Manic Monday Markup 2/1/16…
Special Iowa edition! More updates from around the world later today.
Hawkeye of the Storm:
We begin today in Iowa, where the first nominating contests for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations are happening tonight.
On the Republican side, it all comes down to organization. Power Post says that if turnout is lower, that favor Texas Senator Ted Cruz who is trailing professional provocateur Donald Trump in recent polls. Cruz’s organization in Iowa is said to be among the better ones on the Republican side.
Groupthink about Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior senator, is settling into the Beltway and campaign press. If Rubio places a strong third (i.e. he actually places third, no matter the actual number), he’ll be set up to the establishment GOP’s last hope to escape the maw of a Trump or Cruz candidacy.
On the Democratic side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is calling for heavy turnout across the state to bolster his delegate numbers. However, at the same time his campaign is lowering expectations. The Washington Post reports that Sanders, who has a reputation as a lovably grumpy old man, on the trail, has become increasingly prickly (even for him) as the clock runs out in Iowa. That leaves some wondering if the Sanders campaign is anticipating a loss and will blame the Hawkeye state’s process if his campaign flounders there.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been playing it safe. While becoming a bit more animated in recent weeks, her campaign is focused on maintaining its ground game. Her campaign manager, data geek Robby Mook (pronounced like “book” not “kook”), was knocking doors in Urbandale, Iowa. Last night she gave a fiery, upbeat caucus eve speech to supporters.
The gold standard of Iowa polls show Clinton and Trump ahead in their respective contests.
…And the World:
The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus, linked to birth defects in children born to mothers carrying the virus, a global health emergency.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has two weeks to convince Eastern European countries that oppose the changes to the European Union charter he is seeking.
There were tentative steps toward peace in Syria.
Myanmar’s Parliament was awash in the colors of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, underscoring the huge majority she won, but also the expectations that came with the victory.
In a labor-intensive nominating contest like caucuses, which ultimately felled Clinton in 2008, organization is everything. That’s why she put Mook in charge of her campaign and why she invested so heavily in the state early on. Today we award the tweet prize to Associated Press reporter Steve Peoples for noting that despite polls, Cruz could still eke out a win due to his organization. Such observations apply to Democrats too, where many believe Clinton’s organization is superior to Sanders, his large crowds notwithstanding.
Despite polls, most of press corps/political operatives on ground I talk to expect Ted Cruz to win tonight bc of massive ground game.
— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples) February 1, 2016