I have plunged into 2016 Presidential off and on and haven't decided how much to blog it. One thing I will say the night before Iowa is that Clinton and Sanders both appear to be afraid to lose tomorrow. I read somewhere that both campaigns have their resources directed at the early primaries and Hillary especially has concentrated her organization on preventing a loss in Iowa rather than developing the national organization to soften the blow of one. So a Sanders win there would be a major psychological blow for the Clinton campaign, going a long way towards leveling the organizational playing field.
I didn't begin with a preconceived notion of whom I'd support but am impressed by Bernie's organization and his ability to mobilize an electorate behind his policy positions. I intend to support this contention in more depth, but I agree strongly with those who say Bernie has the best chance in the general election, though O'Malley would also run strong there should he, with a website full of policy papers, make a longshot surge. O'Malley's so good gov that they were trying to make a big deal out of an ongoing practice of buying Maryland government furniture - Bernie's even more of a boy scout. Hillary is complaining about Sanders' "attacks" as she would do in any case disingenuously, but the Democratic challengers are doing their party a disservice by not previewing how Hillary can't bear the scrutiny of Republican attacks - as Obama had mostly done before them. Before any of that begins she starts with more than half the country knowing her and disapproving, and the elites of the majority party are running too scared to call out how that's unacceptable in their potential standardbearer.
Part of the fear is that the free trade war hawks antagonistic to financial regulation have only a small group of puppets to parade out, because in keeping with democracy, most Democratic legislators elected in the last 20 years don't support their positions, despite their timid endorsements of HRC. Obama was uniquely not antagonistic to NAFTA out of the new Senators of his freshman class, ditto Hillary. Few, if any, leading Dems are more hawkish than Hillary on war issues. A win in Iowa would lead them to say Hillary is inevitable, a loss would send them into disarray.
The polls being as close as they are in a caucus state favors the candidate with more passionate and persuasive supporters to overcome lower name recognition and brand confidence, which would seem to favor Bernie.