Buttigeig Butts Ahead in Iowa

22%

A new Monmouth poll in Iowa finds Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic field with 22%, followed by Joe Biden at 19%, Elizabeth Warren at 18% and Bernie Sanders at 13%. They are followed by Amy Klobuchar at 5%, Kamala Harris at 3%, Tom Steyer at 3%, Andrew Yang at 3%, Cory Booker at 2%, and Tulsi Gabbard at 2%. However, just 28% of likely caucusgoers are firmly decided on their candidate choice.

Biden Team Already Lowering Expectations

“We must be getting closer to the primaries and caucuses, because Joe Biden’s team on Tuesday began the job of lowering expectations. They’re now making the case that the former vice president could still take the nomination even if he doesn’t win in either Iowa or New Hampshire. … As Steve Kornacki correctly says, no one has actually done this since the modern nomination system began in 1972. (And as Kornacki adds, Bill Clinton in 1992 doesn’t count because all the other candidates conceded Iowa to home-state Senator Tom Harkin.) … It’s not just that failing to win would hurt Biden; it’s that failing to win would mean someone else won, and that candidate might be well positioned to capitalize on an early victory.”

Jonathan Bernstein

Trump Campaign Defects Clear After Iowa Loss

Trump’s second-place finish in Iowa exposed an array of weaknesses in his campaign: His flashiness has started to grate on supporters like Goacher. He’s proved vulnerable to attacks on his ideological purity. And he failed to put together an effective ground operation. … All this raises questions about the novice candidate’s wherewithal to command the kind of sprawling and complex enterprise required to win the presidency. The skills that enabled Trump to build his business empire are not entirely the same as the ones he needs to win the world’s most powerful job.

Los Angeles Times