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Thursday, January 03, 2008

It Is Caucus Day in Iowa: ROUNDUP of News and Rumor with All Day Updates and Polls

[Update Below--The dirty tricks begin]

As the title says, it is caucus day in Iowa and news, polls, rumors and predictions are flying fast and furious a mile a minute and I am going to try to roundup some of it here for you.

Lets start with memeorandum where the top stories are being blogged about just as quickly as they are coming out.

Polls and Endorsements:

Last night we brought you a Zogby poll which said Fred was seeing some kind of surge, today we see another Reuters/ C-Span/Zogby poll with the headline of "Obama Moves Into Lead Followed by Edwards; Huckabee Lead Widens", the American Research Group poll disagrees as they show on the Democratic side, Hillary still in the lead and on the Republican side, Huckabee still leading, which brings me to the Pew Research poll released yesterday which says that John McCain has taken a 2 point lead in the GOP race, where they state "McCain – who many analysts all but wrote off over the summer – has rebuilt his base nationwide from a low of 16% in September to 22% today."

More good news for McCain from the New York Sun says that in New Hampshire, which holds its primary January 8 and where a new poll from Suffolk Tracking shows him surging nine points ahead of Mitt Romney, who has been the front-runner there since May.

Last but not least, McCain has picked up another endorsement from a news paper, Detroit News.


The Politico reports the rumor that "officials" close to the Fred Thompson Presidential Campaign are saying "they expect the candidate will drop out of the race within days if he finishes poorly in Thursday’s Iowa caucus.", this is being strongly denied by the Thompson campaign, via the Corner, who is naming their source, Rich Galen, a top adviser to Fred Thompson:

Good morning from Des Moines. I just got off the phone with Rich Galen, a top adviser to Fred Thompson, and it would be an understament to say that he is strongly denying the Politico story reporting that Thompson "will drop out of the race within days if he finishes poorly in Thursday's caucus."

The story cites "several Republican officials close to Fred Thompson's presidential campaign." Galen told me, "I'm a Republican official in the Thompson campaign, and I'm denying it." Galen also said that no one inside the campaign was a source for the story. "I can't put enough adjectives in front of the 'deny' to accurately describe how vehemently I'm denying the story," he said.

Galen said that "just to make sure," he checked with Thompson himself, who told him the story was not true. "We have the schedule for Saturday and Sunday in New Hampshire, and then we're going down to South Carolina," Galen told me.

According to Iowa Politics, Fred Thompson, in an in-studio interview with KCCI-TV, in Des Moines, said "That is absolutely made up out of whole cloth" and also said the rumor was probably spread by a rival.

Dirty tactics inpolitics? Tell me it ain't so!!!!!!

Michael van der Galien from the PoliGazette, has another interesting tidbit about Mitt Romney and a possible nasty little surprise and here is a teaser "UPDATE: Carter answered my e-mail. It’s not the same thing. Seemingly, we’ll see two attacks - if both are right - within the next couple of days. And quite big ones at that."

Read the whole thing for yourself at PolitGazette.

Other top stories:

In a blow to the Clinton Campaign, via an Exclusive from the Iowa Independent, Gov. Bill Richardson's campaign is expected to direct their supporters to caucus for Sen. Barack Obama in the second round of voting at Thursday's caucuses in precincts where he is not viable. Two sources familiar with the plan told Iowa Independent that the New Mexico Governor's organizers have been instructed to direct supporters to Obama in the places where they fail to reach the 15% threshold for viability.

In another story from the Iowa Independent, they say Hillary Clinton understood the surface, but not the spirit of the Iowa caucuses.....almost like she understood the surface of the Pakistan elections but had no clue about the reality huh?

The New York Times reports that the candidates are pitching their last minute messages to the Iowa voters.

Weird News:

I couldn't pass this one up....Ron Paul, the Future President of Azeroth, also discussed here. (Not being a gamer, this one completely baffled me)

As the stories, links, rumors and polls come out, I will update this throughout the day.


[UPDATE #1] Some great reading for political junkies.

Other good reading today about one or more of above aforementioned news, from A Newt One, Faultline USA, Right Truth, The Tygrrrr Express, Miss Beth's Victory Dance, My Own Iowa Predictions for those who haven't read it yet, Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and Amy Proctor.

[Update #2] Captain's Quarters points everybody to this ABC News article, showing that nasty little poll pushing calls have begun in Iowa, against Obama and Edwards....hmmmmm, as Ed asks, who would gain from hurting Obama and Edwards?

"Iowa Democrats received a new round of anonymous phone calls this week, under the guise of opinion poll research, slamming former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama, in the latest display of the ugly side of this year's presidential campaign."

Who indeed.

[Update #3] More Rumors flying:

Does Richardson and Obama have an "informal" arrangement?

Barack Obama’s drive to win tonight’s Iowa caucuses is getting a boost from two of his putative rivals. After earlier winning the support of Dennis Kucinich, Obama’s campaign has reached an agreement with Bill Richardson for the second-choice votes of Richardson supporters in caucuses where the New Mexico governor can’t clear the threshold for competition, according to a senior Obama campaign adviser. The adviser estimated that the deal puts Mr. Obama in position to claim support from roughly half of the 15 percent of Democratic caucus-goers expected to support second-tier candidates.

In return, the Obama adviser said, Obama forces will lend support to Mr. Richardson at caucuses where Mr. Obama turns out more backers than he needs to win any additional delegates. Mr. Richardson drew 6 percent of the vote in the most recent Des Moines Register Poll, trailing Mr. Obama’s 32 percent, Hillary Clinton’s 25 percent and John Edwards’ 24 percent.


David Plouffe, Obama campaign manager, responding to the report that Mr. Obama had reached an agreement for reciprocal support with Bill Richardson’s campaign, insisted the campaign had reached “no formal arrangements” with any of his rivals. But he said that “there are certainly places where our precinct captains want to work with Richardson” supporters — to gain second-choice support in cases where Mr. Richardson doesn’t reach the threshold to compete, or to lend Mr. Richardson surplus backers in instances where they can’t yield any additional Obama delegates.

Sounds like a bunch of double talk huh? It probably is because the next "rumor" is that Joe Biden and Barack Obama might also have a potential "agreement", via The Trail.

A source close to the Biden campaign described a possible arrangement, now under discussion between the two camps, that could apply to certain precincts where Biden can't meet the 15 percent viability threshold, but where he is backed by local officials with the clout to move Biden supporters to Obama. In return, Biden could capture some of Obama's overflow in precincts where the Illinois senator has more than enough support to win.

Are either of these stories true? Are both of them? If so, is Obama playing both ends against the middle and what happened to the"we don't want people that are playing the old political game" thing he keeps talking about?

Side Note, some actual news vs rumor, trouble already in New Hampshire.

[Update #4] Uh oh, me oh my....remember that attack ad that Mike Huckabee made such a big show of taking the high road at considerable monetary loss to decide NOT to run it, as it hit the web anyway?


According to Fact Check, that ad has run on three Iowa stations after all.

The ad appeared Dec. 31 on WHBF-TV and KLJB-TV in Davenport and on KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids.


Keep checking back for the latest updates.

[Update #5] Captain's Quarters will be live blogging and we here at Wake up America will have continuous updates as the caucuses move along.... just keep it open and keep hitting refresh...heh

When the winners are announced and all the hoopla is said and done, we will add a new post and link to it at the very end of this post.

[Update #6] Dodd dropping out?

Another Politico story says that Sen. Chris Dodd has told Fox that he was "“going to Hartford tomorrow” if he doesn’t finish stronger than fourth place tonight.

[Update #7] A list of who is predicting what can be found at Election Projection 2008 Edition.

[Update #8] McCain picks up an endorsement in New Hampshire, a key event in light of the coming New Hampshire primaries.

[Update #9] With 25% of precincts reporting, Fox News declares Mike Huckabee in Republican Caucuses in Iowa at 32%, Democrats still neck and neck between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama.

[Update #10] Fox News has declared Obama winner in Iowa with 79% of precincts reporting at 36%, a number that is predicted to continue to rise until all 100% of precincts have reported in.

[Update #11] Huckabee in first place for the Republicans, then Romney, and a virtual tie between Thompson and McCain for thrid place. Obama for Democrats, with Edwards showing a slight lead over Clinton, but a virtual tie for second there.

Check with us in the morning for the post caucus reports.