Now the Democratic primary race can really begin

The news media would have you think that the Democrats are truly struggling at this point. Iowa and New Hampshire do not a successful presidential campaign make. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton thoroughly in New Hampshire, but he was unable to carry that victory nationwide, leaving Hillary Clinton the nominee by millions of votes.

Now, the media is counting out Joe Biden because of the results in Iowa and New Hampshire while Biden, according to FiveThirtyEight, is counting on South Carolina, Nevada and the fourteen states that vote on Super Tuesday. Indeed, Biden knew he would not do well in New Hampshire, and left early for South Carolina. Does any of this matter? According to FiveThirtyEight, yes and no. Vox followed up on that issue and believes that Iowa and New Hampshire “shouldn’t go first” anymore.

Julián Castro dropped out because the initial primaries are held in Iowa and New Hampshire, which are 9% and 6%, respectively, people of color. At the time, the Democratic Party tweeted that Castro was correct: “We cannot preach racial justice & representation & then exclude People of Color from our voting primaries.” This supports FiveThirtyEight’s contention that Biden’s position makes sense because Iowa and New Hampshire are “nearly all white.” Vox echoes this sentiment and goes a bit more into detail about this claim.

Both states are roughly 90% white while the rest of America is 60% white, and the Democratic base is 40% people of color. Biden maintains his lead among black voters, but FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley notes that these two predominantly white states maintain a level of influence over the remaining states. For example, Skelley said that a 37% change occurred in national polls after John Kerry won both Iowa and New Hampshire (though he didn’t win the presidency). These early results obviously don’t accurately reflect the entire voting public.

Leave a Comment