So we seem to have a RACE here.Iowa Poll: Clinton 37% Sanders 30% Biden 14% O’Malley 3% Webb 2% Chafee 1% among likely Dem caucusgoers, conducted Aug. 23-26. #iacaucus— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 29, 2015
Register.Selzer tend to trickle out info from these polls for a few days. Here's the details so far; would LOVE to see the gender crosstabs. Would also love to see another poll soon to see if 37-30 is a trend or an outlier.
So far this seems to be an identity politics election, because "move the party left" and "it should always ever only be about the ISSUES" is an identity, just as much as Woman President is. And in that dichotomy, it's hard to see a path for a Joe Biden (who I still think will not run) or a Martin O'Malley.
Hillary Clinton has a floor of support. There are X% of Iowans - at least 30% based on January 3, 2008, probably a bit more now - who will stay with her no matter what. Bernie Sanders has a ceiling of support. There are only Y% of Iowans - a number not yet tested in real world conditions - who will back an explicit left candidacy.
As a Deaniac in 2004, I remember the floor dropping out just before the caucuses. At the last minutes people got scared and flocked back to "safer" choices, and campaigns cooperated at realignment in an Anyone But Dean move.
The other question is: How does Team Hillary respond? Do they continue to work the plan as it stands? Do they adapt by moving left on some big issue - Keystone and TPP come to mind? Or do the surrogates go on the attack?
The field of opportunity for Clinton is not the 30% already in the Sanders camp. It's the remaining 33% that's nominally with Biden or with the way short of viable other three candidates or which is uncommitted.