Iowa Countdown - 5 Days
Guest post by idiosynchronic.
Friday, I talked about the second choice and realignment - if you ask caucus-goers who they'd choose if they're forced to realign with a larger preference group. In short - Clinton picks up a lion's share of the 2nd preferences - Clinton will flow to Obama, Obama and Edwards flow into one another, and the rest of the field flows to Clinton.
Combining the results of polls and realignment as a mental exercise, you see some interesting things take place. I expected a Poll this morning (Sunday) before the Thursday caucus night, but the local Register didn't come out with one - which is surprising since hyping the race is the local McPaper's thing. Zogby however has begun releasing daily tracking polls today. Zogby from 12/26-29:
Don't know 6%
Convert those to a pretend caucus numbering 100 people:
Clinton 31% +2%(Biden) +3%(Richardson) +3%(Undecided) = 39%
Edwards 24% +1% (Kucinich, based on past history and his campaign) = 25%
And the uncommitted vote could be as high as 17%, if the remaining people join uncommitted. If they refuse to realign, and they go below 15%, they'll go uncounted as un-viable. (Updated per idio)
Zogby, in the same analysis, quoted results of, "Clinton 35.8%, Obama 33.4%, Edwards 30.8%." But he's being exceptionally optimistic in assuming that all realigning caucus goers will join a preference group - I've seen participants refuse to be counted and even stomp out of the room rather than be pressured into a group.
Another poll sample - this time from RealClearPolitics' poll averaging system from this morning:
Clinton 28.4% + 4% (Biden) +3% (Richardson) = 35.4%
Edwards 25.8% + 1% (Kucinich) = 26.8%
4.2 % to realign + 7% undecided. - all will have to realign or be uncounted.
And then we get into how many each winning candidate gets in terms of delegates! For this, I refer all of you to Drew Miller's spreadsheet that bases delegate allocation according to the 2004 rules. Using the last example in the sheet, Clinton gets 3 delegates, Obama 2, and Edwards 2. In the Zogby example, the top 3 would each get 2 delegates (virtual dead heat), and undecided would get 1.
If you get into this, I'd suggest to the readers that you check around the tubes Friday and see if you can find how many delegates have been committed to each candidate.