Sounding as if he works for both Barack Obama and John Edwards, Edwards aide Joe Trippi just spun the results as a big win for change and a big win for those people who aren't named Clinton! No mention of the actual numbers, of course, but Trippi's message was simply that as long as Hillary isn't ahead, it's a win for Edwards. --Isaac Chotiner
Chris Matthews just called Iowa for Barack Obama. --Isaac Chotiner
Mitt Romney just gave a painful interview to Chris Wallace on Fox News, where he was grilled on his disappointing (and apparently distant) second place finish. He tried to muster enthusiasm about the future ("this is just the first inning of a fifty inning game), but he looked tired and down. As for the gang at Fox, they seem surprisingly upbeat considering Huck is most certainly not their man. --Isaac Chotiner
With slightly more than 50% reporting, Obama leads Clinton and Edwards by about 2.5%. My super-secret source says Obama's big precincts have not reported yet. --Isaac Chotiner
...according to Fox News. --Isaac Chotiner
Final Fox entrance poll: 34-27-21----Obama-Clinton-Edwards. --Isaac Chotiner
Just a quick point about this Rasmussen poll, which shows Romney leading nationally and Giuliani tied for fourth! Rasmussen's results differ slightly from other polls, but the general trend is the same and there is no question that Rudy is falling fast. It's usually not that much fun to beat a dead horse, but today seems like an especially apt time to point out the lunacy of Giuliani's strategy.
The futures markets have been moving all day--surely causing joy in the Obama camp and concern in Hillaryland. Obama currently is at 72, Clinton is all the way down at 15, and Edwards is holding more-or-less steady at 12. Hillary has fallen ten points in the last few hours alone. Also worth noting is the fact that Obama is currently favored to win New Hampshire. On the GOP side, Huckabee is moving steadily skyward (to the heavens?). For what it's worth... --Isaac Chotiner
In the great Jo(h)n wars of 2008, I'm afraid I have to take Chait's side. Moreover, I have a quibble with a point that John Judis makes here: There is an even more telling statistic in the recent Los Angeles Times poll. In that poll, 13 percent of likely Democratic caucus voters in Iowa said that if Obama were the nominee in the fall, they would not be willing to vote for him. That's a higher percentage than any of the other candidates.
I'd be curious to read Mike's or Noam's (or Eve's!) thoughts on the subject, but I think the Republicans may avert one disaster (a Huckabee nomination)--only to find themselves in another perilous situation. Elite opinion seems to have decided that Romney is now likely to win Iowa on Thursday (the betting markets agree--and the trendlines are not good for Huckabee). Assuming this is correct, Romney's chances become even better in New Hampshire five days later. In short, Romney could sweep the early states (Michigan and South Carolina are both looking promising for him).