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The First Four Primaries: Democratic Nomination 2020

Updated on October 17, 2019
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By The original uploader was Andre666 at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Adabow using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17877067 | Source

The 15% rule - updated September 29, 2019

Readers will quickly see how important the 15% rule may prove to be. Regardless of whether there are 6 or 8 or 10 serious Democratic candidates come February 2020, only candidates who earn 15% at the district level can win delegates there and only candidates winning 15% of the total statewide vote can win delegates for that portion of the allotment. Where caucuses are used, the idea applies although the process is different than a primary. In a state where districts are not the same as congressional districts, the same rule applies regardless of how a district is defined.

One mathematical question is how likely is it in a given state that enough variation would exist district to district, that it would be possible for a candidate to win delegates in a particular district, but not make the 15% threshold statewide. This analyst has determined that the larger the state in terms of population, the more likely that outcome could occur.

The Democratic party rule states that if no candidate reaches 15%, then the candidates earning one-half of the top candidate would be eligible to earn candidates. So if the top candidate receives 14%, then any candidate over 7% would be eligible. Based on where we stand currently, the more likely scenario however is that if only one candidate earns 15% - in that case that candidate would earn all delegates for that district or state.

For the author's assessment of the national picture, see this article on where the 2020 race to the nomination stands.


Iowa

Source

Iowa Caucus - February 3, 2020

The Iowa precinct caucuses are scheduled for Monday February 3, 2020. The process has changed as it now involves virtual voting beginning on Wednesday January 29, as well as the traditional process on February 3. The number of delegates selected through a series of steps is 41. In addition, 8 officials will be designated as unpledged delegates (so 49 delegates in all). Candidates receiving less than 15% support in the first vote at the precinct level are considered not viable and would not be allocated any state delegates from that precinct.

For a broader look at the entire nomination process, readers can view the author's article at https://hubpages.com/politics/US-Election

Iowa Caucus Projections - Updated October 17, 2019

 
Iowa Rank
Median Poll
Rank Median Poll
Rank Non-Polling
Polling Momentum
Warren
1
23%
1
1
+.17
Biden
2
22%
2
2
-.24
Buttigieg
3
14%
3
3
+.16
Sanders
4
13%
4
4
-.03
Harris
5
5%
5
6
-.05
Yang
6
2%
7
5
+.04
Booker
7
2%
7
7
+.03
Steyer
8
2%
7
8
-.02
 
 
 
 
 
 
Projected results based on two factors: (a) median of five most recent polls collected through October 16 and (b) non-polling data effective October 17, 2019. Only candidates qualified for November debate are listed.

Analysis of Iowa Projections - Updated October 17, 2019

Please note that only candidates who have qualified for the November debate are included in the prior table. If additional candidates qualify, they will be inserted.

The Iowa caucus is the first to occur in the nation and as such will be viewed as critically important. We will quickly see which candidates are more viable than others. The result should significantly affect the race.

The five polls taken during the last month are Emerson (10-16), You Gov (10-11), Firehouse (10-10), DesMoines Register / Selzer (9-18) and Civiqs (9-17).

Warren leads Biden by one point on median. Sanders has fallen to 10 points behind Warren on median and one point behind Buttigieg. It will be quite difficult for Sanders to win Iowa, given the strength of both Warren and Biden, combined with the challenge from Buttigieg.

For Harris, Iowa has always been an uphill battle. This observer is surprised that all of a sudden it would appear Harris realized she needed to do more in Iowa to effectively compete there. This was always going to be a difficult state for Harris despite resources. With Sanders and Biden in the race, it seemed 3rd place was a best case scenario. However, then Warren found serious footing and Buttigieg has found the state receptive, moving Harris into 5th place. Now Harris' campaign has reportedly stated she needs a 3rd place in Iowa to be successful. That is important news because (a) it reduces expectations that she could seriously compete for a win, (b) that message does not mention the 15% rule (Harris could for example receive 12% of the vote on the first ballot, come in 3rd and not receive any delegates) and (c) she needs to bump both Sanders and Buttigieg out of the Iowa radar to get to 3rd place. How likely is that?

It may substantially more likely that Buttigieg picks up a 3rd place in Iowa than Harris. A 3rd for Buttigieg would (a) establish him as a very serious candidate, (b) do potentially very serious harm to Harris' candidacy and (c) put Sanders in a bind (if Sanders finishes 4th or worse) headed into New Hampshire.

Warren's and Buttigieg's polling momentum is positive at +.17 and +.16 respectively, whereas Biden has negative polling momentum at -.24.

The above chart will be updated when new polling or non-polling data is available.

New Hampshire

Source

New Hampshire Primary - February 11, 2020

The New Hampshire Primary is scheduled for Tuesday February 12, 2020. The number of pledged delegates determined is 24. In each of two congressional districts, 8 delegates will be awarded according to the primary vote and an additional 8 delegates will be determined by the statewide vote. In addition, 9 officials will be designated as unpledged delegates, so 33 in all. A minimum of 15% support in the primary in one of the two congressional districts or at the statewide level is required to earn delegates.

See here for the author's description of where the entire race stands.


New Hampshire Primary Projections - Updated October 15, 2019

Candidate
New Hampshire Rank
Median Poll
Rank Median Poll
Rank Non-Polling
Polling Momentum
Warren
1
25%
1
1
+.32
Biden
2
24%
2
2
-.01
Sanders
3
12%
3
4
-.08
Buttigieg
4
9%
4
3
-.13
Harris
5
4%
5
6
-.01
Yang
6
2%
8
5
+.06
Gabbard
7
2%
8
7
-.09
Steyer
8
2%
8
8
+.10
Booker
9
2%
8
9
-.10
Klobuchar
10
2%
8
10
+.02
O'Rourke
11
1%
11
11
-.06
Castro
12
0%
12
12
-.02
Projected results based on two factors: (a) median of five most recent polls collected through October 13 and (b) non-polling data effective October 15, 2019.

Analysis of New Hampshire Projections - October 15, 2019

The number of polls in New Hampshire used to compute the median number is currently five. The rationale is that for the first four primary/caucus states as well as the Super Tuesday elections, if there are more than three polls in the prior month, then those additional polls will be included (up to nine).

The polls being used currently are as follows: RKM/Boston Herald (10-13), You Gov (10-11), Firehouse (10-11), St. Anselms (9-29) and Monmouth (9-21).

Based on polling alone, this race in New Hampshire appears quite volatile. Warren currently leads over Biden by only 1 point. Sanders has fallen to 13 points behind Warren. In New Hampshire, there are only two congressional districts. As such, the probability any candidate would earn delegates at a district level and not at the state level is less than more populated states.

Sanders reportedly has shaken up his leadership staff in New Hampshire. This seems to suggest that Sanders is confirming that he needs to win in New Hampshire, and that nothing else is acceptable. However, regardless of which poll in the last five you look at, he is ranked 3rd.

In terms of polling momentum, Warren has a very high number at +.32. On the negative side is Buttigieg at -.13. He is trying to break into double digits in New Hampshire and challenge Sanders. Without doing so, the likelihood Buttigieg would pick up any delegates there is quite small.

It is interesting that reportedly Harris will make a big push in Iowa, given that she is not polling well there at all (my median for Harris in Iowa is 5%), but there is no mention of any added emphasis is New Hampshire where her median poll is now 4%. Additional resources and time in one state (Iowa) would necessarily mean less time in another, possibly New Hampshire. A reasonable conclusion is that the Harris team figures they need to do well in Iowa and that if they do not, New Hampshire may not make much of a difference. On the other hand it seems possible that if she does not begin to pick up steam in Iowa that she would move those resources to New Hampshire to avoid to huge losses in both of the first two elections in February.

It should be noted that since Steyer and Gabbard have qualified for the October debate, they have been added to the chart.

The above chart will be updated when new polling or non-polling data is available.

Nevada

Source

Nevada Caucus - February 22, 2020

The Nevada viability precinct caucuses are scheduled for Saturday February 22. Early voting occurs February 15-18 and virtual caucuses take place on February 16 and 17. The number of delegates selected as pledged is 36. Of these 36 delegates, 23 will be determined at the congressional district level (there are four CD's) and the additional 13 delegates will be selected at the state convention on May 30. There are an additional 12 delegates who will not be pledged on the first ballot, so 48 in all. There is a 15% threshold candidates must meet in order to be declared viable.

For a broader look at the entire nomination process, readers can view the author's article at https://hubpages.com/politics/US-Election

Nevada Caucus Projections - Updated October 15, 2019

Candidate
Nevada Rank
Median Poll
Rank Median Poll
Rank Non-Polling
Polling Momentum
Biden
1
23%
1
2
-.21
Sanders
2
22%
2
5
+.04
Warren
3
18%
3
1
-.04
Buttigieg
4
4%
5
3
+.04
Harris
5
5%
4
6
.00
Yang
6
3%
6.5
4
+.13
Steyer
7
3%
6.5
8
+.18
Booker
8
2%
8
9
+.04
Gabbard
9
1%
10
7
+.00
O'Rourke
10
1%
10
11
-.14
Castro
11
1%
10
12
-.11
Klobuchar
12
0%
12
11
+.09
Projected results based on two factors: (a) median of three most recent polls collected through September 26 and (b) non-polling data effective October 15, 2019.

Analysis of Nevada Caucus Projections - Updated October 15, 2019

The most recent three polls in Nevada are CNN (9-26), Suffolk (9-23) and You Gov (9-4).

Biden, Sanders and Warren are projected to share delegates from the Nevada caucus in that order. One significant question is whether any other candidate such as Harris, who comes from the neighboring state of California, may be able to pick up enough steam to earn some delegates here. A second question which will become the most significant as this process works through March and April is whether any candidate can earn 50% of the delegate vote on the 1st ballot at the national convention. That answer will depend on the implementation of the 15% rule.

Nevada is polled infrequently, and a such, when any poll is released, analysts focus on that one poll. It is difficult to have any polling momentum when so few polls are conducted. With that caveat, Steyer and Yang appear to have the highest degree of polling momentum with Biden and O'Rourke having the weakest momentum.

As Steyer has qualified for the October debate, he is now included in this Nevada analysis. Steyer has polled better in Nevada than any other state. His polling marks him tied with Yang at 6th in Nevada and 7th overall with non-polling included. The overall rank orders will likely continue to change again given the infrequency of polls in Nevada as full as fluctuating non-polling data.


South Carolina

Source

South Carolina Primary - February 29, 2020

South Carolina holds the Democratic primary on Saturday February 29. 54 delegates out of 63 in total will be determined as pledged based on the primary results. Out of the 54 pledged delegates, 35 are determined according to the vote totals in each of seven congressional districts and the additional 19 delegates are determined based on the total state vote. There is a 15% minimum rule which applies to both the congressional districts and the state.

For a broader look at the entire nomination process, readers can view the author's article at https:hubpages.com/politics/US-Election

South Carolina Primary Projections - October 15, 2019

Candidate
South Carolina Rank
Median Poll
Rank Median Poll
Rank Non-Polling
Polling Momentum
Biden
1
37%
1
2
+.21
Warren
2
16%
2
1
-.10
Sanders
3
10%
3
4
+.09
Buttigieg
4
4%
5
3
-.09
Harris
5
4.5%
4
6
-.04
Yang
6
1.5%
8.5
5
+.06
Booker
7
3%
6
9
+.04
Steyer
8
2.5%
7
8
+.10
Gabbard
9
1%
10.5
7
-.06
O'Rourke
10
1.5%
8.5
11
-.12
Klobuchar
11
1
10.5
10
-.05
Castro
12
0%
12
12
-.04
Projected results based on two factors: (a) median of six most recent polls collected through October 11 and (b) non-polling data effective October 15, 2019.

Analysis of South Carolina Primary Projections - Updated October 15, 2019

The last six polls were You Gov (9-11), Firehouse (10-11), Gravis (10-7), Fox (10-2), Winthrop (9-30) and CNN (9-26). Biden remains way ahead of Warren, but Sanders has fallen on median 27 points behind Biden. Biden has the strongest momentum with O'Rourke and Warren having the weakest momentum in South Carolina.

For Harris, the recent three polls, 7%, 5% and 4%, have to be very disappointing. From the beginning of this process, Harris especially counted on South Carolina as a critical state. However, she is struggling to hold on to a chance for any delegates. She is not ranked better than 4th in any of the four early primary/caucus states. In South Carolina, she is placed 4th based on polling and 5th overall.

The dynamic has changed to Biden being able to count himself in as a top ranked candidate, even if he does not win in Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada if he can grab the lion's share of delegates in South Carolina.

South Carolina is scheduled on February 29, just three days before 15 primaries and caucuses on Super-Tuesday. Candidates will have to make "game-time" decisions as to how much time to spend in South Carolina versus any of the Super-Tuesday states. If Biden appears to be the runaway winner in South Carolina, we may see candidates given substantially less time to South Carolina, compared to recent primaries. The amount of time that say Warren and Sanders spend in South Carolina may provide a sense of what their internal polling is telling them.

Comments

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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 months ago

      Paul

      " By Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2019

      Sen. Bernard Sanders teamed up with freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday to roll out a plan taking on “extortionists” on Wall Street, proposing mandatory caps on credit card interest rates.

      The 77-year-old senator and the 29-year-old congresswoman announced the plan in a live video, saying they have written companion bills that would set a 15% cap and give states the power to go even lower. They cast the bills as a way to combat banks they say have become “loan sharks,” using interest rates to trap some consumers in a spiral of debt. “We are talking about economic brutality,” said Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent.

      He tied himself to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez at a critical time. His 2020 presidential campaign has been flagging in the polls, losing ground to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

      The interest-rate cap provides a strong contrast with Mr. Biden, who has been accused of being too cozy with credit card companies during his three-plus decades as a Delaware senator."

      B:

      This is a good cause but it is not in their wheelhouse their core goals.

      The usury laws of 10% were circumvented by South Dakota, the Credit Card Companies and SCOTUS.

      The companies made a deal with SD to change their usury laws from 10% and in return the companies would move their HQ to SD.

      SCOTUS then decided that the higher usury rates of SD could prevail across the country. That was a real political decison, and Bernie and AOC should set the cap to 10%.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      6 months ago

      Paul

      He had promised a fight to the convention, and yet this is what he did do,

      "The DNC Convention

      We come to the end of the race and Sanders refuses to drop out. Why did he refuse to drop out after he had lost so decisively? After all he lost it by 12 points, 977 delegates, by open primaries, closed primaries, caucuses and whatever you call Nevada. But he didn’t drop out until July 12th. Which is odd since the last primary was June 14th. He kept going and even kind of promised a floor fight unless he got his way on the platform and other things he wanted.

      Yet despite all of the pleading for unity, he didn’t do squat until after a certain press conference that was bizarre in of itself. "

      B:

      Clinton had an artificial super delegate lead, and Clinton wasn't campaigning months before the convention.

      Call it what you want, but somewhere he caved in and let his supporters down. And why wouldn't the DNC give that same backing to Biden. The DNC doesn't really believe Sanders represents the democrat party.

      Again, if your list is the top contenders for the DNC, the Biden is going to win, unless you think Obama is going to back Sanders?

    • PaulSusen profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Susen 

      6 months ago from Huntington, Vermont

      I cannot understand your Sanders "dropping out" comment. Sanders competed through to the end, Sanders won 23 of 57 contests. Clinton had a large advantage of super-delegates and the Democratic party "machine." This was always going to be a difficult challenge for Sanders.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      6 months ago

      Biden has the Obama ground game, and the only game that Sanders had from 2016 was dropping out. Do people want a president that gives up. The least he could have done, especially as he was catching up, was to stick with it until the primary.

      Harris has any track record in congress, and certainly nothing more than joining the pack of Anti Trumpers. That doesn't clearly separate her from the pack.

      I agree with your comment on the young people, but if young people want socialism they are the product of their teachers educating them, and not from being independent thinkers.

      If this is the best you have for the democrat primary, then no one can beat Biden if he doesn't do a Sanders:)

    • PaulSusen profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Susen 

      6 months ago from Huntington, Vermont

      Sanders has a massive social media and fund-raising presence. In addition, he has a ground game left from the 2016 campaign, which Biden does not have. Biden has the name and connection with Obama, but will suffer from a lack of enthusiasm from young people who run around and get a lot of the work completed on the ground. Also, Sanders actually won Iowa in 2016 despite the media call and Clinton's claim of victory, Harris will have plenty of resources but is not a natural fit for Iowa. We could see O'Rourke and Buttigieg challenging for the 3rd position.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      6 months ago

      If understand Biden, but why are people still going for Sanders after his dismal exit from the DNC primary in 2016?

      And how desperate to have Kamela Harris after Warren. If this is the list, the Biden is going to win hands down. He is the only link left to Obama.

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