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What Iowa Caucus?

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | February 5, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | February 5, 2020 |


This is why it doesn’t do much good to get worked up over a one-day story, as a lot of people did yesterday over the Iowa Caucus results. We live in an era where the news cycle is churned once, twice, sometimes three times a day. We also live in an era where some of us seek out those excuses to be angry, not that there is anything wrong with that, and not that there isn’t plenty of material over which to get worked up. But the amount of anger and vitriol directed at our own side yesterday again ignored the real enemy. Nancy didn’t forget.


I didn’t watch the State of the Union speech, because I am no longer a person who seeks out excuses to feel more rage — I like to keep it at a low but constant simmer. From what I understand, Donald Trump treated it like a game show, handing out gifts and awards in order to improve his reelection chances. It may or may not be a fever dream, but I swear I heard somewhere that Donald Trump gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, but that can’t possibly be right because to do so removes every ounce of significance to that award. That award now means nothing.

Honest to God, if this country reelects Donald Trump, we deserve everything that we get.

I assume — again, without looking, because I have a pretty good sense for how the news cycle works these days — that the right is “triggered” by Nancy Pelosi’s actions last night. I also assume that the content of Trump’s speech has been completely forgotten already because the only story is Nancy Pelosi, which is to say: Nancy Pelosi is a goddamn hero. Trump is probably fixated on Pelosi at the expense of everything else, because he cannot tweet and chew gum at the same time.

In any respect, this, too, shall pass. Trump will be acquitted by the Senate in the impeachment trial later today. That will be a story for maybe a full 24 hours. The media will contemplate what it means to Trump’s reelection chances. They will write that the Democrats have ruined their opportunity to take back the White House. And then Trump will do or say something that will obliterate that news cycle, and by this time in March, impeachment will be as distant a memory as the Mueller probe.

The narrative shifts every day, and it would serve us all well not to get bogged down by the media’s whims. We just gotta keep plugging along, pushing our candidates in local, state, and federal elections, in addition to the Presidential campaign.

Speaking of which, the results from Iowa are still trickling in. We are up to 71 percent of precincts reporting, and the results are essentially the same as when 50 percent of precincts were reporting. Buttigieg has a slight lead over Sanders; Warren a way back in third place, and Joe Biden is a distant fourth. That there is the story, folks. The frontrunner — the former Vice President under a very popular Administration — is a distant fourth.

New Hampshire is next, and the latest poll according to the reporting of the Boston Globe’s Jeremy C. Fox (hey! He started Pajiba with me!) shows that Bernie Sanders has taken a wider lead there, while Biden has fallen into a virtual tie with Buttigieg for second place.

There’s a lot of things I don’t know, folks, and a lot of things I do. One thing I do know is that Pete Buttigieg will not win the nomination (but yes, of course, I will vote for him because even a moderate Republican is obviously better than Donald Trump).

A lot of things can happen between now and June (Bernie could have another heart attack, for instance), but it’s shaping up to be a race between Bernie and Buttigieg, at least until Super Tuesday in March. Warren’s best shot to reclaim the frontrunner status was Iowa — she’s got one more chance in New Hampshire, but if she can’t achieve a strong showing, I think she might drop out, particularly if Bernie promises her her pick of cabinet positions (give her Treasury and watch Wall Street lose their shit!). Biden will hang on until South Carolina, where he is supposed to have a strong lead, but it may be deteriorating even in his firewall state. Buttigieg, meanwhile, couldn’t pay a Black person to vote for him, so come Super Tuesday, the Biden/Buttigieg moderate wing of the party may fall to … Bloomberg, who is doing well in California and just doubled his ad spending budget (he spent basically $300 million in January). By April, it could legit be a two-man race between Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders, which is absolutely insane. But that very well could be the choice that voters are faced with, and it could legit come down to New York deciding the nominee on April 28th.

It’s gonna be a hell of a year, folks. Buckle the hell in.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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