What is Really Happening in Iowa?
A Commentary by Douglas Schoen
The race among Democrats is too close to call. Drawing any finer distinction will drive the analysts to distraction as there are so many polls being done it is impossible to divine a clear trend indicating which way the race is going.
Here is what's clear and obvious is that virtually all the recent polling puts the race within the margin of error in Iowa. This week's Washington Post poll apparently showed a surge for Barack Obama, but when they screened for certain caucus participants the 4% lead the poll showed the Illinois Senator enjoying became a 2% advantage.
Similarly, the Rasmussen polling which showed Hillary apparently 4% ahead actually projects a much closer contest when you get into the substance of the data. Among certain caucus voters, Senator Clinton's lead evaporated and she fell into a three way tie with Edwards and Obama. Finally an ARG research poll showed the race deadlocked, with Senator Clinton again holding a narrow 2% advantage over Obama.
Thus close examination of the high profile Iowa Caucuses data shows a surprising consistency of result with much less difference between the candidates than the media has suggested.
Douglas Schoen is a founding and former partner of Penn Schoen & Berland, and a Fox News Contributor.
Schoen was President Bill Clinton's research and strategic consultant during the 1996 reelection campaign.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.