(Warning – turn down your volume control)
Imbolc marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox — too soon to celebrate a new season, but ‘winter’s back is broken’. Here in the Boston area, the official state whistlepig is almost certain to see her shadow, so it’ll be six more weeks of winter for us. As long as it’s not a repeat of last year’s February, we can live with it — it’s been an extremely clement season so far.
As for political news… from ground zero, the Des Moines Register:
Iowa Democratic Party officials worked into the early morning Tuesday trying to account for caucus results from a handful of tardy precincts in the extremely close presidential caucus race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
By 2:30 a.m., the party announced that it had results from 1,682 of 1,683 precincts, and that Clinton had eked out a slim victory…
About 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire released a statement saying the results were the closest in Iowa Democratic caucuses history. “After a year where Iowans took the time to see candidates, ask them thoughtful questions, and became volunteers and leaders themselves, tonight 171,109 Iowa Democrats came together with their neighbors to engage in a spirited discussion on the future of our country.”
If you believe NYMag, “Bernie Sanders owns the future of the Democratic Party.” If you believe the NYTimes’ Nate Cohn, a “‘Virtual Tie’ in Iowa Is Better for Clinton Than Sanders.” It’s more an argument over the arc of history than the November election, and right now it looks like both campaigns are working hard to make sure that their voters will show up in November to vote against the Repubs, whichever candidate ends up at the top of the ticket.
As for the Repubs — Alex Pareene, at Gawker:
[Monday] morning, the smart money had it that Donald Trump would win Iowa, and Ted Cruz would come in second—but it was possible that Trump could under-perform and Cruz would win. Well, Ted Cruz has won Iowa. Donald Trump is in second, and Marco Rubio is in third. But according to “the narrative,” Donald Trump is tonight’s big loser, and Rubio the upset victor.
The “expectations game” requires performing about as well as the polls said you would perform, or doing better. It is by that standard that Cruz and Rubio won, and Donald Trump swooned. Ann Selzer’s poll had Trump at 28 percent, Cruz at 23 percent, and Rubio at 15 percent. According to the results currently being reported on CNN, Cruz is at 28 percent, Trump is at 24 percent, and Rubio is at 23 percent…
What was wrong with the pre-caucus political analysis was the idea that high turnout would mean Trump was looking stronger. Turnout was high, and Trump didn’t surge. So either Cruz turned a lot more people out than anyone predicted, or a lot of soft “Trump supporters” showed up and were (rather easily) persuaded to switch to Rubio. If it’s the latter, that ought to make Trump worry about New Hampshire—but his lead there, so far, is massive, and primaries are very different from caucuses…
As I mentioned in my last post, the Trumpkins — with Breitbart.com cheerleading — are busy convincing themselves that Microsoft rigged the voting app to pump up results for their ‘water boy’ Rubio, in return for unlimited H1B visas come 2017. Carson’s voters, per Drudge, are upset that Cruz campaigners may have lied to caucus-goers about Carson dropping out prior to the tally. And everybody still hates the guy who actually got the most votes — Reince Priebus couldn’t even bring himself to mention Ted Cruz in the RNC’s official statement. So we got that going for us.
Apart from all that, what’s on the agenda for the day?