Betdata.io chart of past three months on Betfair Exchange
In an earlier post this week Robert emphasised the importance of the Iowa caucuses in the selection of the Democratic nominee. This is all because the state is the first to decide and voters there tend to pay much greater attention to the contenders at this stage than those states where the primaries are much later in the calendar.
This week has been the Iowa State Fair and all the contenders have been there making sure that they are seen in what is a big public event.
At the start of her campaign in January senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts made a big play of investing her early campaign money in setting up an operation in Iowa because the caucasuses historically have been so influential.
What happens here is quite extraordinary. People attend a caucus meeting in their local precinct. It might just be in somebody’s front room, and they discuss between themselves who they think would be the best nominee. Then they go into a process where supporters of the different candidates gather in different parts of the room and a little bit of horse trading takes place. After that voting takes place and the stats aggregated on a statewide basis. This year there is to be an online virtual caucus.
Iowans take very seriously their status as the first status to decide and the caucus meetings, I’m told, can be quite gripping. My guess is that what they’ll be looking next February for who is the best candidate capable of defeating Donald Trump.
The latest poll from Change Research is here.
Carrying out opinion polls in a caucus context like this can be extremely challenging because the key thing is to determine who are going to be caucus goers and most Democratic voters do not fit into that category.
Having good organisers across the state is key to success here and the top 4 in the polling have all invested heavily in their Iowa operation.
A recent development is that the national frontrunner, Joe Biden, is being increasingly scrutinised an other indications that his age might impact on his ability to be the nominee and President.
There is, however, a long way to go till February 3rd when the caucuses take place.