Trump, Clinton Top Final Iowa Poll
If history is any guide, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will win the Iowa Caucuses on Monday.
A new poll released by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg on Saturday night, show Trump with 28 percent Cruz 23 percent and Rubio with 15 percent in the Republican race.
Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson is in fourth at 10 percent.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is up three points over Sen. Bernie Sanders 45 to 42 percent.
This isn’t just any poll.
The final survey before the caucus, conducted by Iowa polling legend J. Ann Selzer, has been uncannily accurate before a single vote has been cast.
Trump’s dominance is notable because of the unconventional way he has campaigned in a state where winning candidates typically spend time racing to all of 99 counties to meet as many residents as possible ahead of the caucus. Trump has largely stuck to rallies in large public spaces – causing supporters to worry he was relying on his celebrity to win.
It seems to be working for him – since 71 percent of his voters say they have made up their mind.
Who are those voters? They are mostly mainstream Republicans - 34 percent – as well as men, Catholics and people caucusing for the first time.
Cruz is currently winning with voters who think the system is rigged against them, beating Trump 28 percent to 20 percent, respectively.
The Texas senator led Trump in recent polls, but it seems that the loans he took out to fund his Senate campaign that he neglected to report hurt him much more than his Canadian birthplace.
Former Iowa winners Huckabee and Santorum each weighed in with a sad 2 percent of the poll.
On the Democratic side it’s much tighter. Sanders continues to lead with voters under 35, new caucus goers and political independents, while Clinton’s support remains strongest with women over 45, Catholics, 65 and older and political moderates.
Clinton’s support among those who like her is strong – a whooping 83 percent say they have their minds made up, while 69 percent say the same for Sanders.
Just nine percent of voters are undecided - so these last ditch efforts in the next few days could actually make a difference.
The poll has a sterling reputation for a reason – for not only calling the winner but also for hitting the percentage within a point or two (with the exception of Obama, whose turnout was several points higher than the poll anticipated).
For example, in 2012, Rick Santorum shocked the state with his leap to a tie with frontrunner Mitt Romney – 25 percent to 25 percent. The after caucus result? A statistical tie: 24.6 percent to 24.6 percent.
On caucus night, Romney was hailed as the winner by eight votes. Weeks later, after a recount, Santorum was declared the winner by 34 votes.
This wasn’t a fluke.
In 2008, the Register poll had Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee at 32 percent and Romney at 26 percent. After the January 2 caucus the final totals were Huckabee 34.4 percent and Romney 25.2 percent.
On the Democratic side in 2008, the race for second was tight. Then-Sen. Barack Obama was out front (a phenomenon Selzer predicted while others in her field missed the boat) with 32 percent, with then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards vying for second with 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively. On caucus day, Obama came away with 37.6 percent but second place had flipped: Edwards 29.8 percent to Clinton’s 29.5 percent.
In an interview with Politico last year, Seltzer said her success has to do with her traditional methods.
“I think it has to do with being more of a traditionalist, science-based pollster,” Selzer said. “And because it has worked for me, I’ve not been tempted to go and try other methods. And because I have clients who are willing to pay the premium that it takes to do it this way, I’ve not had to cut corners.”