February 2, 2016

300 words 2 mins read

What if high turnout in Iowa means something else

Reports on Twitter say turnout in Iowa very high.

Some caucuses are reportedly running out of ballots. Huge turnout! #IowaCaucus

— Jake Putala (@JakePutala) February 2, 2016

The view at Dubuque’s 19th precinct. We had to move to an auditorium to accommodate the large turnout. #IowaCaucus pic.twitter.com/QcWKY1ivAg

— Chris Lammer-Heindel (@lammerheindel) February 2, 2016

HUGE turnout in both Democratic and Republican caucuses tonight. @cspan channels are THE place to witness this process at work. #IowaCaucus

— Omar Moore (@popcornreel) February 2, 2016

Were this Colorado, high turnnout would mean something else, but it could mean something in Iowa that pundits didn’t expect.

This is nothing but my weird speculation, and I am the guy who apologized to Obama today. So consider the source.

The conventional wisdom is that high turnout favors Trump. That’s based on polling, of course, and turnout models. But turnout models have been wrong before.

[Tweet “Were this Colorado, high turnnout would mean something else”]

It’s also possible that a dark horse like Rand Paul or Ben Carson has supporters who didn’t fit the traditional “likely caucuser” models.

Paul appeals to libertarian-ish folks, especially the young who might have a short voter history. (Not that that would stop the Cruz campaign from citing them with a voting violation.) Eighteen to 24-year-olds might be off the pollsters' radars and turning out for Rand.

Ben Carson once did exceptionally well with conservative Christians. Again, it’s possible that hidden Christians are turning out for Carson the way the turned out for Santorum four years ago.

I have very few Iowa readers for some reason. Maybe it’s my opposition to ethanol subsidies and mandates. If you’re in Iowa and you’re a new caucaser, I’d love to hear your story in the comments. Please right because it will make us all smarter.