Iowa results thread: Huckabee and Obama win, Clinton likely to be third, Biden and Dodd drop out

11:55pm: Giuliani gave a speech tonight from... Florida and did not mention Iowa once. He is only at 4% in the caucuses, 6% behind Ron Paul which says a lot. With 87% in, Huckabee is ahead 34-26 and the Thompson-McCain race is still tied. Meanwhile among Democrats, all but one precinct have reported with Obama at 37.57%, 29.76% for Edwards, 29.46% for Clinton, and 2.11% for Richardson. Biden gets only 0.96% of delegates. Just imagine the huge number of caucus-goers who had to realign given the final numbers Biden and Richardson had to settle for.
11:20pm: Joe Biden is dropping out as well, CNN is reporting, which is a big surprise. No news for now on whether he will endorse. Barack Obama just gave his victory speech and he was clearly in his element, as this kind of speech in front of a pumped-up crowd is where he shines best -- and he emphasized the historic nature of the night. "This is the day we will remember" years from now, he said again and again.
10:50pm: Thompson is back slightly in front but it's only 300 votes. Race for third is going down the wire. And Ron Paul is firmly in double-digits. Meanwhile, Huckabee's speech is a classic mixture of Christian humility and populism. With Chuck Norris standing just behind him. And Clinton has not made up any ground at all, with only 70 precincts outstanding she's 11 delegates behind (while both are about 190 behind Obama). And Clinton is now more than 8% behind Obama. That has got to hurt -- and it's even larger than the DMR poll predicted.
Meanwhile, here are the latest turnout projections: It's only 90,000 among Republicans, and 221,000 among Democrats. That's a gigantic number -- beyond anyone's projections. Beyond even Obama's campaign hopes, as the consensus among Obamaites was about 150,000. And has clearly been a boost mainly among the youth and among independents, and it provided a gigantic boost for Obama. And consider that Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2.5:1... in a state Bush carried in 2004. How much does that speak of the GOP malaise?
10:40pm: Chris Dodd is dropping out, and it is still unclear if he will endorse anyone. This could also mean that Ted Kennedy could endorse soon, as what was holding him back might have been his friendship with Dodd. And it also frees up the endorsement of the prized firefighter's union.
Meanwhile, Huckabee started speaking at the same time as Romney -- and Mitt's speech is not being covered by the networks. Kind of symbolic of the night for Romney.
10:30pm: It's Hillary Clinton's turn, and she is celebrating this as a great night for Democrats, and thanking all caucus-goers for "standing out and caucusing for a Democrat..." She could have said EXACTLY the same thing if she had won the race (which made for a pretty surreal speech) as she framed it all in a GOP v. Democrat frame as opposed to a speech on the eve of a primary election. Speculation: She mentions "Democrats... [pause] and like-minded independents" and there were laughs in the audience. Is that meant as a dig to Obama's reliance on independents, or am I just imagining things at this point? And Clinton followed it up by taking digs at Iowa... in a brilliantly subtle way by promising to be a president for those who need it like all those who couldn't caucus tonight like those who have to work night shift and those who are in Iraq. A way to shoot down the undemocratic nature of the caucuses without actually saying so.
The basic message: Clinton might have lost tonight, but she wants Democrats in later states to know she barely cares about it and that she is still the natural front-runner.
10:20pm: John Edwards, speaking right now, claimed second-place and celebrated the "defeat of the status-quo" and the victory of change -- apparently lumping himself with Obama versus Clinton. And Edwards is following this up with a populist speech, and he has gone on to address poverty and the need for health care.
With 78% of the GOP in, McCain has now passed Thompson for third-place -- though there is only 34 votes differentiating them.
10:05pm: The numbers are hardly changing at this point. With 92% in, it's 37.18% Obama, 30% Edwards and 29.58% Clinton. CNN reports Obama has won the top 5 counties of Iowa. And among Republicans, numbers have hardly moved. Thompson is barely ahead of McCain.
9:50pm: Entrance poll shows surprising result that union members put Edwards in third, and those who decided late chose Obama and Edwards. With 89% precincts in, Clinton is under 30% and not very far from Edwards. The story will probably be a tie for second at this point. The press is emphasizing the boost Obama will get because of whites embracing his candidacy.
9:45pm: A huge proportion -- 55% -- of GOP voters were evangelicals. Don't look further to explain Huckabee's victory. Republicans numbers are finally coming in with 65% reporting: Huckabee 34%, Romney 25%, Thompson 14%, 13%, McCain. Paul is at 10% and Giuliani is only at 4%. It looks like my one projection that Paul will beat Giuliani is being proven true.
Meanwhile, KEY entrance poll: among independents, Obama got 41% and Clinton 17%. That clearly provided much of his margin of victory. Can Clinton and Edwards stay above 30%? The gap is increasing fast: It's now 37% Obama.
9:35: Can Obama get to 40%? He is rising fast and he is now at 36%. And the storyline is clear: independents have carried the day for Obama (though I have not yet seen a projection of what the Democratic turnout proportions are). Meanwhile, Edwards and Clinton are basically tied -- proving that Edwards is getting a big boost from second choice preferences. Can Clinton avoid her nightmare scenario? Right now it's Obama-Edwards-Clinton. There's still 400 precincts to go and there is only 3 delegates separating Edwards and Clinton.

9:25pm: Obama is being projected the winner among Democrats by the networks.

With 70% reporting among Democrats, Obama has crossed 35% and Clinton has gone south of 31%. And here is more evidence of the Obama-Richardson deal. From the results it looks like Obama would not be where he is now without that (it's safe to assume at least a 3-4% boost). Republican numbers are not updating much.
9:20pm Evidence that second-choices are sinking Hillary: Richardson, Biden and Dodd are apparently viable nearly nowhere -- which means that nearly everyone backing them is rellocating which is awful news for Hillary Clinton. The TNR reports that at a precinct Clinton ended up trailing Edwards by a vote while she was ahead in the raw votes of the first count -- and Clinton gets one less delegate just because of that one raw vote (out of a total of more than 200). And this explains why Clinton is still trailing Edwards in the results despite coming in ahead of him in entrance polls. With 1200 precincts, it's Obama 35% and 31% for Clinton and Edwards.
9:15pm More talk about the deal: TNR's Crowley is now being told that Richardson's 17 people decided at the site to go for Obama and had not been told anything. Not sure what to think here. The press's take on Romney's defeat is emphasizing just how much Romney outspent Huckabee, which is not a conversation Romney wants to have. Meanwhile with almost 1000 precincts in, Obama is still ahead and very very slowly rising. It's still 34-32-31 with Clinton in third.
9:05pm: Entrance polls have been refined and now apparently show Obama narrowly ahead, which should ensure an Obama victory given that he is clearly benefiting from realignment. With almost 50% reporting in the Democratic race, Obama is starting to rise: 34% to 32% for Edwards and 31% for Clinton. Clearly big precincts are favoring Barack. Let's see how close Clinton can keep it. Meanwhile among Republicans: With 25% reporting Thompson is narrowly ahead of McCain.

9:00pm: Mike Huckabee is now being projected to win the Iowa caucuses by CNN and Fox. He is likely to win big.

9:00pm: More evidence of a Richardson-Obama deal via Ben Smith who reports the Richardson captain at his precinct told his group the campaign strategy is to go for Obama and told Smith he had been told this "informally." Meanwhile, Obama looks to have cleaned out in the precinct shown on C-Span, where his group is more than the double of Clinton's. This kind of large precinct will now start reporting, so numbers could change quickly.
8:55pm: With 15% of the GOP vote, Huckabee is up 36% to 23% on Romney with Thompson at 14% and McCain at 12%. On the Democratic side, it's 33% Edwards, 32% Obama and 32% Clinton... could hardly be tighter. Meanwhile, entrance polls of CNN: 57% of 17-29 year olds went for Obama and 11% for Obama, and among 65+ voters it's 45% Clinton and 17% for Obama.
8:45pm: Richardson seems to have indeed struck some sort of deal! The TNR's Crowley reports that in the precinct in which he is standing all 17 of Richardson's supporters collectively moved to Obama's group after Richardson was unviable. That's 17 out of 161 voters -- nearly 10%. That is some huge boost for Obama if it holds across precincts and a blow to Edwards who was hoping to pick-up these second choices.
8:38pm: The Obama campaign is now predicting 200,000 -- which could be a huge boost to his chances to win this out. We have now passed 10% precincts reporting and it's now 33% E, 32% C, 31% O. Couldn't be tighter -- but Obama's strongest counties are probably still to come. And as I already noted, turnout could be a huge boost for Obama and should also help Clinton distance Edwards at the end.
8:30pm: CNN's entrance poll says that "Hillary Clinton is holding a narrow edge over Barack Obama and John Edwards on the Democratic side." This is the first time an order has been given in the Obama-Clinton showdown; don't forget it in no way means Clinton will win -- though it could mean she is saved the disgrace of third-place. Out of 118 precincts reporting (which is something close to 8%), it's 36% for Edwards, 32% for Clinton and 28% for Obama. Once again, this does not include the big precincts so a lot is going to change.
8:20pm: An Obama adviser is talking about a Richardson-Obama deal on Fox... and suggesting that while there is no top-down order people might have seen these rumors online and been pushed thus to go for Obama. Meanwhile, entrance polls suggest 50% of caucus-goers on the Democratic side are first-time voters -- that's close to the DMR's model.
8:11pm: This is in no way meaningful but six precincts are already reporting on the Democratic side! Edwards has 39% of delegates, 34% for Obama and 25% for Obama. Keep in mind the first precincts to report are smaller rural precincts in which Edwards is stronger. Also, reports are that turnout is huge -- which means that it will take a lot of time to count hands.
8:05pm: First entrance polls are out from MSNBC and from CBS: Obama and Clinton on one side, Huckabee and Romney on the other are tied at the entrance (which is not good news for Clinton), but Edwards is trailing.
7:47pm: C-Span just interviewed a young first-time caucus-goer who's already arrived on site and who has not yet decided who she is voting for; she said she was waiting to talk to others during the deliberation phase. That tells you just about all you need to know about why it's impossible to know what's going to happen tonight. Meanwhile, Ambinder reports that "Richardson supporters said to be moving in lockstep to Obama" though he offers no details so it is unclear what he means by that -- has there been a deal after all? One more piece of news: It looks like Dodd could be dropping out if he does not get fourth place tonight (which seems rather unlikely).
7:30pm (all times Eastern):
The doors of the caucuses are opening. The Democratic meetings could start in a matter of minutes, while the GOP is going to get going in half-an-hour. C-Span is airing a Democratic caucus, and C-Span 2 is going with a GOP one (though there is definitely much less to see in a Republican caucus). Ambinder is reporting some anecdotal evidence from Cedar Rapids where Democratic turnout was 120 in 04 and that number appears to be shattered today. If that holds across the state, it will bode well for Obama (and, perhaps, for Clinton depending on who these extra-people are).

Original post: Welcome to the first results thread of 2008! Numbers should start trickling in from small precincts as early as 7pm CT (8PM ET) and most precincts should be on their way to reporting by 9:30pm CT. It's also unclear when the media will be reporting their entrance polls -- and don't forget that there is no reason to think the leader in the entrance poll will still be ahead after realignment and delegate allocation. However, I do believe that the entrance numbers are any many ways much more valuable than the results that will be reported at the end of the night, so I will definitely try to report those as well.

Meanwhile, check my guidelines of what to expect tonight.

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  • Oh come on. This is a sham -- Clinton would have won this had results been counted fairly without all this caucusing rules.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 January, 2008 22:05  

  • Oh come on. This is a sham

    That's just ridiculous. Hillary got smoked. And she'll get smoked again in New Hampshire.

    By Blogger Kevin Robinson, At 04 January, 2008 00:50  

  • While there's not much hope she can win in New Hampshire, she can still win Super Tuesday. She has almost as much support nationally as Obama and Edwards combined. And her support is a lot more solid than Obama or Edwards.

    By Anonymous C.S.Strowbridge, At 04 January, 2008 03:12  

  • I can see why Anonymous chose that as a moniker. I'd be embarrassed too if I had to post such an inane comment.

    The geniuses in HRC's back room clearly didn't anticipate this walloping, so they had to cobble something together on the fly, but it's a pretty poor effort.


    By Anonymous Zoot, At 04 January, 2008 07:36  

  • "The geniuses in HRC's back room clearly didn't anticipate this walloping,"

    To be fair, they've been preemptively spinning this loss for the last week.

    I think some criticism of the Iowa process is also justified - but more by Dodd, Richardson and Biden supporters than Hillary's.

    I wouldn't count Hillary out yet. If she fails to come in second in New Hampshire though, she'll be in serious trouble.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 04 January, 2008 08:57  

  • If she can't at least pull a 2d in NH, she's far less competent than most of us think she is. That is definitely a spin. If she loses NH, she has some major problems. 2d won't do anything for her. Nevada is a wild card, and I believe there is still a major union endorsement pending (could be wrong on that), and the AA community in SC has already begun to flip, even before IA.

    By Anonymous zoot, At 04 January, 2008 09:26  

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