Trump Wins Democrat Iowa Caucuses – The People Lose

What a muddled mess the Iowa addlepated and antiquated caucus system is!!!

I’ve just been trying to look into the details of how it works to understand how someone can win the popular vote there and still not win the largest number of delegates.

It seems the reason is a combination of a convoluted process of calculations on different levels.

First you have what happens at the caucus itself.

People attending a caucus show who they support by physically gathering together with others there who support the same candidate for what’s called the “first alignment.” Then the number of people supporting each candidate is counted to determine which candidate is “viable.” In order to be viable, a candidate must have at least 15% of the number of people attending that caucus.  If a candidate isn’t viable, then that candidate’s supporters have a few options….

They can realign with one of the other viable candidates, they can negotiate with others supporting nonviable candidates to try to make one of the other nonviable candidates viable by creating new alignments, or they can stop participating by staying where they are or going home.

While people supporting nonviable candidates can realign, people supporting viable candidates can’t, so only nonviable candidates are up for grabs.

Only viable candidates will receive any delegates.

When everyone is finished negotiating and realigning, another count is made to record the “final alignment.”

To determine the number of delegates each viable candidate at that caucus will receive, you take the number of the candidate’s supporters times the number of preassigned delegates for that particular caucus. Then you divide that result by the number of people attending the caucus. Fractions 50% and over get rounded up and fractions below get rounded down.

Depending on the specific circumstances, a viable candidate who has the greatest number of people aligned with them in both the first and final alignments could still end up with the same number of delegates as another viable candidate who had the least. For example, if the math result is 2.48 for one candidate and 1.52 for another, they both get 2 delegates.

So a candidate could start out as nonviable after the first alignment at a specific caucus, win over enough people supporting other nonviable candidates to become barely viable by the final alignment, and still end up with the same number of delegates as the candidate who had the largest number of supporters aligned with them in both the first and final alignments.

Now that part might be easier to understand than what comes next regarding the “delegates,” and while it can explain why a candidate who received the largest number of votes might receive the same number of “delegates,” it doesn’t explain why they might end up with fewer.

There seems to be more than one type of “delegate” at play….

County Delegates: Each county gets to determine how many delegates they will have at their convention (out of the 99 county conventions across the state). So even if two counties have the same size population, they can have a different number of delegates showing up at their respective conventions. Each individual precinct caucus in each county gets a preset number of delegates to select to send to their county convention based on the total they want to have.

State Delegates: Each county has a preset number of delegates they can send to the state convention. This number is determined by averaging the number of votes that its attendees cast for Democratic nominees in the most recent gubernatorial and presidential races.

State Delegate Equivalents: To determine this you convert the individual precinct results to the number of county delegates to an estimate of the number of state convention delegates to get the answer. So ten delegates from a precinct caucus could end up as a faction of one state delegate (0.83 of a state delegate, for example). Then that number is divided by the percentage for each candidate, which may likely result in a fraction of a fraction. So all the delegates coming out of a particular precinct caucus for a particular viable candidate may result in a State Delegate Equivalent of 0.23. Add all these up for all the caucus locations and you get the State Delegate Equivalent for each candidate.

There must be some example of how with all this realigning; rounding up and down; dealing with fractions, percentages, averages, and so on to sort out the delegates; etc. somehow results in the candidate with the most support ending up with fewer delegates than someone with less support. I honestly don’t have the energy to try to figure out how it happens by running different scenarios until I can provide one to demonstrate how this might work (maybe Yang could help here).

I know there is at least one other thing that I’ve skipped over that could provide at least part of the explanation but I don’t think could be responsible for all of it. That is: the coin tosses when supporter counts are tied. Yes, that’s a real thing. Reports are that this happened in several precincts on Monday night. In one case of a three-way tie, names were drawn out of a hat!

Regardless, now we get to…

National Convention Delegates: Based on the State Delegate Equivalents, the delegates are allotted proportionately to the 41 pledged delegates Iowa has to go to the National Convention. The 41 delegates from Iowa are about 1% of the total of all national delegates. So what each candidate was fighting for in Iowa was to see who might end up with the largest fraction of 1%.

In other words, the results from Iowa are practically irrelevant aside from the fact they are the first state to have some results, as well as whatever PR value might be gained from that to leverage into future contests.

It’s said that you can have three winners coming out of Iowa: the winner of the first alignment votes, the winner of the final alignment votes, and the winner of the State Delegate Equivalents (which is the one most featured despite being practically irrelevant).

But, as a result of the mess that has resulted from the app failure, the situation regarding who really “won” has become even more problematic.

When it first became evident that it was going to be at least a day before we got any results, Pete Buttigieg declared victory. Indications at the time were that he may have done well, possibly placing first or second, but declaring victory gained him almost the same amount of attention and PR as he might have received had the final results shown him to be the clear winner. The next day when only 62 percent of precincts were reporting, it did show him very slightly ahead of Sanders with the largest percentage of State Delegate Equivalents, with Sanders leading in the popular vote (in both the first and second alignments). As of this writing, there is still only 71% reporting with Buttigieg holding a 1.6% lead over Sanders, and with Sanders still ahead in the popular vote in both alignments.

Of the all the candidates Buttigieg still seems to be getting the best PR from the mainstream media out of Iowa. His name is the one featured most in the headlines (e.g.: “Buttigieg Has The Lead In Iowa”). Watching Sky News last night I saw a report presenting the news as if the results were final and Buttigieg had won. There was no mention at all that the results weren’t all in yet, or anything about the popular vote.

The continuing delay has resulted in any further coverage getting put on the back burner with news about the State of the Union and the Senate impeachment process burying it as we move on to other things. CNN’s website had the ongoing results from Iowa prominently displayed on their home page since Monday, but it’s gone from there now.  Maybe it will return whenever Iowa reports any new results, but right now I’m wondering how long that might be, and how long until we see the final results. By the time we do, most people may have moved on and been left with the impression that Buttigieg won.

Maybe when all the results are in we’ll see that Buttigieg deserved all the attention he’s received, and maybe it will show something else. We’ll just have to wait.

But just by looking at the results we have so far, it appears: Buttigieg’s support was significantly boosted in the final caucus alignment by supporters of nonviable candidates from the first alignment, that he didn’t have nearly as many committed supporters coming into the caucuses as Sanders had, and that somewhere lost in the math is how he’s managed to currently place barely ahead of Sanders in State Delegate Equivalents.

If these results hold, this becomes just another example of how real democracy is undermined by the system we have in place. It also becomes yet another argument against caucuses that can be added to its other problematic aspects–that I didn’t even address above–which have to do with the barriers of even participating in a caucus the first place.

In many of the most important respects: Trump won the Iowa Democratic Caucuses and the People lost.


Beware of Warmongers!

In 1971 the Pentagon Papers were disclosed to the public. They revealed that the Johnson Administration had “systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress” about the Vietnam War. [1][2]

Just one month ago the Washington Post disclosed government documents revealing that “senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign.” [3]

We’ve also known for years that we were lied into a war in Iraq when the U.S. failed to discover the so-called “weapons of mass destruction” the neocons in the Bush Administration were fear mongering about. The Center for Public Integrity reported that “President Bush and top administration officials made more than 900 false statements in the two years following Sept. 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Iraq under Saddam Hussein…. The statements by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other officials ‘were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.'” [4]

Now we have the Trump Administration claiming that we were facing an “imminent” threat from Iranian general Qasem Soleimani to justify the U.S. strike that killed him last week. YET they haven’t provided ANY evidence of that claim to Congress. [5]

While, for now, it appears that we may be backing off from all out war as a result of Iran’s measured and limited response, tensions have increased and the least little thing might trigger a very deadly conflict. [6]

In 2002 the U. S. Armed Forces conducted a $250 million war game against Iran called “Millennium Challenge 2002.” It was supposed to last 14 days, but the retired Marine Corps general they picked to command Iran’s (“Red”) forces basically wiped out most of the U.S. Navy (“Blue” forces) in that area in a strike on the first day (which would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 U.S. service personnel).

The game was suspended and restarted, and the participants were ordered to follow a script drafted to ensure a victory of U.S. (“Blue”) forces. In objection to the new script restricting him, the retired general complained and resigned from the game. [7]

This is not saying what might happen today in a real conflict with the current actors, and possibly things have been learned since then, but Iran’s forces are supposedly 4 times greater than what the U.S. faced in Iraq, and that conflict resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people on both sides, cost trillions of dollars, and we’re still involved in a conflict there 16 years later. [8]

In other words, a war with Iran would likely not be as quick and easy as some are saying, and we shouldn’t automatically believe ANYTHING coming out of the mouths of Trump, his administration, senior U.S. officials involved in the military industrial complex, war mongering representatives in the House or Senate, or war mongering pundits on cable.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are a group of neocons who have been pushing for conflicts like this for many years now (going back as far as the George H. W. Bush Administration). They were behind the War in Iraq during the George W. Bush Administration and they still have a lot of influence. John Bolton is just one of them. [9]

1. Pentagon Papers

2. Gulf of Tonkin Incident

3. Afghanistan War Confidential Documents

4. ‘Orchestrated Deception’ by Bush on Iraq

5. Trump says four U.S. embassies were targeted in attack planned by Qassem Soleimani

6. On the brink of war with Iran, Trump steps back

7. Millennium Challenge 2002

8. Iraq War

9. Project for the New American Century

Nancy Pelosi

Years ago Pelosi blocked the House from launching impeachment hearings of George W. Bush and recently admitted she KNEW the Bush administration was lying about Iraq at the time.

Up until recently Pelosi fought against launching an impeachment inquiry of Trump (which should have started over a year ago) until she was dragged into it. Up until then, she was his foremost enabler by resisting it.

Then Pelosi successfully limited the scope of the impeachment inquiry of Trump to Ukraine. By limiting the scope of impeachment she placed a poor political calculation over the oath she swore to protect the Constitution.

In the same week as articles for impeachment were passed in the House, Pelosi and establishment Democrats gave Trump some of the biggest wins of his presidency (the USMCA Trade deal and a new defense spending bill that increases spending by $22 billion, gives Trump money for his border wall, and formally establishes Trump’s “Space Force”).

Now Pelosi seems to think that delaying sending the articles of impeachment over to the Senate will somehow give her leverage over how the Senate will conduct the trial. I’m not sure why she believes this gives her any leverage AT ALL. I’m sure they’d be HAPPY if she NEVER sends it over. The longer she delays the more public support will decline, and the better Republicans will be able to frame it to their advantage.

Wimpy Democrats

Democrats are so wimpy.

I’m no fan of Pelosi who had to be dragged into conducting an impeachment inquiry into Trump–almost against her will. Up until then, she was his foremost enabler by resisting one. An impeachment inquiry should have been launched over a year ago even before the Mueller Report came out. Now the inquiry has been limited to Ukraine, and there are only two articles of impeachment.

Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator involving the violation of campaign finance laws, which his former lawyer Michael Cohen is already serving time for committing. Adding that to the articles of impeachment should have been a lay-up. Robert Mueller outlined 10 occasions where Trump obstructed justice in his report, so adding those shouldn’t have been very hard either. There’s also enough public information to add violations of the emoluments clause to the articles.

Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump previously lowered values of his property for tax purposes and raised them to obtain loans which indicates he has committed both tax and bank fraud. Maybe Democrats could have discovered more about that (as well as likely money laundering of Russian oligarchs) if they had been investigating Trump’s financial interests and making a concerted effort to obtain Trump’s business and tax returns much, much earlier. Legislators in New York went out of their way to make it possible for Rep. Richard Neal (Democratic Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee) to ask for Trump’s state tax returns, but Neal dragged his feet long enough for Trump to start lawsuits to stop them from being released for the time being. Neal also dragged his feet before he requested Trump’s federal tax returns. And, after the Treasury Department refused to furnish them, Neal waited MONTHS before suing the Treasury and the IRS to try and obtain the documents. In other words, Democrats have never seemed all that interested in “following the money” regarding Trump, where his biggest crimes might have been exposed. [Trump was probably worried that Mueller was looking into the money laundering angle (which would explain his obstruction efforts), but Mueller didn’t.]

Regardless, these are just SOME of the crimes that should have been covered in the hearings and eventually included in any articles of impeachment. IMO, narrowing the focus is a mistake for many reasons, not the least of which is what it signals to the future. As Brian Klaas wrote in a Washington Post article back in October, “There is no clause in the Constitution that allows presidents to commit crimes. If some of his abuses are not included in the eventual articles of impeachment, it sets the precedent that a future president can get away with similar conduct.”

These people in Congress swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. By limiting the scope of impeachment, they are sacrificing principle and violating their oath for a poor political calculation.

Trump’s Assessment of Himself (Selected Quotes)


“You know, I’m, like, a smart person.” “I am a really smart guy.” “I’ve been known as being a very smart guy for a long time.” “I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” “I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent.” “And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I’m smarter than all of them put together, but they can’t admit it.” “My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.” “My two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart…. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star, to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”


“I was the best baseball player in New York when I was young.” “I always knew I was good. I was always good at it. I was the best athlete.” “I was always the best athlete, people don’t know that.” “I’ve won many club championships and I was always the best athlete.” “Always the best player. Not only baseball, but every other sport too.” “I was good at wrestling. I was really good at football. I was always good at sports. I was always the best at sports.” “I had it [innate ability]. I always had it.” “I like being a great athlete.”


“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.” “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” “I’m so good looking.” “I feel like a supermodel except, like, times 10, OK? It’s true. I’m a supermodel.” “Do I look a president? How handsome am I, right? How handsome?”


“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” “I have made myself very rich.” “I was always the best at what I did.” “I don’t think I’ve made mistakes.” “Everything I’ve done virtually has been a tremendous success.” “I was successful, successful, successful.” “I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me.” “I’ve been, you know, pretty successful in the courts over the years, I’ve been a very successful person, you can check — USA Today said, ‘he does great in the courts’ OK?” “If you don’t tell people about your success, they probably won’t know about it.”


“I had some beautiful pictures taken in which I had a big smile on my face. I looked happy, I looked content, I looked like a very nice person, which in theory I am.” “I think I am a nice person.” “I’m actually a nice person.” “I have a strong temperament.” “I think I have a great temperament.” “I have a great temperament. My temperament is very good, very calm.” “I think I’m a sober person… I’m a very sober person.”


“I’ve had a beautiful, I’ve had a flawless campaign.” “I won an election that should never be won, because the Electoral College is far harder to win than the popular vote. The popular vote, for me, would have been much easier.”


“I have more respect for women by far than Hillary Clinton has.” “Nobody respects women more than me.” “I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women more than anybody in the construction industry.” “There’s nobody who has done more for equality than I have.” “Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person.” “I am the least racist person that you have ever met.” “I am the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.” “I am the least racist person, the least racist person that you’ve ever seen, the least.” “I have a great relationship with the blacks.” “I have a great relationship with African Americans, as you possibly have heard. I just have great respect for them. And they like me. I like them.” “And did you know my name is in more black songs than any other name in hip-hop? Black entertainers love Donald Trump.” “And at the end of four years, I guarantee you, that I will get over ninety-five percent of the African-American vote. I promise you.”


“I build the best buildings.” “Nobody builds walls better than me.” “I created maybe the greatest brand.” “Trump Steaks are the world’s greatest steaks.” “I have the best [golf] courses in the world.” “My Twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.” “I know all about knives and belt buckles.” “And I know more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived.” “I know more about [campaign] contributions than anybody.” “Nobody has better toys than I do.” “Nobody loves the Bible better than I do.” “I’m the king of debt. I understand debt better than probably anybody.” “Nobody knows more about debt than I do.” “I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world. Nobody knows more about taxes.” “Nobody knows more about taxes than I do — and income than I do.” “I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A.” “Nobody even understands it but me. It’s called devaluation.” “Nobody knows more about trade than me.” “I’m really a great negotiator. I know how to negotiate.” “Deals are my art form. I like making deals, preferably big deals.” “Nobody knows banking better than I do” “I understand money better than anybody.” “I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.” “I know more about the big bills than any president that’s ever been in office.” “I know the H1B. I know the H2B. Nobody knows it better than me.” “I know the best people.” “I know the smartest negotiators in the world. I know the good ones. I know the bad ones. I know the overrated ones.” “I’m really good at war.” “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” “Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.” “Nobody is bigger or better at the military than I am.” “I know more about offense and defense than they will ever understand.” “There’s nobody that understands the horror of nuclear better than me.” “Nobody is fighting for the veterans like I’m fighting for the veterans.” “Nobody’s better to people with disabilities than me.” “There’s nobody more pro-Israel than I am.” “Nobody knows jobs like I do!” “Nobody knows politicians better than I do.” “Nobody knows the game better than I do.” “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” “Nobody in the history of this country has ever known so much about infrastructure as Donald Trump.” “I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth.” “Nobody’s ever had crowds like [I’ve] had.” “Nobody can do it like me. Nobody. Nobody can do it like me, honestly.” “Nobody is stronger than me.” “It’s all because of me.” “I know words. I have the best words.”


“I think I am actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.”

–  Donald Trump


[NOTE: I didn’t exhaust all the quotes I could have included, but many of them were repetitive.]