We are now under one week away from the February 1st Iowa caucuses, and it is crunch time for the candidates as they all want to start the 2016 presidential nomination season off a victory. In the case of Hillary Clinton, a win in Iowa would be redemption for her 2008 campaign where she finished in a stunning 3rd place.
The Iowa loss was a big boost to candidate Barack Obama and it effectively started the unraveling of Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. But she learned a great deal from that loss back in 2008 and this time if she loses it won’t be because she is not prepared.
Clinton knows that she holds a slim lead in Iowa over her chief rival Vermont Sen. (I) Bernie Sanders and he has done a great job of gaining on her in the Hawkeye State. But winning in Iowa is key to Clinton because in two weeks from today it will be the New Hampshire primary and it is very likely that Sanders will win The Granite State race.
Should Clinton win Iowa and Sanders take New Hampshire then she could keep him at bay as they head into the South and West where her organization is very strong.
Clinton lost in Iowa in 2008 because of her lack of a strong ground game and this time her team made sure that would not be a problem. She has a very strong ground force in Iowa this time led by the state’s very popular Sen. Tom Harkin.
He formally endorsed Clinton back in August and she also got the support of the former governor of Iowa and current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Like Harkin he has been on board since August and the two know how to make sure people understand and attend the states caucuses.
Clinton picked up the all important The Des Moines Register endorsement. It is Iowa’s largest and most important newspaper. The Register talked about Clinton’s wide-ranging experience and public policy knowledge as being simply a cut above everyone else in the race. In outlining their support of Hillary, The Des Moines Register editorial board concluded:
“Clinton has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad. She stands ready to take on the most demanding job in the world.”
Sen. Sanders is no doubt going to give Clinton a run for her money here and for that matter nationally in what is beginning to look like a long and interesting race. But in Iowa it is all about the ground game and if she can learn from her mistakes in 2008 then she can come out of Iowa with a much needed win.