Follow the returns at HuffPost, the New York Times, and Red Racing Horses.
“Will Marco Rubio come in a strong third, or a weak third?” That was an actual pundit question. Data-ish punditry welcome below.
12:09am, Tim in CA: “Iowa and New Hampshire may represent a high water mark for Sanders. And in the case of Iowa, that high water mark is a tie. That result doesn’t look good enough for him in the long run. New Hampshire is even more favorable to him, so he will probably win it. But then comes SC and NV, and after that the Super Tuesday states. The tide will start turning to Hillary. That is the big unreported story, right?”
12:07am: The Duke asks, “Will we get a ‘I was overconfident in the polls and my model was wrong’ post from you?” My short answer: no way!
Firstly, let me get out of the way that this misusage of “model” really grates on me. When I report simple poll medians, there’s no model to speak of. This colloquial terminology has always bothered me.
But to address what the Duke meant to ask: my estimate of probabilities was simple, and seems OK. I suggested that the Iowa data indicated a 70% probability of a Trump win, 60% for Clinton. These probabilities were based on the idea that poll medians could be off by an average of 5 percentage points. For now it appears that the polling error was about 2 percentage points for Trump, the same for Clinton. These are actually pretty small errors. The big story tonight was a net move from Trump to Rubio, as I pointed out. Also, think about it…those probabilities would only be both right 70%*60%=42% of the time…in other words, a 58% probability that either Trump or Clinton would lose. That’s the way it goes when outcomes are uncertain.
I will stick with one statement: Sanders needed a clear win tonight, and he didn’t get it. For the moment, I see tough sledding for him in the weeks ahead.
Here is one error I may have made: I didn’t think Iowa would narrow the field. But Rubio’s strong performance might just do that. We will see.
11:25pm: NYT now has delegate projections. On GOP side (97% reporting): 8 Cruz, 7 Trump, 6 Rubio, 2 Carson, 1 Paul. Democrats (93% reporting): 21 Clinton, 21 Sanders.
11:17pm: I agree with Pechmerle – the “strong third” thing ended up not being that silly. If it narrows the GOP race to three candidates soon (Trump, Cruz, Rubio), that’s the most likely route to a not-Trump outcome.
10:45pm: The Des Moines Register site was terrible.
10:25pm: Cruz, then Trump, then Rubio. With a chance that Trump will fall to third. That is about a 5% deviation from polls. Wow.
10:20pm, Froggy: “A reminder that Ann Selzer had it Trump 28, Cruz 23, Rubio 15, Carson 10. Oops!” but “Not a total loss for her – Carson does have 9.3%.” ow.