Is Obama Really Ahead in Iowa?
There has been much gnashing of the new DMR poll that puts Obama at 32%, Hillary Clinton at 25% and Edwards at 24%. Everyone has an opinion but most people who voice problems with the poll do so based on the fact that they estimate 60% of the caucus goers will be first timers. It’s summed up well by desmoinesdem at th Iowa Independent:
ARG had Clinton up by 14, DMR has Obama up by 7.
At least one of those is an outlier, and probably both are, given the number of other polls showing all three candidates within the margin of error.
Two things jumped out at me regarding the DMR poll. One, it predicts that 60 percent of Democratic caucus-goers will be first-timers. I find that simply impossible to believe. I’ve been working my precinct, where we had 175 at the 2004 caucus. I have found very, very few people who attended in 2004 and do not plan to caucus again.
If 60 percent of the caucus-goers are new, that would suggest a turnout in my precinct of at least 300 people. Seems impossible.
Also, the DMR projects that 40 percent of Democratic caucus-goers will be independents who changed their registration and 5 percent will be Republicans who changed their registration. In 2004 those numbers were 19 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Obama’s lead comes entirely from an assumed unprecedented turnout of first-time caucus-goers, independents and Republicans. I am not buying it, but we’ll all find out on Thursday night.
Big Tent Democrat does the math and concludes that if Obama truly if the DMR model is correct and Obama is truly ahead, the majority of his support is not from Democrats. Which is probably one of the reasons he feels at liberty to engage in wink-wink, nudge-nudge derision of them in an appeal to more conservative voters.
Obama gets some help today when Kucinich tells his supporters to vote for Obama on the second ballot.
Meanwhile, Mark Ambinder explains why the importance of John Edwards’ lead as a second-choice among likely caucus goers is important.
Tonight’s big event will be the Huck’n’Chuck, when Huckabee trots out Chuck Norris to stump for him. Not to be outdone, Edwards has just announced that tomorrow night John Cougar-Mellencamp will appear at a "This Is Our Country" rally at the Val Air Ballroom.