Candidates with third-party and independent connections in Iowa caucus

The Iowa GOP caucus has been won by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz was endorsed by 2008 LP nominee Bob Barr, as part of his outreach effort to lowercase-l libertarians that merited a mention in Cruz’s victory speech. Second place went to Donald Trump, who in 2000 briefly sought the nomination of the Reform Party and has in the past identified as an independent. He has also been endorsed by 2012 Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode. In 5th place with 4.5% is Sen. Rand Paul, who worked on his father’s 1988 campaign as the LP presidential nominee and campaigned with Ron Paul in the final days before the caucus. Paul’s 2016 candidacy has also been endorsed by 2008 Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin.

The Democratic result remains too close to call, with Hillary Clinton having an extremely narrow lead over Bernie Sanders. Sanders started his career in politics with several third-party runs under the Liberty Union banner in Vermont, and later was heavily involved in the founding of the VT Progressive Party, though never formally joining. He has always been elected with an “Independent” ballot label, albeit with the support of Vermont Democrats. He continues to self-describe as an Independent while seeking the Democratic nomination.

54 thoughts on “Candidates with third-party and independent connections in Iowa caucus

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    Strange question. Would it be possible for Rand Paul to run as a Republican for the Senate and as a Libertarian for president?

  2. Andy Craig Post author

    Not under Kentucky law as it stands now, but he couldn’t do both as a Republican either.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    At the moment, Clinton is three “delegate equivalents ahead” of Sanders — and that margin is entirely a function of her winning three coin tosses in precincts where there was some kind of tiebreaker requirement.

    Sanders may end up explicitly winning, but even if he doesn’t, well, he did. “Inevitable Hillary” went from a 50-point lead to a statistical tie. Anyway you cut it, that’s having her ass handed to her.

  4. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “Sanders may end up explicitly winning, but even if he doesn’t, well, he did. ‘Inevitable Hillary’ went from a 50-point lead to a statistical tie. Anyway you cut it, that’s having her ass handed to her.”

    I have talked to lots of people who have said they are intending to vote for Bernie Sanders. I have only talked to one person who has said that they are planning for vote for Hillary Clinton. I say this as a person who talks to lots of people.

  5. Andy

    Hillary Supporters Endorse KARL MARX as Her Pick for Vice President! – SIGN PETITION TO APPROVE HIM

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    You get around more than I do, but my experience matches yours.

    Of course, my experience is biased because it’s all in a left-leaning university town, but I’ve seen all kinds of Sanders signs and Sanders stickers and maybe two Clinton stickers and one sign around here. At Gainesville Pride in October, there was a very active Sanders campaign presence — a booth, people waving signs, etc. — and zero for Clinton.

    I don’t know that Sanders will win, but it feels a lot like 2008 when Clinton was also “inevitable” and it turned out that people just really don’t like her very much.

  7. Andy Craig Post author

    The role of Iowa is less to pick a winner than to winnow the field. But there wasn’t any real winnowing left to do on the Dem side, in what had already become for all intents and purposes a two-candidate race.

    One interesting point that’s being much remarked upon, is how huge the age split is. Sanders racked up huge margins among younger voters, and Hillary carried huge margins with older voters. That might explain how relatively few people are seeing an even split in their personal interactions, even though there is one overall.

  8. Andy

    ” said that they are planning for vote for Hillary Clinton.”

    Should read, “said that they are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

  9. steve m

    I watch what my liberal friends on facebook are saying… if you listen to the woman… there is a tilt towards Clinton. So Woman my age who are liberal leaning are leaning Clinton. Just an observation with no statistics backing it.

  10. George Phillies

    The huge turnout on the Republican side ( broke prior record by 50% or so) was accompanied by an enormous increase in the evangelical Christian turnout, from a shade under half typical to 2/3 of the total voters, which gave Cruz his victory. In New Hampshire, the second least religious state in the nation after Vermont, this trend will help Cruz not at all. In the deep South, that vote may help Cruz a lot. As a minor aside, Paul beat Jeb!.

  11. NewFederalist

    I wonder if Trump can survive this? He really didn’t place that far ahead of Marco Rubio, either. And what about John Kasich? He flopped big time. That can’t be good for his NH chances. Not that I am a big Rand supporter but from his perspective this wasn’t too bad. As for Bernie Sanders… let’s see if he can really beat her in NH. Perhaps the good news here is that a Trump vs. Rodham-Clinton race may not be guaranteed.

  12. ATBAFT

    “One interesting point that’s being much remarked upon, is how huge the age split is. Sanders racked up huge margins among younger voters, and Hillary carried huge margins with older voters. ”

    A twenty-something colleague at work said this is because, net net, the younger folks still believe in Santa Claus, and the older folks have seen so much underhanded and unprincipled behavior in their longer lives that the Clinton Crime Family actions don’t faze them.

  13. Jill Pyeatt

    “A twenty-something colleague at work said this is because, net net, the younger folks still believe in Santa Claus, and the older folks have seen so much underhanded and unprincipled behavior in their longer lives that the Clinton Crime Family actions don’t faze them.”

    Hilarious…but quite true!

  14. Robert Capozzi

    pretty much every way you look at this, you lose.

    A President Trump does seem especially dangerous vs. all the other choices.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    NewFed,

    The Trump/Iowa question is interesting.

    Initially, Trump didn’t seem to intend to compete, or think he needed to compete, in Iowa.

    Then at some point it apparently hit him that his whole brand is a sort of Charlie Sheen “WINNING!” theme, and that if he bombed in Iowa, the voter demographic he tries to appeal to wouldn’t notice that it was because he hadn’t bothered. They’d just see Trump losing, and he wouldn’t seem quite so shiny after that.

    On the one hand, he did a hell of a job of playing catch-up to Cruz in a rural, agricultural, midwestern state.

    On the other hand, he still placed second. In fact, he came within a small town or two of placing third.

    I think over the next week he’s going to deflate in New Hampshire. Polling there has him at 34-38%. I expect him to win there, but more realistically with maybe 28-30%. The real question is who comes in second.

  16. Andy

    Iowa caucus county results can be decided on a coin toss in the case of a draw (apparently delegates are apportioned by county). This results for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came out to a draw in 6 counties, so these counties went to a coin toss, and by golly, that lucky Hillary won all 6 coin tosses!

    Wow, Hillary sure is lucky. Remember, this is the same Hillary Clinton who made a bunch of money betting on cattle futures in Arkansas years ago.

    Somebody crunched the numbers, and the chance of Hillary winning all 6 coin tosses is if left to random chance is 1.6%. This means that 98.4% of the time, if left to random chance, a person is not going to win 6 coin tosses in a row.

    So Hillary is either very, very lucky, or perhaps she used one of those trick coins for her, or maybe she did the old, “Heads I win, tails you lose.” trick.

    http://www.infowars.com/hillary-clinton-beat-bernie-sanders-because-of-a-coin-toss-six-times/

  17. George Phillies

    Microsoft did fast collection in Iowa, but there are multiple other channels being used, so such an event will rapidly become glaringly obvious. Remember, some of the politicians who were involved in advising on this started in Chicago, and have clear ideas how to keep it from happening.

  18. Andy Craig Post author

    1 in 64 is improbable, but it’s not astronomical odds. More improbable things have happened in elections.

    This was also only used to break a very low-level tie in the process, in precincts that had a precise tie and odd number of state delegates to allocate. Coin toss decided the odd delegate, of which there are over a thousand or something like that, who then decide the breakdown of the fifty-something national convention delegates.

    Actual, non-primary elections have been decided by coin tosses or other random-chance procedures. All things considered, it’s not that objectionable. But if the Hillary supporters actually manged to pull off “heads I win, tails you lose” in front of a room full of closely watching Bernie supporters, well then the Bernie folks deserved to lose. :p

  19. Andy

    “Andy Craig Post author
    February 2, 2016 at 16:52

    1 in 64 is improbable, but it’s not astronomical odds. More improbable things have happened in elections.”

    Sure, not impossible, by certainly improbable. I mean we all know how lucky Hillary Clinton is, and Hillary’s honor and integrity are beyond reproach. This is Hillary Clinton, a woman who is known for having the highest of ethical standards. Hillary would never cheat. Nothing to see here folks. Just move along.

  20. Andy Craig Post author

    Hillary would absolutely cheat, and so would Bernie, this is just a very silly way to think she did so, by rigging the flip of a coin. It almost looks worse to have won by a coin toss than to lose one, for one thing. The coin tosses were also caught on video, and done right in front of the Bernie team folks. How are we supposed to think they cheated? Use a double-sided coin? That’s a good way to turn a raucous caucus night at the local middle school gym into an angry riot.

    If you’re going to obsess over the coin toss, you’re going to completely miss whatever actual irregularities or possible fraud might have been going on, which a caucus procedure like the IA Dems is absolutely ripe for. But the Hillary camp neither planned for nor cared about the trivial coin-toss procedure, and neither did Bernie.

  21. Andy

    While myself and some others were running around in the cold in Indiana collecting petition signatures to place Ron Paul on the ballot, the petition circulators for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were “hard at work” FORGING signatures on ballot access petitions. Indiana election officials caught on the the forged signatures, and if these signatures had been disqualified, neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would have had enough valid petition signatures to appear on the Indiana ballot, but the election officials “looked the other way” and put them on the ballot anyway.

    The culprits behind this did end up being charged a few years later, but still, going be Indiana election law, Obama and Hillary should not have been on the ballot in Indiana for that election.

    Obama & Hillary 2008 Presidential Primary Election Fraud : 4 Indiana Democrats Charged (Apr 04, 2012)

  22. Andy

    “Andy Craig Post author
    February 2, 2016 at 17:06

    Hillary would absolutely cheat, and so would Bernie, this is just a very silly way to think she did so, by rigging the flip of a coin”

    It is pretty naive to believe that Hillary legitimately won 6 coin tosses in a row.

  23. Andy

    ” but still, going be Indiana election law,”

    Should read, “but going by Indiana election law…”

  24. George Phillies

    The laws of probability guarantee that six heads in a row will happen. About once in 64 tries, as it happens.

    The occasion on which I won a bit by flipping a nickel, and claiming “edge” as the winning side, was more amusing.

  25. Andy

    “George Phillies
    February 2, 2016 at 17:19

    The laws of probability guarantee that six heads in a row will happen. About once in 64 tries, as it happens.”

    What do you (and everyone else here for that matter) think is the more probable explanation?

    a) Hillary is very lucky and just happened to hit that 1 out of 64 odds on the only coin tosses that happened;

    or,

    b) Hillary’s campaign cheated.

  26. Andy Craig Post author

    a), because “Hillary’s campaign cheated” is meaningless without a plausible mechanism by which they did so, or in this case even plausible motive to do so. I also don’t think Bernie Sanders is any less likely to cheat.

  27. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “The coin tosses were also caught on video, and done right in front of the Bernie team folks. How are we supposed to think they cheated? Use a double-sided coin? That’s a good way to turn a raucous caucus night at the local middle school gym into an angry riot.”

    They could have used a trick coin.

    Also, did they zoom in on the coin? Unless there was an independent observer there, up close, when it was happening, they could have easily cheated.

    The Bernie Sanders people may have even been in on it. Even if they were not in on it, they could have been threatened by Hillary’s people.

    Politics is a dirty game played by dirty people.

  28. Andy Craig Post author

    “They could have used a trick coin.”

    Uh-huh.

    “Unless there was an independent observer there, up close, when it was happening”

    Of course there was.

    “The Bernie Sanders people may have even been in on it.”

    OK, sure.

    “Politics is a dirty game played by dirty people.”

    Who tend to be much smarter about it than anything you’re positing.

  29. Andy

    “Andy Craig Post author
    February 2, 2016 at 17:25

    a), because ‘Hillary’s campaign cheated’ is meaningless without a plausible mechanism by which they did so, or in this case even plausible motive to do so. I also don’t think Bernie Sanders is any less likely to cheat.”

    It would have been very easy for them to have cheated in the coin toss.

    Bernie Sanders may or may not be above cheating, but the record clearly indicates that Hillary Clinton is a KNOWN liar/fraudster/cheater.

  30. Andy

    “Who tend to be much smarter about it than anything you’re positing.”

    So you are not skeptical about a woman who is known to be a liar, and whose campaign has been known to have cheated in the past, honestly won 6 coin tosses in a row, the only coin tosses that were held?

    You are skeptical that the campaign of Mrs. Clinton cheated.

    I am skeptical that the campaign of Mrs. Clinton did not cheat.

  31. Andy Craig Post author

    Having bad motives and poor character doesn’t give Hillary Clinton magical powers.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    The coin tosses were conducted live in front of both sides, in at least some cases on camera.

    Does that mean that it was IMPOSSIBLE for the Clinton people to cheat? No.

    But it was a lot less PROBABLE for them to be able to get away with it than it was that Clinton would win six coin tosses in a row.

    Additionally, the stakes were so low — the odd delegate out of large numbers of delegates — that the risk of getting caught cheating far outweighed any real benefit.

  33. Andy Craig Post author

    It appears it wasn’t even true that Hillary won all the coin tosses, anyway. There just happened to be six that were identified and reported on that she won, but there were others that Sanders won. The outcome also wasn’t affected by them, as they were to determine individual county delegates out of a total of over 11,000.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/02/02/iowa-caucus-coin-flip-count-unknown/79708740/

  34. Andy

    Tom, you are assuming that the people present, including the media, are honest. That is a false assumption to make.

    Given the record of the Clintons, cheating is a far more like scenario than Hillary just got very lucky (again).

  35. Andy

    It would not have taken “magical powers” to have rigged the coin toss. It would have been very eassy to do.

    I have done several rounds of 6 coin tosses today since hearing about this and I have yet to hit 6 in a row.

  36. Andy

    Oh, yeah I am sure that Hillary just barely won, and everything was fair and square.

    Just like her campaign turned in forged ballot access sigs in Indiana, and she got put on the ballot anyway.

    No election rigging happens in this country.

    Oh and Hillary is way more popular than Bernie, which is why I have encountered lots of Bernie supporters over the last 3 months, and only one person who said they were going to vote for Hillary.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy.

    No, I’m not assuming that anyone is honest.

    I’m just assuming that not everyone is a fucking idiot.

    I am under no illusions concerning election fraud. It happens. And it’s a lot easier to do than caucus fraud, because at a caucus all the participants are right there, watching every move and keeping the other side honest.

    Would Clinton have rigged the caucus outcomes if she could have done so? Absolutely. She’s certainly that corrupt.

    Would she or could she have rigged coin tosses for single tie-breaker delegates?

    Well, let me put it this way: If you think that she had her campaign workers at 1,100 different caucus locations trained to rig coin tosses on the off chance that it would be needed, you are fucking high on crack.

  38. Chuck Moulton

    Look! Something happened that people are upset about! Could it be a coincidence? Could something that happens with a certain probability actually happen even though it is unlikely?

    Andy “conspiracy” Jacobs is here with a complicated conspiracy theory that involves candidates, the media, election volunteers, and more!! Who’d a thunk it?

  39. Andy Craig Post author

    “I have done several rounds of 6 coin tosses today since hearing about this and I have yet to hit 6 in a row.”

    “I have done several rounds of 6 coin tosses today since hearing about this and I have yet to hit 6 in a row.”

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  40. Andy

    Oh, and those cattle futures where Hillary made a bunch money, I am sure that was on the up and up.

    And Bill Clinton did not have sexual affairs with that woman, Miss Lewinski.

    LOL!

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    It’s not a matter of whether or not she WOULD cheat if she COULD cheat.

    It’s not even a matter of whether or not she would be willing to cheat in that particular way.

    It’s a matter of logistics.

    There were 1,100+ caucus locations. There were around — probably fewer than — ten in which it came down to a coin toss, with no way of predicting in advance which ones that would happen in, or even if it would happen in any of them. Unless that was rigged too, in which case it was a giant malinvestment to do so since what was at stake in each case was one “delegate equivalent” out of some large odd number.

    Like I said, if you think she had her campaign train 1,100 caucus workers how to rig a coin toss and then none of them went public with that information and none of the six who did so got caught doing so, just so she could rig five or six “delegate equivalents” out of 1,500, you’re just not living in the real world.

  42. Chuck Moulton

    Andy wrote:

    I have done several rounds of 6 coin tosses today since hearing about this and I have yet to hit 6 in a row.

    I suggest learning basic probability and statistics.

  43. Andy

    They would not have to have that many people in it to have rigged it.

    A known liar/fraudster winning 6 in a row on a coin toss is highly suspicious.

  44. Andy

    How dare me for questioning the integrity of Hillary Clinton! Hillary and Bill have never done anything to merit questioning their integrity. Shame on me for daring to question Madam Clinton.

  45. langa

    I agree with AC and TK on this one.

    Would Hillary cheat? Yes, of course.

    Has she cheated on other things in the past? I’d bet a lot of money that she has, many times.

    But did she cheat in this specific instance (of the coin toss)? No, almost certainly not.

    Why not? Because it’s way too much effort for way too little potential benefit.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    That dodge didn’t work the first four or five times you tried it. Why would it start working now?

    Nobody has disagreed with you on Clinton’s lack of integrity. What we’ve disagreed with you on is the notion that she would preemptively train 1,100 campaign workers on how to fake something that there was almost no chance they’d need to fake, or would be able to get away with faking, or that her campaign would substantially benefit from faking.

    For the sake of comparison, let’s take a recent scandal — Deflategate — and try to make it like this event.

    There are conflicting opinions on whether or not Tom Brady and some New England Patriots staff conspired to bring under-pressured footballs into their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. I don’t have an opinion on whether or not that’s what happened, but it’s certainly PLAUSIBLE.

    Of course, it’s also possible that Tom Brady recruited a veritable army of people to apply for jobs inflating footballs for all 32 NFL teams, then directed them in an orchestrated conspiracy to deflate exactly the correct footballs, in exactly the correct games, versus exactly the correct teams, for the express purpose of getting the Colts into the post-season, and past the wild card game, and through the division championship game so that he could beat them in particular at the AFC championship.

    One of those things may have happened.

    One of them almost certainly didn’t.

    The one that didn’t happen didn’t happen not because Tom Brady is honest and pure as the driven snow. It didn’t happen because it would be extraordinarily difficult to MAKE happen and would be of little material benefit if it DID happen.

    And the one that almost certainly didn’t happen is a lot more like what you’re positing might have happened in Iowa than the one that might have happened.

    So there’s a pack of gum missing from your coat pocket. Sure, maybe Hillary Clinton bred and trained a crack team of ferrets to steal your gum. Or maybe you left it on your nightstand. One of those things is far less likely than the other.

  47. steve m

    I would think that the Bernie people would be looking for the Hillary side to be using a two faced coin?

  48. Andy

    The Clinton campaign would not had to have trained 1,100 people on rigging a coin toss. This would have been an easy scam to pull off and few people would have had to have been in on it.

    I would not put it past the Clinton campaign either.

    Does this mean they did it? Maybe, or maybe not, but given the odds involved, the ease of rigging it, and the character (or lackthereof) and history of those involved, it would not suprise me if they did rig it.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    OK, if it’s so easy, explain how easy it is.

    Specifically, explain how Clinton was able to figure out in advance which ten or so caucus locations out of more than 1,100 would be the ones where the disposition of one “delegate equivalent” came down to a coin toss.

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