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I'm about to indulge myself in a bit of #Warren2020 game theory (or whatever you call it) - pure speculation for the most part, but intended to react to the "Can she win tho?" school of thought. Feel free to ignore what follows if it's not your thing. 1/
First a disclaimer: OBVIOUSLY polling isn't linear. Over the course of time you'll get outliers in both directions, this observation is thinking of trendlines over the long term. The base premise is that every other candidates among the leaders got an "announcement bounce"... 2/
which Warren, having gone first, didn't really get. Rather, so far, her polling results have followed a fairly steady trendline which might be more projectable in terms of future results than would typically be the case. I'd like to graph it but I've forgotten those lessons 3/
using the RCT chart, working backwards from the Memorial Day Weekend averages, and following their patter of averaging the six most recent unique polls, I identified 7 sets of six polls (not a rolling average but six "snapshot" points) for the top 8 contenders. I found this: 4/
Every one except Warren and Booker got that bounce, and every one except Warren is polling lower now than they were at their peak. In 7 data points, she went backwards only once. I know this isn't quite as accurate as charting rolling averages but even I am not that obsessive 5/
Here's the set, with end-date for the polls averaged and her average at that moment:
2/14 - 5.8
3/3 - 6.5
3/24 - 6.7
4/6 - 5.8
4/25 - 7.2
5/12 - 8.0
5/26 - 9.8
All that as preface to address the question: what does she need to do to be positioned to place well in Iowa? 6/
If I choose Memorial Day weekend as a benchmark and look ahead one month at a time, it fits well since the monthly "mile marker" falls just before the debates in June and July, just before Labor Day, likely just before the October debate and etc -and the last, just before Iowa 7/
So the "home" baseline RCP average as of that weekend (from memory, rounded to the nearest whole) was thus:
Biden - 35
Bernie - 18
Warren - 10
Harris - 8
Pete - 6
Beto - 4
Booker - 3
So moving the previous question, what does she need to be well situated in late January? 8/
Answer: a gain of 1.5-2% more each month. On average. That's perfectly in line with her performance over the last 2 months.
So, I'm postulating that Biden is still in the end of his bump. Before he announced he hovered around 30 and that's probably his real default ATM... 9/
So without much effort one can suppose that even in a vacuum, he'll bleed some support. Bernie has already bleed off most of his bubble but his trend line is uncertain and there may or may not be another 2-3% drop until he gets to a stable spot. My second assumption is that...10/
Warren has clearly demonstrated herself to be the best on stage of any of the top contenders, and as such the debates can and should work in her favor and position her well to siphon off the support Joe and Bernie stand to bleed. So, to begin to wrap up, factoring in the... 11/
totally speculative effects of the debates, what if Biden bled 1% support on average per month over the next 8 months, and Bernie bled .5%...that's not an unreasonable speculation and it would leave Biden at about 27% on the eve of Iowa and Bernie at around 14%. Further... 12/
Outside the top 6 candidates there's around 20% support in most polls that stands to be "in play" as fringe candidates are winnowed out. All Warren needs to do, then, is add from among that poll of uncommitted support 1.5-2% on average per month. Doing so gets her to about... 13/
22-26% by late January. That is an ideal outcome, IMO. There's no value in being the frontrunner before 2020, you just end up being the prime target. Rather, you creep steadily to within striking distance. Ideally you end up within about 5 points of the leader, and at least...14/
that far ahead of the next closest rival. This standing makes you a very serious, credibly, choice in Iowa. Win there, or finish a close second, and like Obama in '08 you've been "legitimized" as someone who CAN win and it alters the landscape of every subsequent contest. 15/16
Suddenly all the previous polling in NH, NV, and SC goes out the window as voters re-evaluate the previously held "I love her but i don't think she can win" nonsense priors.
Moreover, a steady consistent rise in the polls looks more sustainable and less like a "moment"(one more)
Speculative? HELL yes.
Unrealistic? Not remotely.
She CAN win, y'all. More importantly, she MUST. This is no time for caution or half-measures. if we miss the chance to elect a transformative president, we may never get another chance, no one else will dare try. #Warren2020
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