Which Candidates Are Still In It To Win It After the Iowa Caucus?
One of the standard second acts to the Iowa caucuses is the withdrawal of candidates whose performance in the very first primary demonstrated that they lack the support necessary to carry on in the presidential race. It happens for candidates in both parties and represents an overall narrowing of the competition.
In most cases, it is not a surprise as to whom exits the race since we all see the poll numbers and support levels for each of the candidates. What can be surprising are the ones who choose to stay in the race despite bleak polling numbers and dwindling support.
Let’s start with the Republicans. With such a large field of candidates on the GOP side who are polling low and the clarification that Trump, Cruz, and Rubio are the three to watch, most of us expected more of a max exodus so to speak. In fact, only one candidate running for the Republican nomination bowed out, Mike Huckabee.
It was clear on Monday night in Iowa that the evangelical vote that Huckabee once commandeered has shifted to Cruz. Rubio probably enjoys the support of some of that base as well. Huckabee had been polling at about 3% and dropped to under 2% during the caucus. This was his second bid at the presidency and it came to no surprise as the odds him of winning the 2016 Presidential election weren’t even listed on the betting sites because he was such a long shot.
Others we expected to see calling it quits were Santorum and Gilmore, both of which have remained at the bottom of the food chain during the race thus far. In his last go at the presidency, Santorum won the Iowa caucus as an upset, however, he has not been able to gain that type of momentum this go around.
It is likely that both Santorum and Gilmore are waiting to see how they do in New Hampshire’s primary before making their decision, which is only a week away.
Rand Paul just announced that he suspending his race for the White House. In a statement on Wednesday, he said the fight is not over and he will continue to carry the torch for liberty.
Bush and Fiorina have received the most amount of publicity other than the three frontrunners, and have some reason to maintain at least a glimmer of hope at this point. Carson and Christie remain optimistic and hopeful as they continue their campaigning in New Hampshire.
The NH primary will undoubtedly narrow the list of GOP candidates even more, with the betting odds to win the Republican primary for each of them being adjusted to account for the changes taking place as the list gets shorter following the initial state primaries. At this point, the list of Republican candidates has only diminished by one, leaving 11 individuals still in the race.
The Democrat field of candidates is much smaller, and as expected, O’Malley has withdrawn from the race after a disappointing performance in Iowa and consistently polling low. He was barely noticed during the heated neck and neck battle between Clinton and Sanders that remained too close to call for most of the evening.
With a victory of less than one percentage point, Clinton took the democrat win for Iowa. With such a close race between the two frontrunners, it was a given that the candidate that landed in second place would remain in the race.
O’Malley was such a distant third that his withdrawal was an expected announcement. He states that he remains committed to the issues that he’s passionate about and though he is out of the presidential race, he won’t be out of the picture politically.
While Sanders did very well in Iowa and is expected to do well in New Hampshire since it is his stomping grounds, he is not expected to perform as consistently in other states such as Nevada, Florida, and California.
The states he is favored in hold significantly fewer delegates than the states that favor Clinton. However, only 8 months ago Sanders trailed Clinton by 50 points, so clearly, an upset nationwide is not outside of the realm of possibilities.
Due to the Democrat policy of superdelegates, it is possible that someone who is not currently active in the race could end up with their name in the hat. The super delegate rule does hold the provision that if the powers that be don’t like who ends winning democrat nominee, a new contender could be added to the mix.
Should Clinton end up indicted by the FBI and the leadership doesn’t approve of Sanders, we could see a name like Biden or Warren introduced as an alternative. This being the case, you may notice that the betting odds include candidates that are a potential addition to the race should this rule be invoked.
The odds for the New Hampshire primary are likely going to change every day as the candidates campaign hard in the state and poll numbers fluctuate. The earlier you bet, the bigger the risk and the bigger the payout.
Should you opt for the comfort of current poll number directly prior to the event, you lower the risk and your payout but are more likely to get it right. Keep in mind that Cruz’ win in Iowa was against the odds as Trump was the favored candidate to take the win. But hey, that’s why they call it gambling!