Ready or not, the Democratic presidential race is entering its second to last lap. Come Labor Day the battle begins 24/7 for Iowa, which coronated the last 6 ultimate nominees in the last 8 contests (favorite son Harkin’s win in 1992 was an obvious anomaly, and Missouri neighbor Gephardt’s Iowa win in 1988 similarly explainable).
Watching the speed dating 20-minute appearances of the candidates at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend, plus the state polling, and on-ground staffing of the Democratic hopefuls, my take:
Elizabeth Warren could dislodge Joe Biden. All that’s holding her back is worries among Iowa voters she’s not as likely as Biden to beat Trump. If she can fix that, Biden is done.
Other takes: Sanders has run his course, while Harris and Booker are getting a look. Mayor Pete isn’t catching on. The rest of field off the grid. But Iowans are warming to Warren’s authenticity.
Why is Iowa so critical (other than it’s history of mostly choosing the nomination winners)? Voters there define the narrative going forward. And this time the narrative out of Iowa matters more than ever. Within four weeks after Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses most of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination will be chosen and pledged for the first ballot at the convention.
I’m not seeing Democrats fully understand the end game is here and now for choosing who challenges Trump. Waiting for the perfect is the enemy of the possible.
I choose Warren.