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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Big Crowds Everywhere

Turns out my microexperience in Des Moines Precinct #19 was pretty representative of the Iowa Democratic Caucuses as a whole, at least in terms of the amazing turnout. The semi-final numbers showed 236,000 Democratic participants, nearly double the levels of 2004 (and about double the levels of Republicans tonight, who also exceeded expected turnout). Going into the Caucuses, people who said turnout might reach 200,000 were considered hallucinatory.
The Entrance Polls for the Democrats were quite interesting. Because they represent first rather than final preferences, they show HRC doing significantly better than Edwards, and Obama a bit below his final levels. Participation by independents was pretty much where it was in 2004 (about 20%), and though Obama won heavily among them, he also narrowly carried self-identified Democrats as well (and–mirable dictu–women). Despite the heavily left-bent nature of Edwards’ closing pitch, and the rapidly spreading stampede of progressive bloggers from Obama to Edwards on grounds that Obama was sounding like one of those damned centrists, Obama won decisively among those calling themselves “very liberal,” and by double digits among those calling themselves “somewhat liberal.” Meanwhile, Edwards romped among the small number of self-identifed conservatives, and his best income category by far was those earning more than $100,000.
The most astonishing entrance poll figure involves age: as high a percentage of Democratic Caucus participants (22%) were under 30 as were over 65. Since Obama won 57% in the former category and HRC won 45% in the latter, the relatively young age distribution was probably the single biggest factor in the outcome.

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