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POLL: Rasmussen Iowa Democratic Caucus


Additional results from the recent Rasmussen Reports statewide survey of 1,156 likely Democratic caucus goers in Iowa (conducted 11/26 through 11/27) finds Sen. Hillary Clinton (at 27%) narrowly leading Sen. Barack Obama (25%) and former Sen. John Edwards (24%) in a statewide caucus; Gov. Bill Richardson trails at 10%. All other candidates receive less than five percent each.

 

Comments
Toby:

Is it too much to hope for that those who trumpeted the results of the now infamous Zogby "poll" will spare some time to explain the how and why of this poll's results?

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JohnG:

Isn't the real Iowa question who holds the "second choice" vote for the "others" who get less than 15% in the first round. I understand that they can then join up with any of the over 15% candidates. So, if the second choice vote favors one of the big three, that, and not the first round vote, will decide the winner. Correct?

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JohnG, you make a good point. I know that Obama and Edwards are ahead in the generic 2nd choice, but I don't think it will go down that way.

The caucus takes place as a face to face event where organization and arm twisting counts for a lot.

I think that all three top candidates will easily pass the 15% threshold; therefore their supporters will not be asked to make a second choice. The second choice voters will come from the other candidates. That is where it will get interesting.

It's my opinion only, but I think that Richardson's and Biden's voters will be encouraged by both their own organizers and by Hillary's organizers to make her their second choice. Having watched all the debates, she seems to have the most natural affinity with those two candidates. Their numbers should reach about 15% total. If most of that goes to Hillary, which I think it will, she wins.

What do you think of my math?

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Michael:

I think your "math" sounds more like wishful thinking. There's a good chance Edwards/Obama/Clinton won't meet 15% in plenty of counties.

What's more, organizational strength has little-to-nothing to do with debate performances. Even if Richardson's organizers encourage his supporters to go to Clinton, for example, who says they're good enough to enforce that? The two campaigns who's organizational strength in Iowa is most consistently praised are easily Obama and Edwards, who also happen to consistently lead in 2nd choice votes. Depending on estimated turn-out and variations in 2nd choice, likely voter models, etc, either Edwards or Obama has to be considered the frontrunner for Iowa *today*

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In polling for the 2004 Iowa caucuses Dean was second choice for 20%, Edwards had 22% as second choice and Kerry had 21% as second choice.

When the second choice votes were cast they went predominately to Kerry based on electability. I think the same thing will happen this January. The candidate deemed most electable will get most of the second choice votes.

It's my opinion that in the end Hillary Clinton will be seen as most electable by the Iowa caucus voters.

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Tim:

Maybe, but here's a logic that I think seems more sound: the critical cleavage of the entire race, to this point, has been "Hillary" or "not Hillary." It's not like voters have entered into the thought process viewing a balanced slate of candidates so much as entered into the process with the FIRST question being "Do I want Hillary to be the nominee?" If not, they've chosen another candidate. Thus, a lot of voters supporting smaller name candidates like Biden and Richardson have already assessed the question of whether or not they're excited about Hillary, and have decided to the negative. This means they might be more likely to flock to Barack or Edwards as their second choice- although those two have gotten lots of media coverage, the election has not been framed as "will Barack win or will he not," nor for Edwards, and thus voters have probably spend less energy convincing themselves they're not supporting Barack or Edwards than Hillary.

That being said, I think there's a good chance it won't even come down to second choices, as there's such a great likelihood that poll figures will become so volatile in the last 7-10 days, as they so often do, breaking the three-way-tie tone of the current Iowa race.

-T

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You could be right. From what I read, the Iowa voters don't finally settle on a candidate until very late in the race. That would make the toss up polling we see today accurate.

I do think Emily's List will be very helpful in organizing supporters for Hillary. I also think Edwards built in support is not as strong as it was 4 years ago. He is no longer a positive force; which I hear is good in Iowa politics. That said, all three candidates have gone decidedly negative so maybe that issue is a wash. Or maybe Bill Richardson will surprise us all.

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