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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

DMR Poll: Good for Obama, But…

The final Des Moines Register Poll Democratic results are great news for Barack Obama. The LV percentage results: Obama 32; Clinton 25; Edwards 24; Richardson 6; Biden 4; Dodd 2; Kucinich 1; Gravel less than 1. Part of the good news is that the final DMR poll before the Iowa caucuses has a perfect track record in ranking the order that candidates finished in the caucuses for both 2004 and 2000. In addition, Obama’s margin was double the m.o.e (3.5%) for the poll.
The cautionary note for Obama is that the percentage of first-time Iowa caucus-goers and self-identified Independents is much higher in the ’07 DMR sample. Historically, first-time caucus-goers have not shown up at the caucuses in impressive percentages. As Pollster.com‘s Mark Blumenthal puts it “this Register sample predicts a very different set of caucus participants than in years past” (As always, Blumenthal’s analysis is required reading for poll junkies.) The only thing to add is that there is a bit more of a lag between the final DMR poll and the caucuses this year than in ’04, when the poll was released the day before the caucus.

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