With just three days before Iowans head to the caucuses, new data could bring new clarity to a number of major questions about the state of the 2016 presidential races.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are positioned to win in Iowa, according to a spate of new polls.
In the Iowa Republican primary, the race for months has been Trump versus everyone else.
While Texas Senator Ted Cruz briefly challenged the front-runner for first place in Iowa, one of the race’s earliest primaries, Trump seems to have recovered a lead well outside the margin of error, according to most of the surveys released in the past week.
Trump leads Cruz, 30 percent to 23 percent, in a Monmouth University poll, 31 percent to 23 percent in a Public Policy Polling survey and 32 percent to 25 percent in the jointly-sponsored NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, for an average lead of 6.2 points, according to RealClearPolitics. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has broken away from the pack of also-rans to take sole possession of third place, with an average of about 15 percent.
None of the other candidates’ support hits double digits.
Meanwhile, seeking victory in Iowa, Hillary Clinton has begun channeling the economic indignation of her rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose unapologetically liberal campaign has tightened the race ahead of Monday’s caucuses and given him a lead in the New Hampshire contest that follows.
Making her closing argument to Iowa caucus-goers, Clinton now cloaks her detailed policy plans in Sanders’ outraged rhetoric. Pharmaceutical pricing “burns” her up. Companies that take advantage of the tax loopholes get her “pretty riled up.” And she promises to “rail away” at any industry that flouts the law.
“I’m going after all of them,” she declared in Davenport, her tone escalating to a shout. “When I talk about going after those companies, those businesses, those special interests, I have a much broader target list than my opponents.”
Though Clinton remains likely to win the nomination, a loss in Iowa would complicate her path and heighten Democratic concerns about her campaign. Already some Democrats have voiced concerns about her message and campaign management, worries that will only grow if she faces dual losses in the first two primary states.
While Clinton’s effort is aimed at winning the primary, her strategists are also trying to figure out how to tap into the deep vein of national frustration that’s driving Republican Donald Trump’s rise in Republican primary polls. Should she capture the Democratic nomination, Clinton will need to find a way to mobilize Sanders supporters to fuel a White House victory.
Sanders casts the contest as a clash between establishment politics and his promise to bring forth political revolution, asking Iowa voters to send a message to the rest of the nation. He will need a large turnout among college students, independents and first-time caucus-goers to upset Clinton.
While Clinton has campaigned as the rightful heir to President Barack Obama’s two terms, Sanders has portrayed himself as the successor to Obama’s political movement, launched more than eight years ago in Iowa.
Echoing Obama, Sanders tells audiences that fundamental changes in the nation “never come from on top” but only happens with “millions of people standing up for justice.” He points to Iowa as the place where a majority-white electorate voted for a black candidate in Obama, focusing on his ideas instead of his skin color. And he frequently fires up crowds by asking attendees to shout out their student loan interest rates and debt levels.
It’s a tactic Clinton has begun deploying at her events, pausing her remarks to ask attendees to share the details of their debt.
“You will not be paying for this forever if I become president,” she promised a woman in Newton, who told the audience that her husband now owed more than he originally borrowed.
Clinton fresh outrage comes after months of casting herself as more practical — and electable — alternative to Sanders, a strategy her campaign believed would undercut the grassroots Democratic enthusiasm for his candidacy.
When she campaigned at Iowa State University in Ames two weeks ago, Clinton suggested Sanders was making big promises he could never fulfill, saying she too wished for a “magic wand” to achieve a Democratic agenda.
“That ain’t the real world we’re living in!” she said.
Summarised from: RealClearPolitics, US News