Iowa Polls One Last Time: Here Are the Winners

Iowa Polls One Last Time: Here Are the Winners

Iowa Polls One Last Time: Here Are the Winners

Results have been announced of the winners of the final poll conducted by the Des Moines Register prior to Monday’s caucuses in Iowa.

They include Donald Trump for the Republicans . . .

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and Hillary Clinton — just barely — for the Democrats.

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Now the Trump supporters will no doubt start their Happy Dance, and those Republicans who might prefer an ABT candidate — Anyone But Trump — might enter a state of dejection. However, everyone should consider the following video. It explains how the Iowa caucuses work, how each party differs, and how the history of eventual outcomes for the winners have been radically different between the two parties.

https://youtu.be/uYAdGOhfNRc

Then there’s the sticky wicket of accurately polling for caucuses. TIME Magazine listed six reasons why political watchers should view any Iowa polling with the proverbial grain of salt:

  • Precinct breakdown tends to dilute the numbers of voters in high population areas vs. those in rural areas. Candidates are awarded the same number of delegates from a precinct whether originating from 100 college students or 15 farmers.
  • Pollsters prefer to obtain the opinion of previous caucus-goers, but that information is not easily available, as it’s retained by the individual parties. Furthermore, most voters in Iowa do not caucus.
  • Turnout is unpredictable, and this year it may be particularly tricky. More about that later.
  • A better predictor of outcome in Iowa has historically been the ground game rather than polling.
  • Iowa voters have historically been an undecided lot up until the last minute.
  • Even the last poll can be inaccurate. As Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute said, “They’re accurate for today. Tomorrow, those polls could be meaningless.”

And about that unpredictable turnout, to which I alluded above:

A winter storm is moving into Iowa from the Intermountain West on Monday night, covering nearly the entire state. According to recent research from AccuWeather Business, inclement weather has served to deter swing voters in primaries. Women voters tend to be more affected by bad weather, causing fewer of them to caucus than men. Young voters between 18 and 24 tend to turn out more in sunny weather. So while Bernie Sanders looks like he’s chomping on the heels of Hillary Clinton, the snow just might keep Bernie’s college devotees in their dorm rooms with some brews and their cell phones.

So Trump supporters, chill. For those of us who support Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or even Ben Carson, keep calm and set your eyes on the eventual prize. In the words of that great baseball legend Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Play ball, Iowa!

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

7 Comments
  • Wfjag says:

    For the Iowa caucus, the 2d choice numbers are very important. When a vote is taken, any candidate receiving less than 15% is eliminated, and people move to their 2d choice. Trump and Cruz are the 2d choice of very, very few people. Rubio seems to be positioning himself to break the 15% threshold on the first round. Depending on how many Cruz can pick up, IMO Trump will end up with very few additional voters, and end the caucus either barely in 2d place or possibly in 3d place. Anything less than a win for Trump feeds the narrative that he can’t beat Hillary, and that is more important than other considerations.

    • Kim Quade says:

      I hope your theory holds up. I certainly prefer Cruz or Rubio over Trump.
      But it really appears that pinning down Iowa is like herding cats.

    • Optimizer says:

      It doesn’t work that way – the 15% thing is for the DEMOCRATS!!

      And you have it backwards; the wisdom is that anything less than a win for Cruz, and this whole primary is over. Trump (if you can believe polls!) is said to be way ahead in NH, and they say that if you win both, that you’re essentially unbeatable. Rubio can only hope that Cruz beats Trump, and that he isn’t too distant a 3rd.

      But that whole theory reminds me of the nutty predictors you hear for the Super Bowl every year. Nothing seems normal this time.

      Trump’s problem is supposedly that he doesn’t have as good an organization to get out the vote, but I’m not sure if that reporting is unbiased or not. We shall see!

      In general, the ANGRIER voters are more likely to come in bad weather. That benefits Trump, “Bernie”, and maybe Cruz.

  • dflickiss says:

    W/ the weather forecast, I think it may lead to a stronger than expected Hillary showing in the Dem primary.

    How the weather affects GOP voters is harder to gage. They tend to be more consistent in voting generally. Esp. given that they know a lot is on the line regarding Iowa.

    I think a below expectation showing for Trump in Iowa will discourage his supporters in other states. I think he needs to clearly win Iowa to maintain his lead in other states. If he comes in 2nd in Iowa, or lower, it will really hurt him in NH and SC. As for Cruz and Rubio, I think they need to either take Iowa or score in the top 4 to keep going. I’m personally hoping that the bottom 5 or 6 candidates drop out (esp. Jeb) and throw their support behind more viable candidates – my personal choice is Rubio but…

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