# 2004 Elections

Who are the teachers supporting?

I got a flier today from the American Federation of Teachers, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton. The mailer cites part of the Des Moines Register’s endorsement of Clinton to make the case that, “Hillary is prepared to bring real change.”

I’ve noticed that all of the candidates have been reaching out to teachers, referencing their education plans in campaign appearances and direct-mail pieces. Bill Richardson has emphasized his “bold” education plan in more than one piece, and he and Joe Biden have both emphasized that they would scrap No Child Left Behind.

Daily Kos user teacherken (teacherken.dailykos.com) has reviewed several of the candidates’ education proposals and has had high praise for both the Edwards and Obama plans.

The teachers I know seem to be all over the map–I don’t see any one candidate dominating this group, which will account for a large number of caucus-goers.

Those of you who are teachers, are married to teachers, or know a lot of teachers, who do you think will win this group?

Obama campaign: volunteer if you want to see Oprah

Oprah will travel to Iowa to campaign for Barack Obama, and his campaign has come up with a counter-intuitive way of doling out tickets that is either brilliant or foolish:


In a news release announcing the events, Obama's campaign said tickets to the Iowa events will be given first to precinct captains, then campaign volunteers, then to supporters and undecided caucus-goers.


It said volunteers can be guaranteed a ticket by completing a four-hour volunteer shift or attending local caucus training before the event.


I would never have thought to do this. When a big event for John Edwards is planned, I try to get as many undecided voters from my precinct to attend as possible. I figure, it's more helpful to put undecided voters at an exciting event than it is to pack the room with supporters.

Obama's campaign seems to have calculated that if they can get hundreds of supporters to step up their involvement by becoming precinct captains or volunteering for at least four hours, that will eventually bring in more caucus-goers than they would win over by putting several hundred undecided voters in front of Oprah.

On the other hand, isn't the whole point of Oprah's visit to excite and win over women who may not ordinarily be engaged in politics? Maybe having her address a roomful of fired-up Obama volunteers is not the best use of her star power.

What do you think–brilliant or foolish? 

UDPATE: Tom in the comments says volunteers will get preferred seating, but that others will be able to attend Oprah's events in Iowa too. 

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Ron Paul supporters planning $10 million Tea Party


After shattering one-day fundraising records on Guy Fawkes Day (raising more than $4 million), Ron Paul supporters are planning a $10 million “tea party” on December 16, the anniversary of the famous anti-tax revolt in Boston. They are collecting pledges at the Tea Party '07 website.

I see Ron Paul yard signs and bumper stickers every so often in the Des Moines area, but I have no idea how active the campaign is here. He seems to be putting most of his effort into New Hampshire.

Anyone else seeing signs of a Ron Paul revolution in Iowa? The gang at Iowa Independent put Paul fourth in their Republican power rankings–ahead of Fred Thompson and John McCain.


Register fixes 2004 county results page

Thanks again to Katerina for sending me the cached page with the 2004 Iowa caucus results by county. I contacted someone at the Des Moines Register, and they fixed the page so that those results can be seen again:


In case anyone wants to check how the candidates did in this or that county.

Keep in mind that in 2004 there were 3,000 state delegates up for grabs; this cycle there will only be 2,500. So the counties are assigning different numbers of state delegates than what appears on this page.

Is Camp Hillary worried or lowering expectations?

This article from the New York Times has made a splash in the liberal blogosphere:


Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has nearly doubled the size of her staff in Iowa and has substantially increased her advertising here as her campaign reinforces its effort to prevent Democrats from coalescing around a single alternative to her candidacy.

In the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign has been on the defensive lately because of her own missteps and increasingly aggressive attacks from her rivals, is moving to double or triple the amount of time she has spent here in recent months. Seldom will a day go by, aides said, when either she or former President Bill Clinton will not be on some patch of Iowa soil trying to solidify her support and win over an unusually high number of uncommitted voters.

“We’re going to begin using all the assets we have,” said Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa who serves as co-chairman of the Clinton campaign. “We haven’t been bashful about asking for the moon here.”

If I were running Hillary's campaign, I would also use Bill as much as possible. His favorables have been higher than Hillary's for the last 15 years, and he generates a lot of excitement and free media coverage everywhere he goes.

That said, to my mind this is the key passage in the article:

More than 60 percent of those who have identified themselves as Clinton supporters, senior strategists say, have never participated in the Iowa caucuses. It is a far higher share than the campaign had been anticipating, which suggests that many of the reliable rank-and-file Democrats have chosen another candidate. So the Clinton campaign is working to expand its universe of supporters to women who have never participated.


If Hillary can turn out tens of thousands of Iowans who have never caucused before, more power to her. I will be impressed. I am also trying to turn out people who support Edwards but have never caucused before.

At the same time, I would be extremely nervous if more than half of my coded Edwards supporters in my precinct had not attended the 2000 or 2004 caucuses.


The New York Times article goes on to say that Hillary now has 34 field offices in Iowa,

arriving in many cities more than two months behind the local operatives for Mr. Obama or Mr. Edwards. Last week, the Clinton campaign’s national headquarters sent a top communications operative to Iowa and hired eight deputies charged solely with drumming up media coverage in smaller cities across the state.

The big question is, will Clinton's staff be able to get those first-time caucus-goers to show up on January 3?

I know Hillary has been doing lots of robocalls. I've received several myself. Presumably those are aimed at all Iowa Democrats, not just the universe of past caucus-goers. Hillary is talking about whatever issue, and then at the end she says, press 1 if you are ready to support me, press 2 if you want more information about my campaign.

It would take very little effort for a non-regular voter to listen to this call and press 1. I imagine that is how they are compiling a large list of supporters who have never caucused before.

If she can turn those people out, she deserves to win, and the Iowa Democratic Party will benefit from having more people engaged in the process.


A diary on the New York Times article generated a heated discussion last night on Daily Kos.

Jerome Armstrong posted an interesting commentary on the article at MyDD. He inferred that

The Clinton campaign must have polled and segmented and projected that, with the given caucus universe, they just can't win in Iowa– recall their internal memo earlier this spring that considered ditching the state. So instead, the focus moves to the technique of expanding the caucus universe.

This post by Nate Willems seems to support this analysis as well, especially his observation that

In making calls through a list of rural Democrats who are consistent primary voters, but who lack a history of attending a caucus, my anecdotal notes show that Clinton is significantly stronger than any other candidate.  Accordingly, it does seem that she would benefit from a larger turnout.  

Amongst rural Democrats with a record of attending their caucus, my notes show a very competitive race between Edwards and Clinton with Obama distinctly behind.

What do you think? Is the Clinton campaign truly concerned that recent Iowa polls showing her in the lead include too many people who are unlikely to caucus? Or are they mainly trying to lower expectations for their candidate in Iowa?

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Looking for the 2004 caucus results by county

The Des Moines Register revamped their website recently, and now this page, which used to show the 2004 caucus results by county, no longer has any information:


Does anybody else know an online reference for detailed county-level results? I am working on the next installment in my Iowa caucus diary series.

I am kicking myself for never printing out that chart. I figured, why waste the paper? I've got it bookmarked.