What kind of turnout should you be looking for tonight in Iowa?

posted at 11:21 am on February 1, 2016 by Allahpundit

A PSA for readers who’ll spend the day hearing talking heads babbling about expected turnout. By now, anyone following the race in Iowa knows the basic dynamic: High turnout favors Trump, as it likely means he’s convinced thousands of disaffected Iowa voters to register as GOPers tonight and caucus for him. Lower turnout favors Cruz, as Cruz by wide acclaim has the best organization in the state. Cruz fans will show up, thanks to Cruz’s superb GOTV operation. The mystery is whether Trump fans will. If you believe Cruz’s campaign manager, the nerds on Team Cruz have calculated precisely how many likely caucusgoers were still trying to decide between him and Trump this weekend: 9,131, with another 6,000 voters total trying to choose between Cruz and Ben Carson and Cruz and Marco Rubio. What Team Cruz doesn’t know is how many newbies will show up for Trump. That’s where turnout comes in.

“High” and “low” don’t tell you much, though. What’s the actual number that will tell us if things are breaking Trump’s way, with new waves of voters coming out, or Cruz’s way? Per Tim Alberta, it’s 135,000.

Officials from many of the campaigns predict the number will fall somewhere between 125,000 and 140,000. A few even think the figure could remain relatively static at 122,000, arguing that Ron Paul drew many first-time caucus-goers in 2012 who won’t be back this time.

“With all these candidates, all this turnout effort, it’s logical that we’ll have a record turnout. But it’s illogical to think we’ll double the record turnout or that it’s going to go to 170,000,” says Iowa representative Steve King, a Cruz supporter. “I think Cruz wins this in a close race, with a 135,000 turnout number as the over/under, and I think we go under that.”

The Cruz campaign has done extensive modeling on the caucuses and believes the turnout will ultimately fall between 133,000 and 137,000. Republicans familiar with Cruz’s analytics program say his team has modeled caucus electorates all the way up to 175,000 out of an abundance of caution, and feels confident that its man will prevail even if turnout reaches that high. The reason: Cruz will hold a lead of roughly 7,000 votes over Trump with a GOP electorate of 125,000, his allies say. Trump would need to win a huge plurality — if not a majority — of additional votes in order to offset Cruz’s lead.

The record for Republican turnout is 122,000, set four years ago. Democrats doubled that total in 2008 during Obamamania, but Obama had what was probably the best organization in political history and plenty of early warning that turnout would be off the charts based on the number of new Democratic registrants before the caucuses. New Republican registrants are up this year too, but not by much. That’s the challenge for Trump tonight. If he’s going to pull this off, he’ll need to either bring out droves of voters who are already registered Republican but have never bothered to caucus before and/or he’ll need to blow the doors off with unprecedented same-day registration by Democrats and independents. But then, that’s a microcosm of the whole race: The only way Trump wins is by doing things that conventional politicians are unable to do. No problem for him on that score so far, but tonight’s the acid test.

To give you a sense of just how organized Team Cruz is:

“Our voters tend to be voters who vote consistently,” Mr. English said. The campaign worked from lists of past caucus participants, then built profiles on individual voters based on what the voters relayed as their overriding areas of interest.

It is a sophisticated, narrowly tailored approach: Borrowing from the latest research in behavioral psychology, the campaign gave its precinct captains talking points from which to write personal notes or to make calls telling supporters that the captains were looking forward to seeing them on Monday…

“I’ve seen no evidence of and heard no supporting evidence to suggest [Team Trump is] running anything like this,” Mr. English said, nodding toward the din of dozens of simultaneous phone conversations [at Cruz’s phone bank]. “If this is what it takes to get regular caucus voters to go to caucus, it would take this plus something in order to get people who don’t.”

Cruz is relying on lots of personal contact with individual voters to build a bond that’ll get them to show up tonight. Trump is relying on the force of his own personality, amplified many times by saturation media coverage, to build the same bond. Under the traditional laws of politics, a Cruz-style bond is worth much more than a Trump-style. Funny thing, though: The traditional laws of politics haven’t worked for the past eight months. Trump’s support is tremendously loyal too, as anyone who’s interacted with a Trump fan online knows. The most eye-popping number from this weekend’s Selzer poll was his favorable rating — a measly 50/47 compared to 70/21 for Marco Rubio and 65/28 for Cruz. Normally, a candidate who’s barely above water within his own party would be an also-ran in an election. Not Trump. The same poll found him leading Cruz by five points. Most of the 50 percent who view him favorably view him very favorably. He’s built the bond, even at a remove.

Here’s Trump’s daughter Ivanka showing Iowans how to caucus. Earlier forecasts suggested a blizzard would hit tonight, suppressing turnout and helping Cruz, but the latest projections is that it’ll arrive in state a few hours after the caucuses end. By the way: According to the Hill, “GOP strategists expect between 150,000 and 185,000 voters will turn out” for tonight’s GOP election. Even Team Cruz admits they’re in the trouble if we veer towards the higher end of that estimate.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Jeff Kaufmann: When I talk about intensity, I’m talking about, we’re now getting about 100 phone calls and hour into RPI (Republican Party of Iowa)… To put that into perspective, we get usually 5 or 6 an hour normally.

You’ve been busy making phone calls Gary!!

portlandon on February 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

You seem like a very angry person..chill

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:26 PM

“Marco the Rube surges to 8th place Iowa finish, building strong momentum ahead of crucial New Hampshire contest”

Redstone on February 1, 2016 at 12:26 PM

huh, I learn something new everyday.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Much preferable to planting and harvesting.
And shoveling that stuff. I really disliked shoveling that stuff.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:27 PM

OUCH, this is going to leave a mark, got to love it:

Sarah Palin: ‘Wasn’t Hard’ To Choose Between Donald Trump And Ted Cruz
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/01/sarah-palin-wasnt-hard-to-choose-between-donald-trump-and-ted-cruz/

Garyinaz66 on February 1, 2016 at 11:30 AM

No doubt it will leave a mark but not a good one. She claimed to be a conservative all these years as she got ordinary people to contribute to her accumulation of wealth. I cheered wildly when she made that glorious speech at the GOP convention and I vigorously defended her when she was attacked for the expensive wardrobe the party stupidly provided. And I defended her even more vigorously when she was attacked for resigning from the governorship.

She lost me however when she sent Todd out to support Gingrich and then agitated for a brokered convention – which was supposed to pick her. So with her support for the liberal jerk, Palin’s fall from grace is now complete.

Basilsbest on February 1, 2016 at 12:28 PM

“Now that Trump is the winner he will garner all the media concentration, this is good for El Jeb because he can be the stealth candidate he’s always wanted to be, the unknown little guy who comes out of nowhere to win it all.”

Bishop on February 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Last minute Jeb! saturation ad for NH.

Joseph K on February 1, 2016 at 12:29 PM

More and more I think that some (or many) of the most passionate Trump supporters on the internet are actually Paulians.

Gelsomina on February 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM

There’s a significant chunk of Paul types who have developed a liking for Trump. I’m not quite sure what’s behind it, but they have a liking for Trump at Zero Hedge of all places.

I don’t think this is a majority of Paulians though, and I seriously doubt they make up the majority of Trump’s internet support either.

Doomberg on February 1, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Now THAT I’ll take as a compliment! Riling the howlers is exactly what needs to happen on a regular basis.

You’re going to have to get them pretty riled to get to your baseline level.

Redstone on February 1, 2016 at 12:30 PM

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:27 PM

You grew up on a farm?

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Hot Air should hire me to write news that involves Rand Paul, since they clearly have nobody who can do that job.

Breaking: Paul hits 9% in last-minute poll.

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:36 PM

Hot Air should hire me to write news that involves Rand Paul, since they clearly have nobody who can do that job.

Breaking: Paul hits 9% in last-minute poll.

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:36 PM

Hmm…I can do better. Here’s my second draft:

Breaking: Paul surges to 9% in last-minute Iowa poll.

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:36 PM

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:38 PM

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:36 PM

9% is impressive? Big deal.
He’s never gonna be the nominee but carry on with your
obsession.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:39 PM

9% is impressive? Big deal.
He’s never gonna be the nominee but carry on with your
obsession.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:39 PM

But it’s a SURGE!!!

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

You grew up on a farm?

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Lots of time on a farm.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

I guess intermission is over.

MontanaMmmm on February 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:39 PM

Careful when stroking Schemp. He makes a mess.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Jeff Kaufmann: When I talk about intensity, I’m talking about, we’re now getting about 100 phone calls and hour into RPI (Republican Party of Iowa)… To put that into perspective, we get usually 5 or 6 an hour normally.

You’ve been busy making phone calls Gary!!

portlandon on February 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

shouldnt you be off calling people who dont support your lying phoney candidate a RACIST as you are wont to do?

well heres a whole lot more for you to call RACIST, racebaiter:

BREAKING POLL: Donald Trump Is winning Latino Republicans

In new poll on Latino voters finds Donald Trump has more support from Republican Latino voters than Cuban-Americans Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio combined.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/01/breaking-poll-donald-trump-is-winning-latino-republicans/

OMG they prefer Trump to slick teddy and rubifraud so they MUST be racist according to you.

go peddle your silliness to somebody else racebaiter

Garyinaz66 on February 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

How about that low-cut dress Ivanka’s wearing.

Trump: “If she weren’t my daughter, I’d be dating Ivanka.”

Me, too, Donald.

TXUS on February 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:39 PM

But it’s a SURGE!!!

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

yawn*

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM

At Trump rallies, he often talks about how much money the USA spends on education, and yet we are way down on the list for results. Some third world countries beat us in terms of being better educated vs. the money we spend. The countries he uses as examples are socialist and communist.

Here’s the deal.

The reason those countries can do a better job of educating is because their students are already indoctrinated socialists and communists. So, they don’t have to waste time in the classroom indoctrinating them, turning them into useful idiots accepting all the far out liberal social crap since they already accept it, whereas, we have to concentrate our public education system on indoctrination of our students to hate America and make them into good little socialists.

they lie on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

yawn*

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Too late, he already surged.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Lots of time on a farm.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

Cozmo, trivia. Cool..didn’t know that.
I’ve always been coastal..Cali and Fl..
Never been on a farm.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Too late, he already surged.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

The surge only builds momentum! Textbook political physics!

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Too late, he already surged.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

Big woop de doo- Rands a dead duck.
btw..I like Rand to a degree..better then many candidates.
TBSchemer is endlessly irritating, tho.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Joseph K on February 1, 2016 at 12:29 PM

If HotGas wasn’t hemorrhaging commenters they would get more mileage from the glowing nonstop El Jeb articles which will comprise the bulk of its reporting for the next year.

Bishop on February 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

The surge only builds momentum! Textbook political physics!

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Dude..are u gonna orgasm or something? lol

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Basilsbest on February 1, 2016 at 12:28 PM

If you’d actually read the article, you’d know that Palin says she prefers Cruz to stay in D.C., in the senate.

Clearly you did not, as all you did was take the opportunity to “shoot the messenger.”

I hope you don’t wonder why you have ZERO credibility here with most people.

JannyMae on February 1, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Never been on a farm.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:45 PM

It’s very eye opening to learn where your food comes from. And the work that goes in to it.

Funny story:

A few years back I was worried that little cozmo was getting a little too citified. Spent some time at my uncle’s place in Nebraska to get reacquainted with the land. Little cozmo went with her uncle to tend the sows. Little cozmo really liked one of them and gave names to the piglets. My uncle, worried what would happen when it was explained to little cozmo where those piglets would end up, let me know about it. When we asked what she named them, she proudly replied: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon and Ham.

One of those memories I will never forget.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:53 PM

Big woop de doo- Rands a dead duck.
btw..I like Rand to a degree..better then many candidates.
TBSchemer is endlessly irritating, tho.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

But it all seriousness, if Rand breaks 10% in this caucus, he is very much NOT a “dead duck,” because that would prove that the polls have been wrong all along.

Tens of millions of people have been letting the polls guide their votes. If it suddenly became clear that the polls have been horribly wrong, then many of these people will switch from holding their nose for Cruz/Trump/Rubio/Carson to voting for Rand.

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

Dude..are u gonna orgasm or something?
bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:49 PM

You mean again. Didn’t you see the mess he left after his last SURGE.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:53 PM

LOL-that’s hilarious and cute!

I’d love to visit a farm…I know it’s hard work.

I want to see TXUS’s..ranches. If I were in TX, I’d hit him up.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

If Rand doesn’t break 10%, will Schemp shut up about Paul?

Doubtful.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

If I were in TX, I’d hit him up.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Except my farming relatives are in Nebraska. And Illinois. And Iowa.

Our farm in Texas got turned in to a subdivision.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:58 PM

TBSchemer on February 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

All I can say is you never give up hope…You will be sorely disappointed.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:49 PM

You mean again. Didn’t you see the mess he left after his last SURGE.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM

I know..ewww. He has a permanent woody.

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:59 PM

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Except my farming relatives are in Nebraska. And Illinois. And Iowa.

Our farm in Texas got turned in to a subdivision.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:58 PM

As I said..my grand dad was an Iowa farmer..but since we weren’t close, I never asked him about it.
Cool you got to experience that/

bazil9 on February 1, 2016 at 1:02 PM

If HotGas wasn’t hemorrhaging commenters they would get more mileage from the glowing nonstop El Jeb articles which will comprise the bulk of its reporting for the next year.

Bishop on February 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Do you remember this place at the beginning of the year, before Trump got serious? 50 comments per post was a good day. The place was on fumes.

Trump supporters reinvigorated this place. Trump threads routinely garner 100’s of comments. Of course, it’s pro and con, but that’s the point, isn’t it?

Instead of being fair-minded about it, AP, Malor, Rothman, Millard, and company took to Twitter to insult us in every way possible, using a few deranged Storm Fronters to malign Trump’s entire base.

It’s like McDonald’s decided to go to war with the all-day breakfast crowd that just helped them post record revenue increases.

I walked from the sight at one point, and a lot of other people were vocally upset; Jazz Shaw, to his credit, wrote a conciliatory post, and has been fair-minded ever since.

That’s all we ask for – a little fair treatment.

Joseph K on February 1, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Joseph K on February 1, 2016 at 1:15 PM

I don’t know if fair is the right word for me, maybe it is when all I’d like is for the mods to be honest with their biases toward the candidates and the commenters.

Nothing worse than reading what was surely intended to be a deep-dive analysis of Trump only to find out the writer thinks Trump supporters are stupid, actually “fukcing stupid” was the operative term. The entire article becomes moot after that.

Bishop on February 1, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Whenever I am tempted to become optimistic about the nation, I come her for a reality check.

Cruz and Trump win, and the US is screwed.

Just need to keep in mind they are better than Democrats.

petunia on February 1, 2016 at 1:26 PM

Question, how many times has Trump spoken at CPAC?

Fallon on February 1, 2016 at 1:27 PM

…I come her for a reality check.

Cruz and Trump win, and the US is screwed.

petunia on February 1, 2016 at 1:26 PM

Every time you come here, we are so screwed.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 1:33 PM

O/T – skippable. I’m jumping into a conversation that I’m not familiar with.

There are some disturbing comments today.

I’m going to pretend that I didn’t read that allahp insults commenters here on twitter(?). It’s too petty to believe – why would he waste time trashing the comments after 10 years of blogging? Why not just ignore the comments?

One thing though – the commenters here have been far better … I mean it’s not even close … at predicting/analysing this election than ANY of the writers here.

First, I like the way Allah writes (when it isn’t just formulaic snark) so I pay attention to his views even though he’s mostly wrong.

Last year , before Trump, Allah claimed time and again that immigration wasn’t going to be a big issue.
Ed claimed Trump was done at “Mcain”, “disabled reporter”, 1st debate …

But really they ENTIRELY missed the mood of the electorate. They caught up recently. And they are the “professionals”.

So I don’t know why they would be in an insulting mood. They should be in a self reflective mood: “How did I miss everything?” “what can I do to improve my poor performance?” “where are the smart opinions and why am I so far from them?” …

BoxHead1 on February 1, 2016 at 1:37 PM

BoxHead1 on February 1, 2016 at 1:37 PM

If the flight attendant didn’t wear a fake permagrin when they pretend your request for another ginger ale doesn’t make them want to beat you, their airline might suffer.

You’re tolerated, that’s it, because the bills need to be paid.

Bishop on February 1, 2016 at 1:43 PM

Basilsbest on February 1, 2016 at 1:23 PM

This has nothing to do with what I posted. My point stands that you didn’t pay any attention to the article you were commenting on, and only sought to bash Palin.

JannyMae on February 1, 2016 at 1:47 PM

I’m going to pretend that I didn’t read that allahp insults commenters here on twitter(?). It’s too petty to believe – why would he waste time trashing the comments after 10 years of blogging? Why not just ignore the comments?
BoxHead1 on February 1, 2016 at 1:37 PM

he does, I dont “twitter” but somebody posted a link last night and I went and read some.

Garyinaz66 on February 1, 2016 at 1:53 PM

…I come her for a reality check.

Cruz and Trump win, and the US is screwed.

petunia on February 1, 2016 at 1:26 PM

Nah Petunia,because of the weakness of the Dems, either will have a chance, though Trump will have most difficulty.

Rubio still may be in it. If polls are right, he’s actually “surging” at the end here.

Stay optimistic about the country :)

Charliecrown on February 1, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Tonight, the quadrennial Flight Of The CornBats.

Hows the weather looking?

Meremortal on February 1, 2016 at 2:09 PM

So I don’t know why they would be in an insulting mood. They should be in a self reflective mood: “How did I miss everything?” “what can I do to improve my poor performance?” “where are the smart opinions and why am I so far from them?” …

BoxHead1 on February 1, 2016 at 1:37 PM

A group of narcissists griping that a guy is a narcissist.

Meremortal on February 1, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Normally, a candidate who’s barely above water within his own party would be an also-ran in an election.

Welcome to a hugely crowded nomination field!

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Nothing worse than reading what was surely intended to be a deep-dive analysis of Trump only to find out the writer thinks Trump supporters are stupid, actually “fukcing stupid” was the operative term. The entire article becomes moot after that.

Bishop on February 1, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Isn’t it fascinating to see all the faux conservatives that Donald J. Trump has outed. Those miserable faux bastards that really hate our guts but use us like a two dolla ho to line their pockets with money.

And it seems like ole Rush is pushing Cruz today. Rush is on the verge of being outed as a faux conservative. He is probaly too smart to really let himself be exposed because he knows his little talk show empire would collapse. But I don’t trust the clown. He is smart and hits the nail on the head often. But how much of it is just BS to keep his audience is what I am not sure of. Trust but verify, and in all the yrs. that Rush has been on the air, he has

ALWAYS

ended up supporting the GOPe nominee. ALWAYS A true conservative at some point would say, ” Sorry folks, I’m tired of choosing betweeen the lesser of two evils. I’m sitting this one out.” NOT RUSH. HE HAS NEVER SAT ONE OUT! Gotta wonder.

they lie on February 1, 2016 at 2:27 PM

shouldnt you be off calling people who dont support your lying phoney candidate a RACIST as you are wont to do?

Garyinaz66 on February 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

No. Nobody else. Just you. Just you.

portlandon on February 1, 2016 at 2:35 PM

Bring out your dead CIA agents!

-Hillary!

Rand Paul peaks tonight due to the CornBat state running a caucas.

We saw this with Crazy Dad too, who was much more popular than Crazy Curls.

Meremortal on February 1, 2016 at 2:44 PM

she proudly replied: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon and Ham.

One of those memories I will never forget.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 12:53 PM

That’s awesome. How old is little Cozmo? Pretty smart.

Who is John Galt on February 1, 2016 at 2:47 PM

portlandon on February 1, 2016 at 2:35 PM

racebaiter, sharpton would be so proud of you

Garyinaz66 on February 1, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Unmasked

Schadenfreude on February 1, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Who is John Galt on February 1, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Just turned 16. That story was from a few years ago.

cozmo on February 1, 2016 at 3:13 PM

Ready to go caucus tonight. Glad the storm is holding off, but I’d go either way. I’m sure Trump will have someone speaking for him, probably carson too, but I think everyone is underestimating Paul. Ron Paul kicked butt at the caucus 4 years ago. ANyway, Cruz is my go-to and I’ll speak for him if need be.

Free Indeed on February 1, 2016 at 3:15 PM

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