NOTES FROM THE IOWA CAUCUSES

February 2, 2020

THE DAY BEFORE IT HAPPENS

By Bob Weiner

After national Masters Track Chair Rex Harvey's funeral, we stayed Saturday night in hotel across the street (!) from the major caucuses media center in Des Moines, the convention center. In the media staying in our hotel and around the media center, all sensed history, all know Biden at stake either winning or close second, and Bernie option of top, but two ways of counting now (new): who most support in first round, and who wins the reallocated delegates after first count of the groupings with less than 15% in each caucus (1681 separate caucuses, one each precinct). All media were astounded that the Des Moines Register final polling excluded Buttigieg in their questioning and had to pull the poll announcement, which would have impacted momentum -- so as we said in our recent Des Moines Register article, it's (really now) the caucuses and primaries themselves as the deciders, not the debates or the polling. Media center people said the media operations are being run by Dem and Repub National Committees (uh, yeah a lot of media interest in the Republican noncontested side, right...)

SO entire convention center and parking lot with TV trucks devoted to the flurry -- impressive for the state. World media centered here.

Then ran up to the Capitol building, the Capitol (gorgeous gold domed Capitol bldg.). One lone TV truck there on base road with the Capitol as background (ABC TV News). Perfect shot. Long (25 min.) conversation with producer who knows many of our media friends who's been at it for 40+ years, and he noted the Trump demographics (won't repeat) and who they are ... and agreed with our point in our earlier Des Moines Register article about the 10% extra base Trump got from the "Comey vote" at very end of 2016 general election and doesn't have it now explaining the flip votes in the 2018 and 2019 elections and (in my view) likely in a wave in 2020, as we wrote.

All agreed the impeachment House and Senate outcomes were predetermined and will be party line except 2-3 R's and 2-3 D's on final vote, and the 2-3 D's will split their votes between the two articles ...

Most agreed Bloomberg bought way into the debates because of commitment to spend millions win or lose (nomination) on staff and ads in general election against Trump, and valid point that the Bookers and Castros had constituencies valuable too so they got shafted.

So OK we confirmed our thinking but learned a lot from the media here too. Stay tuned. LOTS will begin for real in the counts Monday night.