If he can attract additional participants to the caucuses and polls, he will be hard to beat.
David Plouffe tells a great story in his book about the 2008 Obama campaign, The Audacity to Win. Team Obama knew that if there was a typical turnout among Democrats on Iowa’s caucus night, they could not beat Hillary Clinton. Their only chance was to identify voters who did not typically participate in caucuses and persuade them to attend.
On caucus night, Team Obama took one look at the turnout across the state and knew they had won even before the final results were even tallied. Nearly 239,000 people voted that night, about double the historic Democratic turnout. They won by approximately 8 points. The rest is history.
Eight years later, Republicans may have their own version of the Obama campaign in the form of Donald Trump. He’s the only candidate with anything like Obama’s celebrity appeal — and knack for reaching voters who don’t normally go to the polls.
With 46 days until the first ballots are cast in Iowa, here’s where this race stands right now: Donald Trump is the favorite to win either Iowa or New Hampshire. With the numbers that he’s been getting, it’s increasingly unlikely that he won’t win at least one of them.