In “Everyone’s a Winner in Iowa,” Lisa Lerer writes about the stakes for Monday’s caucuses:
Presidential campaigns aren’t peewee soccer. There are no participation trophies.
But for the campaigns, the delegate totals aren’t really the point when it comes to Iowa. The state awards only 41 of the 3,979 pledged delegates to the national convention. (California, by comparison, awards 415.)
But Iowa can give a candidate something more important than delegates.
Here’s how Pete Buttigieg put it, as he tried to persuade a group of voters in Jefferson to come out and caucus for him on Monday night.
“What happens on Monday will set the tone for the entire rest of the election,” he told voters gathered in the back of a furniture store. “What happens on Monday will reverberate throughout the country.”
The name of the game is beating expectations, creating the kind of momentum that can propel a candidate into New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and beyond with a burst of enthusiasm.
For Amy Klobuchar, who’s been languishing in fifth place in the Iowa polls, that might mean placing third in delegates. For Elizabeth Warren, who’s been sliding behind Bernie Sanders in recent polls, it might mean besting her liberal rival in raw votes.
So, now imagine this scenario, one strategists say is not an impossibility, given how close recent polls have shown the race to be: Mr. Sanders wins the raw vote total, Joe Biden wins the delegate count and Mr. Buttigieg wins the rural counties.
Aides are already signaling that all three would come out of Iowa declaring victory.
Students, read the entire article, then tell us:
What is your reaction to the results of the Iowa caucuses? Who do you think was the big winner on the night? Who was the biggest loser? How do you think the results will impact the rest of the presidential race?
Are you excited about the 2020 primary season? How much attention have you been paying to the presidential race? Will you pay greater attention now that the primaries and caucuses are beginning?
What does Lisa Lerner mean by, “The name of the game is beating expectations.” Who do you think has the most to gain by a good showing in Iowa? Who has the most to lose?
Do you think the 2020 presidential race is an important one? Do you think it will have a big impact on you, your family and your community?
In “The Trouble With Iowa,” David Leonhardt questions why the small state always gets to go first in the primary season:
The combined population of Iowa and New Hampshire is 87 percent non-Hispanic white, which is roughly what the United States was in 1870. The states are also disproportionately older and completely lacking in cities with more than 250,000 residents.
And yet Iowa and New Hampshire are treated like a national microcosm every four years and given outsize influence in choosing the president.
This makes no sense. I know the usual justifications — that the states’ citizens take their democratic responsibilities seriously. But when you boil down that argument to its essence, it’s really an argument claiming that Iowans and New Hampshirites are intellectually and morally superior to other Americans.
Do you agree with Mr. Leonhardt that it is unfair that such a small, and primarily white, state should always go first? Or, do you think Iowa should continue to go first and play a pivotal role in the nomination process?