The most eagerly watched poll in Iowa has been released and on the Republican side it shows Donald Trump with the lead at 28%, Ted Cruz at 23%, and Marco Rubio at 13%. On the Democratic side it shows Hillary Clinton at 45% and Bernie Sanders at 42%. So there were no real surprises.
Harry Enten reviews past polls with the results and says that the record is good but not perfect.
History suggests there are two types of candidates who tend to outperform their polls. The first is a candidate who does well among Christian conservatives. Selzer’s final polls on the Republican side in 1988, 1996 and 2012 all missed the candidate favored by Christian conservatives by at least 8.5 percentage points. That could be good news for Cruz. Secondly, candidates with late momentum, such as Kerry in 2004 and Santorum in 2012, also tend to beat their polls. That could be beneficial to Rubio, who seems to be gaining in some polls.
Let’s see on Monday. Meanwhile, here are the more complicated Iowa Democratic caucus procedures explained using Legos. The Republican one is simpler where people vote after listening to speeches.