The rumors began earlier in the week so everyone was on pins and needles. (And by “everyone” I mean the sad, sad people like us who sit around and obsess over politics while other horrible people are out having actual fun.) Tonight was the night when Ann Selzer would release the final des Moines Register Iowa poll before the caucus. She was rated by Nate Silver as “the best pollster in politics” at one point, but we should still give it a look even though Nate has been wrong about Donald Trump pretty much since the beginning.
But let’s get to the final numbers, shall we? First on the Republican side, I’m sorry to say there’s nothing all that shocking from previous weeks.
Not sure 2
Trump had the momentum in the final week but Ted Cruz didn’t plummet nearly as far as some doomsayers were predicting. Credit where due to the inside baseball team members who said they smelled a last minute surge for Rubio. He came on a bit at the end, but if this is where they actually wind up finishing (far from certain since it’s a caucus state) he’s still closer to fourth than second. No other big news here other than the fact that this will likely finish Huckabee. It should finish Santorum, but I somehow doubt he’ll quit until the last dog is hung. The other establishment lane candidates are waiting to punch their tickets in New Hampshire and weren’t expecting all that much anyway.
For the Democrats things get a little more spicy.
Clinton 45% (+3)
Sanders 42% (+2)
O’Malley 3% (-1)
Hillary managed to scramble back into a lead, but it’s within the margin of error so they essentially have a tie on their hands heading into New Hampshire where Bernie is firing on all cylinders. Will this make O’Malley drop out? Unlikely in my opinion, but Clinton has the most to worry about these days anyway. As usual, it will all come down to whether or not Sanders can muster the young folks out to the complicated and messy caucus process in what may turn out to be a snowstorm. We’ll likely be up late for this one on Tuesday. But if Hillary fails to pull it out, she may start getting a creepy, upsetting feeling which is awfully familiar. In fact, one might say it would be a flashback to 2008. (Video from the RNC.)