Noam Scheiber

Senior Editor

Ankeny, Iowa As with Mike's precinct, the Richardson captain here encouraged his non-viable caucusers to reallocate themselves to Obama.

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Ankeny, Iowa Final raw tally here, after reallocation: Obama 100, Edwards 55, Hillary 54. This precinct sends 6 delegates to the county convention (see Crowley's piece if this is completely opaque to you), which means Obama gets 3 delegates, Edwards 2, and Hillary only 1. This despite losing out to Edwards by a single raw vote.

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Ankeny, Iowa I'm here in this Republican-leaning Des Moines suburb watching the caucus for the precinct I walked on Tuesday. Some early tidbits, for what they're worth: Turnout here is very high. There are now more people standing up than who have seats. (Looks like about 60 of the latter, 75-100 of the former.) At 6:35, I did a quick tally of all the names on the new registration sheets. The sheets allow new registrants to express a candidate preference--not everyone does, but most do. Of the three top candidates, Obama had 24 supporters, Edwards 8 and Hillary 8.

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The indispensable Mark Blumenthal of Pollster.com has so many great nuggets in his Iowa wrap-up that you really should read it yourself. But, herewith, some highlights for those short on time: 1.) The Huckabee-Romney race could be close, or it could be lop-sided. It really depends on the turnout of rural voters and evangelicals relative to "mainline" Republicans, which pollsters are notoriously bad at predicting. But, says Mark, "it is worth remembering that one of the biggest misses in pre-Caucus polling was back in 1988 when Pat Roberston finished second (ahead of George H.W.

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When I first saw this on Romney's schedule today, I assumed it would be a retail event--shake some hands at a local convenience store, maybe serve some coffee... 12:15 p.m.  Governor Mitt Romney Meets with West Des Moines Area Residents         Kum and Go         6400 Westown Parkway         West Des Moines, IA Alas, no. While Kum & Go is, in fact, a local convenience-store chain, 6400 Westown Parkway turns out to be the site of its corporate headquarters. Go figure. --Noam Scheiber

Romney--still Hated

Joe Klein has an interesting nugget in today's column about a phenomenon we've been chewing over here: Romney-hatred. Reports Klein: There are limits in politics. You can get away with changing a position—perhaps Romney really did see the light on abortion, not just the results of an Iowa focus group—but you can't just reinvent yourself out of whole cloth. You can go negative on your opponents, but it's a stretch to attack them for taking the same positions—on immigration, most notably—that you used to take, especially when you keep getting caught having illegals tend your garden.

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Her Thieving Ways

One of the things that struck me when I first saw Hillary on the stump six weeks ago (the other stump) was how many of her best lines were, if not cribed, then at least inspired by other candidates.

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I'm crashing on a web piece for tomorrow, so I can't get too bogged down in this, but I did want to briefly wade into the debate Jon Chait and Jonathan Cohn are having about who'll do a better job attracting swing voters--and, relatedly, the working class. Jonathan cites a piece I wrote earlier this year about how Hillary has an edge among blue-collar voters because in some respects they value experience--particularly the ethos of waiting one's turn--more than white collar voters do. I still think this is true (though I took a lot of flak for it in the blogosphere at the time).

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Here's an interesting passage from that Des Moines Register piece Mike mentioned earlier--about Democrats bashing the Register's own poll. It's the part where the pollster defends her methodology: J. Ann Selzer, whose firm Selzer and Co.

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Ankeny, Iowa  There's obviously been a lot of discussion about whether the latest Des Moines Register poll is prescient or delusional. The skepticism arises not so much because Obama is leading, but because of why he's leading--namely, the unusually high number of non-Democrats and first-time caucusgoers (and, to a lesser extent, young people) the Register identifies as likely voters. For what it's worth, I'm not ready to say the Register's turnout assumptions are crazy, though the skepticism is certainly warranted.

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