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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Shape of the Playing Field

The Des Moines Register poll of Democrats discussed in the staff post earlier today really just confirmed what’s been fairly obvious for a while: if the turnout is large and wide, Barack Obama will probably win. If it’s not, anything could happen. With time pretty much gone for any late trends (and the Register poll certainly confirmed my belief that the Bhutto assassination didn’t change anything), the shape of the playing field will likely determine the victor.
I know the numbers in the Register poll concerning participation by self-identified independents and first-time Caucus-goers are unprecedented, and therefore a bit hard to believe. But throughout 2007, all the signs pointed to exceptional interest in the Democratic as opposed to the Republican competition in Iowa. Given the state’s status as a purple state in general elections, a high turnout would be good news for Democrats regardless of the nominee.
In any event, all the speculation will soon be moot. I’ll be headed to Iowa soon to watch the Caucuses up close, and will make every effort to semi-live-blog from there on Caucus night.

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