Speed Reads


Nate Silver thinks Bernie Sanders could beat Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire

FiveThirtyEight's editor-in-chief (and America's most successful political prognosticator) writes today that the socialist senator from Vermont has a legitimate chance to topple Hillary Clinton in the first two Democratic presidential contests — and "then lose everywhere else."

Sanders could win Iowa. He's up to 30 percent of the vote there, according to Huffington Post Pollster's estimate. What's more, Sanders could also win New Hampshire, where he's at 32 percent of the vote. [FiveThirtyEight]

Silver says that among the best explanations for the Sanders surge in these early-voting states is the fact that "Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa and Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire are really liberal and really white, and that's the core of Sanders' support."

Put another way, Iowa and New Hampshire aren't representative of the more diverse electorates that Democrats will turn out elsewhere. It just so happens that the idiosyncrasies of the first two states match Sanders' strengths and Clinton's relative weaknesses. [FiveThirtyEight]

Before you write off a double Sanders victory as unlikely, remember that in the 2008 general election, Silver called 49 out of 50 states correctly, and in 2012, he nailed all 50.