Do Trump voters really exist? How both parties botched Iowa

According to statistics from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, the number of registered Republicans has decreased from January 2015 until January 2016. The same can be said for Democrats. The number can typically fluctuate as registered members of either party do not participate in a given cycle and the actual number of participants who register on the actual caucus night will not be finally tallied until months later, after auditors extensively pour over the numbers.

What can be said about this cycle is that there is a surprisingly small change in the number of registered voters in the latter half of 2015. For instance, compared to the lead-up to 2008’s Iowa Caucus, where Barack Obama pulled off a surprise win against Hillary Clinton, the number of registered Democrats skyrocketed. In June 2007, there were 596,259 registered Democrats in the state, according to statistics from the Iowa Secretary of State. By the time that number was tallied in January 2008, it was 606,209. Looking at the same window for Democrats, this cycle, the number has gone from 584,737 to 584,111, essentially flatlining.

“It’s a little surprising,” University of Iowa political science professor Timothy Hagle told The Daily Beast. He said that sometimes the assumption among campaigns is “If you’re showing up at their events, you’re showing up to vote.”

“That’s not always the case,” Hagle added.