Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Obama’s Big Mo

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It’s a poll, and worse still it’s a poll of the incomprehensible Iowa caucus system, but if the Des Moines Register poll that called 2004 right is to be believed Obama should win Iowa by a good margin. More than that, the poll’s internals show Obama with huge support from independents—their breakdown of likely Democratic caucusers includes only 50% Democrats and 40% independents, which if true would be an unprecedented level of caucus participation from independents and suggests a Reaganesque blowout in November if Democrats have the wisdom to nominate him. Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has a nice roundup of responses to the poll, including Marc Ambinder’s aforementioned breakdown of the poll’s demographics and the Edwards’s campaign’s skepticism that so many alleged first-time caucus goers will actually attend. Best of all is this from TNR’s Noam Scheiber, quoted in its entirety for optimism:

Just to add a bit to Mike’s thoughts on the Register poll–Obama’s lead is clearly driven by three factors: His lead among first-time caucus-goers, his lead among independents, and his lead among young people. What’s interesting about the poll is that all of these groups make up a larger portion of its likely caucus-goers than in most previous polls. So the Register is basically saying that the groups that disproportionately favor Obama are much more likely to turn out than they have in the past. Now, the Register has a reputation for being the gold standard of caucus polling, so that may well be true. Or the paper could be way off the mark. But the thing is, it may not matter either way. That’s because the Register poll isn’t just a description of what’s going on. More than any other poll, it actually influences what goes on. Iowans will wake up tomorrow to find a headline that says, “Obama Widens Lead Over Clinton.” And, human psychology being what it is, that may well push them into the Obama camp Thursday night.

Meanwhile, in the Republican camp, Huckabee continues to lead the field despite the fact that he is a well-established maniac.

Two more days…

Written by gerrycanavan

January 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm

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