30 days before Iowa’s caucuses on Feb. 1st, 2016! Iowa is the first state in the primaries calendar.
This means that each day is 3.3% of the remaining time before the first caucuses.
New Hampshire’s primary is Feb. 9th.
What are the big stories of the last 30 days? Here are three.
First, evangelical conservative support has coalesced around Ted Cruz, and he has replaced Ben Carson as the second-place candidate in national Republican polls and moved into first in Iowa. He has been helped by what seems a non-aggression pact between him and Trump – I would be interested to know exactly what is going on in this case, as it is crucial.
Second, Trump has continued to lead the Republican national polls, with his RCP average at 35% as of Jan. 1st (Cruz is at 19.5%). That’s 5 1/2 months in first place in the Republican primaries, defying almost all political pundits’ predictions on this matter. (The only relatively high-profile commentator I’m aware of who predicted this early on was Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. This is a case where an outsider seems to have expertise which ‘insiders’ (conventional political experts) don’t have. If you’re interested, Adams recently also predicted Trump would win the general election in a landslide.)
Third, on the Democratic side, the biggest story is probably that Sanders almost surpassed Clinton in non-Super-PAC fundraising in Q4 ($33.2M to $37M), and that he has retaken the lead in NH. It remains to be seen whether Trump will continue to target Clinton, and if so, whether that will help Sanders.