Caucus Countdown: 6 Days and a three-way tie

In a little more than 30 minutes, Des Moines-based KCCI TV will release their last Iowa caucus poll that will show that Iowa Democrats are equally divided in their support for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama.

Lee Newspapers was also involved in the polling effort (whether through helping pay for it, sponsoring it, etc.) and they published their story online with the numbers earlier today.

“The poll, conducted with 500 likely caucus goers from each party on Wednesday and Thursday, showed Edwards and Obama tied with 29 percent to lead Democrats, followed by Clinton with 28 percent. Bill Richardson was fourth with 7 percent. Joe Biden was fifth with 3 percent. Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich both had 1 percent and 2 percent were undecided.”

The margin of error was +/- 4.5%, clearing showing that Democrats were equally divided.  Among Democrats, 19% still said they are likely or very likely to change their minds.  Keep an eye on Iowa Democrats’ second choices.

In other news, keep your ears open for message testing calls or “push polls.”  Desmoinesdem highlighted her husband’s call here and I just received the same call.  Make sure to check out the Off The Bus site about polling experience if you’ve received any calls.

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Caucus Countdown: 14 Days

We’re officially two weeks out from the Iowa Caucuses now and it is anyone’s guess as to what is going to happen.  We’ve got a variety of polls that say John Edwards might be leading, might not be if you look at the other numbers from the same poll, ABC News/Washington Post says Obama leads, and CNN/Opinion Research Corp. says that it is basically a three-way tie.

In the end it is important to remember, as Jerome says, polling in Iowa is bizarre.  Iowans are fickle, we stay undecided for a long time, and our second choices matter.  But keep in mind the Insider Advantage polling is worth concern simply because of some mathematical and statistical issues.

And finally, as we get closer to the Caucuses, you’re going to be seeing a bunch more ads.  Below the fold are the two new ads from Chris Dodd and Joe Biden.

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Caucus Countdown: 20 Days

How concerned are Iowans about caucus voting?  Like we’ve been talking about over this past week, there has been stupid controversy about college students participating in the Iowa caucuses.  The answer is: YES, as a student in Iowa you can caucus.  Now, the other part of the controversy has been about out-of-state campaign volunteers and staffers who come into Iowa and whether or not they should participate.

Let’s get things clear first.  Iowa law says that if you’ve been a resident for at least 10 days, you can register to vote in Iowa.  That’s the law.  To me, the spirit of the law then, as it would impact the caucuses, is that those who are truly committed to this state and their livelihood here–not simply because of a campaign, but because of school, work, and family–should be one’s caucusing.

Yet somehow, among all of this, the campaigns and the media seem to think that there is going to be a massive influx of volunteers and staffers who are going to do irreparable harm to the caucuses and basically cheat so that one candidate can win.  That’s like thinking that Dennis Kucinich really did see a UFO, and is, in fact, an extraterrestrial himself.

And KCCI here in Des Moines isn’t helping the matter.  Their story, headlined “Iowans Concerned About Caucus Voting: Out-Of State Operatives Flooding Iowa,” is mind-boggling simply because they don’t note a single ordinary Iowan who is concerned about out-of-staters voting.  It is merely an argument between campaigns that has blown up into a political worthless and quite petty tiff that just makes the campaigns look downright juvenile.

There really isn’t any concern among Iowa voters, or the campaigns.  Some candidates just wanted to gain traction and media attention by having other candidates sign their pledge.

Memo to the campaigns: Skip the hysterics, focus on the mobilization of Iowa voters, and play it fair.  It is just that simple.

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Caucus Countdown: 22 Days

Sorry tonight’s post is late and the past couple of days have been missing.  Remember way back when, when you had to write research papers and prepare for finals?  Welcome to my life at this point.

Anyway, tomorrow is the final Democratic debate of the season as the Des Moines Register hosts the debate in IPTV studios in Johnston.  Today’s Republican debate was criticized as being pretty tame and uninteresting, so I’m wondering if the Democratic affair will be just the same?

And what will the Republicans think about the questions posed by Carolyn Washburn after it was revealed that she violated Register policies and participated in the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary here in Iowa?

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Caucus Countdown: 26 Days

Tonight’s topic: What the hell is Fred Thompson thinking?

I just don’t get this.  Thompson is a former member of the United States Senate and he honestly thinks that the National Intelligence Estimate is something to be “suspicious” of?  Sure, so it may have said something different two years ago than it does today.  But I’m pretty sure with our long-term presence in Iraq that even Thompson can admit our intelligence gathering options have to have gotten a bit better in that area, particularly in terms of getting first-hand information.

Then again, maybe I’m just naive.

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