Iowa Democrats are prepping for their last ever Jefferson-Jackson dinner tomorrow night; the name's being changed next year. The event comes at the end of an eventful two weeks in the Democratic race. Here's some short notes on how the key events affect the players.
The Biden Dropout
BIG win for Hillary. Joe was the only one with the gravitas to make a credible mainstream challenge, and his support was going to come almost entirely out of hers. It also means a pre-Iowa Obama endorsement is a possibility.
Some loss to Sanders. Biden eating 10-15% of the total vote, mainly out of Hillary, would have lowered the first place percentage closer to Sanders' ceiling of support - which I keep predicting is close to his current 40%ish.
Win for me as I correctly predicted it. However, I also predicted
Sanders would NOT run and that Scott Walker was a lock for the
Republican nomination. In an alternate universe where Sanders didn't run, Martin O'Malley is playing Bill Bradley to Hillary's AL Gore. Instead, we're playing out Carter-Kennedy, with O'Malley as Jerry Brown.
EVEN BIGGER win for Hillary. Presidential style, presidential stamina, and Republicans couldn't even come up with a way to spin it.
No difference for Sanders. His support is hinged on different factors.
Loss for O'Malley, whose whole strategy depends on being the only mainstreamer surviving after a Hillary collapse, which seems less likely every day. Bernie has given her a pass on email, and now Benghazi is off the table too.
A win for O'Malley. Not because their asterisk percent support gets added to his. Because he gains a big chunk of their debate time. It's a lot easier for debate moderators to squeeze out a three man second tier than it is to squeeze out one person. He still won't get EQUAL time to Bernie and Hillary, but he gains 10 or 15 minutes. Now he needs to DO something with it, which he didn't in last week's debate.
A one millimeter gain for Hillary - only because Chafee was the only one who might have attacked her, and as we saw from the Vegas debate, he was easy to dismiss in a single syllable.
As for Chafee, he avoids one last humiliation at JJ: With the speakers in anti-alphabetical order, he would have been last, after Hillary, and would likely have been inaudible from the mass exodus.
A loss for Republicans, as the Democratic also-rans show some realism while the Republican One Percenters cling to delusion.
JJ Weekend Live Entertainment
Mainstream vs. Alternative, kind of like the campaigns.
Unlike most musicians played at Republican rallies (they struggle for any acts newer than Ted Nugent) Katy Perry is an actual Clinton supporter AND at peak popularity. Super Bowl halftime is as A-list as it gets.
Sanders is bringing an alt-hipster list headlined by Marshall Crenshaw, who was alt-hipster 35 years ago. The Sanders Hipster Factor needs more attention. He's on an independent label from Vermont. You've probably never heard of him.
As for Martin O'Malley...
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