|January 29, 2020: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are the subject of two new negative ad campaigns in Iowa. Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Tuesday night.
“But even setting aside that there are more competitive candidates in Iowa this year than ever before, there are two other things that make the 2020 Democratic race in Iowa especially close. First, Sanders, whose Iowa polling average is just a hair ahead of Biden’s, isn’t polling that high for a front-runner. At 22.6 percent, he has the second-lowest polling average for a leading candidate one week before the caucuses. (Paul sat at 21.5 percent in 2012.) Second, there are three contenders polling above 15 percent, which is tied for the most candidates in any presidential election cycle.
But a fourth candidate, Warren, is just short of the 15 percent mark, so this year’s caucuses could produce a historic result: Since the start of the modern primary era there’s never been a major-party contest in Iowa where more than three candidates won at least 15 percent of the vote statewide. Moreover, since 1992, when the Democratic Party implemented some of the rules that continue to define its nomination races, there has not been a single Democratic primary or caucus in any state or territory in which more than three candidates have won at least 15 percent of the vote statewide. Although Warren has fallen slightly below the 15 percent mark, she also just got an endorsement from the Des Moines Register, which might help her reverse her polling slide in the state. So if Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg and Warren all go on to finish above 15 percent, it would be a first.”
– Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight
What We’re Reading
Flashback: January 29, 2016
Ted Cruz released an ad in Iowa targeting Marco Rubio.
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