The Sanders camp (and some polling) is banking on a massive new & infrequent voter surge in Iowa on Monday. The problem? Three days out, we have yet to see any sign of such an occurrence.
Compared to Obama's 2008 upset, this year looks more like an electorate that will benefit Clinton. While pre-voter registration doesn't tell the whole picture, it does paint a picture that Sanders will be stuck in no better of an electorate that Obama had in 2008. In 2008, Edwards was also a strong candidate in the race. This year, it's a dichotomy of previous voters supporting Clinton and new voters supporting Sanders. With the new registration numbers as-is, the math just isn't there for Sanders to out perform his polling. In fact, the data suggests he may under-perform when you consider the methodology of some of the polls in the aggregate.
One other thing to watch will be the weather. Right now, there looks to be some snow moving in around caucus time on Monday night. Here is the current NOAA forecast in Des Moines:
Bad weather doesn't aid a surge in voter turnout on a Monday night among individuals that have not previously attended a caucus.
Finally, we have the viability threshold. At a Democratic caucus in Iowa, votes align themselves into groups under a candidate. With a 3 person race, 15% is viability at the precinct level. If, at that particular precinct, O'Malley can't get 15%, his supporters either move to undecided to be swayed into a camp, move into another camp or just go home. How infrequent he hits viability and where his supports land will also tilt the scales.
-As I was writing this the Clinton camp got new news: More emails now that were not classified at the time according to the state department's spokesperson John Kirby. This continues to confirm that the former Secretary has been saying for the length of her campaign. Whether the American people will be able to comprehend the difference between then and now is another story that could continue to prove difficult for the Clinton camp. Though, this likely would be more of problem in a general electorate than in an Iowa caucus where the only people to show up are the most engaged voters that have been following the story from day 1 and have head all sides of this ad nauseum.
WP-National GOP (HTML)
CNN-National GOP (HTML)
Q-IA GOP (PDF)
ARG-NH GOP (HTML)
ARG-NH DEM (HTML)
I didn't change the top-lines in this one as it was close enough. But, if you shift this one to more likely 43/57 split, Sanders lead drops by 2%.
The gender split is much better than their peculiar Iowa poll from last week.
While the CNN poll had it's obvious flaws, the YG poll is a little more difficult to ascertain the problem.
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