didn't mean to do it I guess it's all good.

  252. The field of 20 plus candidates made it impossible for Iowa to be the breakout point for Democrats. Even New Hampshire is too crowded right now. Bloomberg will likely breakout along with Biden and maybe Warren in March primaries, but the south won’t vote for a liberal Sanders and African Americans will flock to the safest “beat Trump” option. That puts Biden and Bloomberg at the top by the end of March.

  253. @GC First, there are not 20 candidates vying for the nomination. In reality this nomination comes down to Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg. The other candidates simply do not poll enough to have a chance to win the nomination. Second, your perspective on black voters is entirely wrong. The black vote is not a monolith. Young black voters support Bernie Sanders over Joe Biden. And in recent poling Sanders is the second choice after Biden overall among black voters. Biden is the choice for older black voters. BIden will be vulnerable if Sanders wins in Iowa where is ahead at the polls and wins in New Hampshire where he is also polling well. People often overlook the fact that Sanders actually leads Trump in head to head polling. If you want to define electability than is there any other measure. Also there is no current polling to suggest that Michael Bloomberg is going to "breakout." The choice of a centrist candidate is for people who are afraid and lack the insight to see that the current status quo is no longer sustainable and courage to make the changes that are needed.

  254. @GC South Carolina will be Biden's first an only win.