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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

High Iowa Turnout a Good Sign

Posted by DavidNYC

While all eyes are on the surprising results out of Iowa, there's one important detail we shouldn't miss: Turnout was very high. The total number of participants appears to be about 122,000. This is a record-breaking amount. (As Tom Schaller at DKos noted the other day, the oft-repeated figure of 125,000 participants in 1988 is in all likelihood quite off the mark - it was probably closer to 95,000.) And reports from individual caucus-goers, which helpfully fill in the inevitable gaps in mainstream media coverage, provide some colorful details.

Furthermore, an entrance poll says that 55% of attendees were first-timers, a very heartening statistic. Some recent posts around the blogosphere have been critical of the idea that Democrats can win by bringing in new voters. I agree that one should view such claims skeptically - but at least, in the case of Iowa, we have some actual empirical evidence that this is taking place.

We won Iowa by just a handful of votes in 2000, and it is likely to be very close once again this time around. So I take the fact that so many Democrats felt motivated to make their voices heard and participate in the (often grueling) caucus experience as a very good sign. With the right message and encouragement, these folks will be ready to come back out in force for our guy in November, regardless of whom they supported last night. We are definitely going to go toe-to-toe with the Bush/Rove machine in the Hawkeye State - and then some.

Posted at 01:33 AM in Iowa | Technorati



Posted by: link- at August 28, 2004 03:32 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment