Iowa

Branstad Will Step Down as Iowa Governor

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) “will resign as Iowa and the nation’s longest-serving governor and Kim Reynolds will be sworn in as his successor in back-to-back morning ceremonies at the Iowa Capitol,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“The long-awaited gubernatorial transition occurs two days after Branstad’s confirmation as ambassador to China by the U.S. Senate. In addition to the transfer of gubernatorial power, Branstad will be officially sworn into his diplomatic post.”

O’Malley Already Polling In Iowa

“The leadership PAC of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley commissioned a Public Policy Polling survey of the first-in-the-nation caucus state earlier this month,” according to a copy of the results obtained by Politico.

“The poll, which shows O’Malley at 18 percent of Democratic caucus-goers in a field of nine potential candidates if the contest were held today, also asked the Iowans about New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing Sec. Julian Castro, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.”

Early Ballots Show Clinton Strength in North Carolina

“Seven weeks before Election Day, the earliest numbers from advance voting for president show initial strength for Hillary Clinton in swing state North Carolina, good news for Donald Trump in battleground Iowa and a record number of requests for ballots in Ohio,” the AP reports.

“The first early voting figures Tuesday are too preliminary to serve as clear indicators about how the election will go. Still, they are of interest because, unlike polls, they deal with actual voters either casting ballots or taking their first steps to do so. Campaigns are scrutinizing these figures to help guide their strategies.”

Trump Quote of the Day

“Look, I’ve never done this before. I’ve been a politician for seven months. I’m against governors and senators. They’ve done it their whole lives. It would seem to me that people would just go out and vote.”

— Donald Trump, quoted by the Associated Press, explaining that he “never realized” the need to encourage supporters to actually take part in the Iowa caucuses.

Errors Found in Iowa Caucus Results

“Iowa Democratic Party officials are reviewing results from the Iowa caucuses and making updates where discrepancies have been found,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“The latest development follows widespread questions among Iowa Democrats and national media about the accuracy of the counts reported on caucus night, which saw the second-highest number of participants and closest result in Democrats’ caucus history.”

Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) credited Ted Cruz for running an “old-fashioned”, 99-county campaign in Iowa, but also ripped Cruz for using “questionable” campaign tactics, Radio Iowa reports.

Said Branstad: “This thing that they distributed on Caucus night saying that Dr. Carson was likely to drop out and his supporters should support Cruz, that is, I think, unethical and unfair. I think there’ll be repercussions to that.”

Editorial Rips Iowa Democratic Caucuses as Unfair

A Des Moines Register editorial blasts the Iowa Democratic caucuses:

“What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy. The Iowa Democratic Party must act quickly to assure the accuracy of the caucus results, beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

First of all, the results were too close not to do a complete audit of results. Two-tenths of 1 percent separated Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. A caucus should not be confused with an election, but it’s worth noting that much larger margins trigger automatic recounts in other states.

Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems.”

Why Pollsters Should Poll Until the End

Carl Bialik: “Most Iowa polls showed Donald Trump winning the state’s Republican caucuses. He didn’t. Some Iowa polls showed Hillary Clinton winning Iowa easily. She didn’t. It’s notoriously hard to poll Iowa, but what can pollsters learn from Monday night’s results to improve their work over the next few months — and for the 2020 caucuses?”

“One of the biggest lessons was a simple one: Keep on contacting voters as late as possible.”