In every contested race for Democratic nominations this century, the Iowa rubber winner eventually wins the nomination. This is a measure of how much momentum candidates can gain, especially in this era of comprehensive news coverage, from winning this entry-level competition. Aware of this story, the top contenders in 2020 courted Iowa more aggressively than any other state in the primary calendar, whether measured in time, money or staff.
For this reason, some Democrats look to South Carolina, a heavily African American country, which votes fourth in the main calendar, as a better estimate of how the Iowa vote that will end up in 3 February, or New Hampshire, which follows with the first primary eight days later.
"While I think Iowa is a good place to get your feet wet, New Hampshire is a good place to get your feet wet, South Carolina is a place to dive into the political pool and really start swimming," says Anjuan Seirith a South Carolina-based Democratic strategist not involved in the race. "Ultimately, the state will decide who will be nominated next."
The predominant role that Iowa and New Hampshire play in the nomination process generates internal party tension from years, because the Democratic electorate in each state remains about 90% white, in a party where up to 40% of major voters in all states may not be white.
But the impact of this racial contrast was dampened in the four contested 2000 party nominations for one big reason: Iowa Cooperative winners all performed well with black voters in subsequent states, especially Al Gore in 2000. ., Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 (John Kerry, Iowa winner in 2004, performed well, but not as dominant among African-American voters.)
However, polls this year show to increased advertising opportunity mismatch between mostly the white electorate in Iowa and the more diverse states that follow.
Support among African-Americans
"I would say today that it will be really difficult to displace Elizabeth Warren," says Jeff Link, an Iowa Democratic consultant who is not a member of the race. "She didn't have a meteoric rise, she had a slow and steady climb. She has a great organization and they are smart and they do things everywhere."
This model increases the opportunity for the Iowa series to choose party winners to end next year. The biggest question that remains in the race in 2020 may actually be whether Biden's disappointing showing in Iowa – and probably New Hampshire – will drive more black voters away in later states, especially in the South Carolina. from him.
"I don't think that will have any bearing on the deciding vote in South Carolina, which is African-American voters," Seawright says. Iowa's ultimate effect on the nomination fight may turn out to be right.
The influence of Iowa and New Hampshire only increased in the 21st century
If anything else, the influence of the two countries seems to have deepened over this century. Not only do they choose the ultimate winner each time, but the candidates who have not made it to one of them are almost completely imprisoned everywhere else.
Iowa seems to be overshadowing even New Hampshire in the most recent Democratic contests: When the two states made their choice in 2008 and 2016, the winner in Iowa (Obama and then Hillary Clinton) beat the winner in New Hampshire ( Clinton and then Sanders) both times. And certainly in 2020, any tangible measure of campaign engagement signals that candidates prioritize Iowa over New Hampshire and the other earliest states on the Nevada and South Carolina calendar.
Iowa receives cash and face time
Data collected by CNN political unit from Kantar / CMAG, an ad monitoring company, shows that Iowa receives much more television advertising spend than any other country.
In addition to billionaire investor Tom Steyer, a longtime candidate who has spent huge sums in all four early states, ad buyer candidates are heavily leaning toward Iowa. Biden, for example, has already spent about $ 700,000 in Iowa, compared to about $ 5,000 combined in the other three states. Buttigieg has spent nearly $ 2 million on television in Iowa without spending anything in the other three states.
Three other candidates almost all of its television spending so far in Iowa: Sanders ($ 1.7 million in Iowa, about $ 1,000 in South Carolina) and Sens. Michael Bennett of Colorado (about $ 1.1 million in Iowa, nothing else) and Kamala Harris from California (nearly $ 600,000 in Iowa, nowhere else). Although Senator Aimee Klobuchar of Minnesota is cast in Iowa as a neighboring Midwest, she may be the biggest exception to this model so far: She spends roughly even sums in Iowa and New Hampshire, nearly $ 500,000 just in case.
Warren has not yet aired television commercials, but Kantar / CMAG data indicates that she has booked more television advertising in Iowa than anywhere else. Warren, however, has also booked commitments plus millions of dollars in the other three states; except Steyer, only Biden – in South Carolina – has made reservations in a future state anywhere near this large.
"I think there are 650 campaigners in Iowa right now," says Link, a Democratic consultant. "This should be close to the high water sign" in the state's history, he adds.
In New Hampshire, the "slow fall"
Everything is enough to leave New Hampshire feeling more than a little neglected. "It was slowly falling," says Dante Scala, a political scientist at the University of New Hampshire and author of Stormy Weather, a story of primary New Hampshire. Scale says New Hampshire receives the least attention from Democratic candidates, likely from a race in 2004, when much of the field also burst into Iowa and largely relinquished the country's primary to the two regionals candidates, Kerry and Dean.
This year it appears that several factors are campaigning to prioritize Iowa over other early states even more than usual.
The first is the size of the field. Democrat voters have already shown a reluctance to focus more than a handful of candidates this year, and campaigns say the narrowing trend will increase significantly as states begin to vote.