Patterico's Pontifications

1/28/2020

Checking-in on Iowa and New Hampshire

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:10 pm



[guest post by JVW]

We are now inside of one week away from the Iowa Caucuses, which take place next Monday, February 3, to be followed eight days later by the first primary in New Hampshire. Because we obsess way more than we ought to over the votes of the thirty-first and forty-first most populous states in the Union, also the sixth and fourth whitest states respectively, pollsters are busy trying to determine how each race is shaping up.

According to rules as laid out by the party, Democrat candidates need to win at least a 15 percent share of a primary or caucus vote in order to receive pledged delegates. This becomes a fairly high threshold in a field that will feature at least ten candidates from which to choose. But the campaign of Elizabeth Warren has to be concerned that Lyin’ Liz, Fauxcahontas, Lieawatha, etc., now registers under that magic 15% level in an average of polls taken over the past two weeks. As recently as the beginning of November, she was leading the Iowa polls with over 20% of support; now she is ranked fourth among the candidates, and her numbers are falling while those of Senator Amy Klobuchar are on the rise. A fifth place finish in Iowa would be dreadful for the Warren campaign, a rebuke from which she might not be able to recover.

And the news is no better coming from New Hampshire, a neighboring state to Sen. Warren’s adopted state of Massachusetts where it is clear that she needs a strong showing (top three, at the very least) to convince us that she has a viable path to the nomination. The latest polls there also show her below the 15% threshold and falling, while her latest self-chosen nemesis Bernard Sanders is surging. She led in that state as recently as the week before Thanksgiving, but saw a rapid drop in her numbers, corresponding to the moment that her ridiculously fanciful health care plans started undergoing close scrutiny.

Iowa only accounts for 41 pledged delegates to the Democrat’s national convention and New Hampshire sends a mere 24, so considering that the Democrats will have 3,979 total pledged delegates, getting shut out in those two states doesn’t automatically end her candidacy. Still, given the fact that the Democrat Party in both Iowa and New Hampshire are dominated by white progressives, generally college-educated and solidly middle class, and given the fact that Elizabeth Warren is very well-known in New Hampshire since Boston media dominates the Granite State, emerging from the first two contests with zero pledged delegates would be a humiliation that would no doubt have party regulars questioning whether she had any real shot at the nomination. Her ability to raise funds and win endorsements would almost certainly be affected. Nor does the short-term outlook appear particularly promising for America’s “gifted storyteller,” as she lags in Nevada and South Carolina, the next two primaries on the calendar and two states where minority voters have a huge say in Democrat politics.

Of course polls are often unreliable and they do tend to flux pretty widely from month to month, even week to week. If Sen. Warren finishes strong in Iowa, say with 20% of the vote and within spitting distance of Joe Biden and Bernard Sanders, she could ride the momentum to a top two finish in New Hampshire. This might give her breathing room to downplay Nevada’s 36 pledged delegates and South Carolina’s 54, and instead concentrate on an impressive performance in California (415) and Texas (228), both of which have early primaries this year. Should the Sanders campaign have another set back such as a new health concern or an off-the-cuff salute to the Venezuelan economy, she might benefit from disillusioned Bernie Babes and even some Bros who look for the next-best alternative for socialist utopia. If the Klobuchar campaign stalls, or if the bourgeois urban progressives who support Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg abandon those mega-wealthy boutique candidates and flock to the Honest Injun, perhaps she will still be able to make a run of it.

But as for me, I hope that on Lincoln’s Birthday I am drafting a post on the well-deserved end to her insipid campaign.

– JVW

TV Elites Unforgivably Laugh at Stupid People

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:56 am



This clip is making the rounds among conservatives. Like Hillary’s “deplorables” comment or Obama’s “cling to guns or religion” gaffe, it’s a perfect flashpoint for regler fokes across the nation to decry how they’re mocked by the elites:

One non-elite person who is highly offended and not in a fake outrage way either but a totally serious way is … Ivanka Trump:

I totally agree. After all, what kind of total asshole mocks Southern people for their accents?

I’m of two minds about this.

First of all, mocking people as stupid because they have a Southern accent is an ignorant thing to do. There are plenty of very, very intelligent people who speak with a Southern, or Texas (I think they’re a little different) accent. There are people in this comment section who have Southern or Texas accents who are smarter than Rick Wilson or Don Lemon or Wajahat Ali — or Mike Pompeo or Donald or Ivanka Trump. Count on it. My father in law, who was born in South Texas and has spent most of his life in Louisville (properly pronounced LEWuhvill, and the “uh” is barely pronounced) is one of the smartest and most well read people I have ever met. Personally, I think I have a slight Texas accent myself (some of you have heard me speak and can tell me whether I’m imagining it or not) and I don’t think I’m stupid.

But second of all, Wilson is (while painting with way too broad a brush) right in the clip about a lot of things. First: he is right that Donald Trump could not find Ukraine on a map if his life depended on it (and I would watch a movie in which his life did depend on it). Wilson is correct that “this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world.” What the panel is discussing in the above clip is Pompeo’s insistence that the regler fokes out there don’t care about Ukraine. Pompeo was quoted by an NPR reporter as asking: “You think Americans care about Ukraine?” (Pompeo has contested aspects of the NPR reporter’s claim, but to my knowledge, he has not contested this quote — and to the extent that objective evidence exists to determine who is telling the truth as to the aspect he does contest, that evidence supports the reporter and not him.) Pompeo thinks nobody cares. And maybe a lot of people don’t. But the President should. And the Secretary of State should. And they should care about Ukraine as more than simply a crowbar they can use to bludgeon Joe Biden into submission.

Wilson goes on to say “That’s partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience, you know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump, that wants to think that [adopts Southern accent] ‘Donald Trump’s the smart one and y’all elitists are dumb.'” It’s a bad look because of the accent mocking. But here again, he has a point — although it is ridiculously overbroad and ensnares far too many sensible people in its net.

I have never said, and likely never will say, that people are dumb or ignorant or immoral simply because they have said they support Donald Trump. There are plenty of reasons to vote for him that are arguably sensible: judges, immigration, taxes, and regulation come to mind. Anyone who recognizes that he is dishonest, ignorant, impulsive, narcissistic, and so forth, but supports him anyway as a better alternative to the Dems … that’s not someone I am going to mock or condemn.

But someone who thinks that Donald Trump is “the smart one” is either seriously deluded, monumentally ignorant, or some combination of the two. I’m most of the way through “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America” by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. It’s one of several books I have read about Trump’s administration. The man constantly makes sudden decisions that contradict his administration’s policy and make no sense, based on a false narrative fed to him by someone on Fox News. He is laughably incurious and unserious and self-obsessed. He is most certainly not “the smart one” — and anyone who thinks he is, is mockable.

So sure, get all Outraged at Rick Wilson if you like. He painted all Trump supporters with too broad a brush and mocked Southern accents in a way that only Donald Trump is allowed to do. But let’s not pretend he didn’t have a point in there somewhere. If we’re being honest.


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