Courtesy of CBS News:

Monday dawns with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden even in first-choice support at 25% each in our baseline model, Pete Buttigieg very close behind at 21%, and Elizabeth Warren at 16%, also in position to accrue some national delegates. Amy Klobuchar is at 5% in our baseline estimate, and all other candidates are under 5%.

CBS goes into a fairly detailed analysis of who might win, the number of delegates they might attract, and who voters want for their second choice, which you can read by clicking the link up top. 

But let’s move on.

Many pundits are feeling around in the dark right now because one of the most reliable polls was not published in time for this caucus.

Courtesy of Politico:

The stunning, last-minute cancellation of the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll and its accompanying, hour-long CNN special deprived the political class of the 11th hour marker it was relying on to frame the final days of a campaign that is running unusually close.

“Absolutely shocking,” said Sean Bagniewski, chairman of the Polk County Democrats.

And it wasn’t just the vanished poll he was talking about. The entire run-up to the caucuses has been almost dumbfoundingly strange.

There was the campaign’s comically large field, the surprising durability of Joe Biden and Sanders and the dizzying fall of several stars (Beto O’Rourke was still on Twitter on Saturday, talking about guns: “Wake the fuck up America!”).

The hope surrounding the candidacies of several candidates of color faded into frustration. The late entrance of Michael Bloomberg — and his bombardment of Super Tuesday states with television ads — threatens to render the verdict of Iowa and the early voting states moot.

All of these factors are leading to a “Hell if I know” attitude among some of the country’s most confident political prognosticators. 

Personally I am never confident enough to make predictions, especially after the results of 2016.

However in my opinion this race is down to Biden, Sanders, and Warren. 

(This, by the way, is another reason why I have such confidence in Warren. There is nobody on the Democratic side who says they will not vote for her if she is the nominee.)

I don’t think the Buttigieg thing has legs and do not expect him to last for the long haul. 

Sanders is going to last for the long haul, however, and he apparently is trotting out tactics that his opponents find concerning. 

Also courtesy of Politico:

Rival campaigns are sounding the alarm that Bernie Sanders could be planning to claim victory on Monday night — before the caucuses are concluded.

It’s a move, they say, that could have a significant effect on the outcome.

Sanders and his team have made clear their intention to tout the results of the first round of caucus voting Monday, even though the Iowa Democratic Party stresses that the only number that matters is the final delegate count.

Aides with two top-tier campaigns told POLITICO they worry the Sanders campaign or other pro-Sanders forces — which will be receiving unofficial precinct results from allies in real time — will disseminate that information through social media or publicly claim victory after the first vote, an act that could distort the eventual results in a variety of ways.

I don’t believe this is technically cheating, but it is the kind of tactic that could leave a bad taste in the mouths of voters who are currently supporting other Democrats in the field. 

And this might reinforce Hillary’s claim that Sanders’ manner is offputting and that many of his colleagues did not like him. 

Let me reiterate again that I am planning to vote for the eventual nominee, no matter who they are, and I encourage all of you to do the same.