Iowa Caucuses: Obama Wins, Edwards Second, Clinton Third

With 99% of precincts reporting, Barack Obama has won an impressive 8-point victory over John Edwards.  Hillary Clinton finished third:

38% Barack Obama
30% John Edwards
29% Hillary Clinton

No other candidate was close.  Bill Richardson, in fourth place, collected just 3% of the vote.  After the results were announced, Senators Christopher Dodd and Joe Biden withdrew from the presidential race after garnering a collective .9%.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee beat Mitt Romney 34% to 25%.  The race for third has been see-sawing for hours between John McCain and Fred Thompson.  With 86% of the precincts reporting, Thompson holds a tiny lead.   Ron Paul is currently in fifth with 10% of the vote, and Rudy Giuliani is sixth with 3.5%.


Update: entrance poll data below the jump.

All data from CNN.  Winner in each category bolded.

Vote by age

                     Obama    Edwards    Clinton
17-29          57%      14%        11%
30-44          42       21         23  
45-64          27       31         28
65+            18
      22         45

Rural versus Urban 

                      Obama    Edwards    Clinton
Urban          40%      18%        23%
Suburban       30       28         25
Rural          31       25         33


Other Demographics 

                       Obama   Edwards    Clinton
Women           35%      24%        23%
Men             35       23         30
Liberal       40/36    16/25       24/25 (very/somewhat)
Moderate        33       22         31
Conservative    21       44         22
(76%)  32       23         31
GOP (6%)      
  44       32         10
Independ (20%)  41       23         37 17


                       Obama    Edwards    Clinton
Under $15k      37%       17%       30%
$15 - $30k      32        21        32  
$30 - $50k      33        20        32  
$50 - $75k      35        24        26  
$75 - $100k     31        22        24  
Over $100k      41        28        19  


                     Obama    Edwards    Clinton
Economy       36%       26%        26%
Iraq          35        17         26
Health care   34        27         30

  • (Show?)

    The power rankings are vindicated (sorta)! Obama's the man! Joy in mudville!

    The Des Moines Register poll was also more right than wrong: it predicted a 7-point victory for Obama. They had Clinton and Edwards a point apart but had the order wrong.


  • (Show?)

    I'm violating my no blogging while boozing rule, but GO OBAMA!!!!

    Truly exciting! What I saw tonight was the same thing that attracted me to Obama when I saw him in Florida early last last year: this is the candidate who will bring transformational change and repair our standing in the world. With Bush, we've lost eight critical years. Obama is the candidate best suited to aggressively go after our most pressing issues: climate change, ending the war, bringing health care to all Americans. We need a candidate who can not just fight the good fight, but get shit done.

    And Obama can win BIG: there's no other candidate I'd rather have at the top of the ticket if I'm running a tough race in Florida, Ohio, or out West. One thought about Edwards, because although I'm with Obama, I really appreciate the race he's run. If he'd run in 2004 like he had in 2008, we'd probably be coming from a re-election party tonight. But timing matters, and Obama is the one for 2008. I think Obama's looking good to win the whole thing. Happy caucus night, all.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Charlie - I think any Democrat is looking good for 2008. :)

    The real story is the turnout here. If that doesn't get you excited for this race I don't know what will. Obama was able to get the youth out. That is huge!

  • Dylan Amo (unverified)

    Someone help me understand the Democratic Caucus. Why did Hillary get one more convention delegates than Edwards but have a lower percentage? I assume it has something to do with superdelegates but I can't find any info on how that vote brakes down .. how many delegates are unpledged? who they are? etc. And if Hillary has more delegates, why isn't she listed in third?

  • (Show?)

    I'm highly skeptical of the entrance/exit polls. It's nearly impossible to geographically hit enough places to get a statistical sample that makes sense.

    Note that CNN isn't reporting what the overall totals were from their entrance/exit polls. I'm guessing that's because it doesn't match the actual results.

  • Dylan Amo (unverified)

    Opps ... I mean ... why isn't Hillary listed in Second place?

  • (Show?)

    These data are pretty interesting. One random thing you might otherwise miss--the distribution of ideology among parties.

    Very conservative - 45%
    Somewhat conservative - 43%
    Total - 88%
    Moderate and liberal - 12%
    Dems Very liberal - 18% Somewhat liberal - 36% Total - 54% Moderate and conservative - 46%

    The GOP, at least if Iowa's any example, has reaped what it has sown--it is now a fringe party catering only to the far and radical right.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, I'll look at it more closely tomorrow, but in the past, the entrance polls have been highly accurate. Maybe CNN's methodology isn't up to snuff, but there's no reason to dismiss the type of polling itself.

  • (Show?)

    It's a good win for Obama and Huckabee. Obama's victory speech was remarkable. Nevertheless, I'd caution against reading too much into these results.

    Winning Iowa and and possibly New Hampshire will help Obama with his national fundraising, but this a national election for the first time in a long time. Clinton has advantages over Obama in New York and Florida. Obama needs California and Michigan to remain competitive past March. If Clinton wins either of those states, Obama will be playing for second place.

    Huckabee appears the guy for the Republicans, but he doesn't appear to have much money of his own.

    Romney was a decent second and is somewhat better positioned than Huckabee to run a national campaign.

    Giuliani will also be a major factor if he can win in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

  • (Show?)

    I find the reported voting pattern of the few GOPers who caucused with the Dems very interesting. You'd think that a GOPer willing to cross party lines would be more open to Hillary. But she did very badly among those crossover caucusers while Obama did fantastic with them.

    Obama is the man!

    The other thing I find even more fascinating is how poorly Edwards' message seems to have done among the poor. As you go up in income brackets so too did his percentage increase. I expected his message to resonate among the lower income classes much better than it seems to have.

  • Don (unverified)

    The reason why Hillary gets more delegates has to do with the proportional spread of her votes across the state. There are essentially two pots of delegates (as there are in most states), those awarded statewide and those awarded by congressional district. Hillary did better than Edwards in the districts she did well in, giving her the extra delegate.

  • anon (unverified)

    Is there a more nightmarish scenario for Gordon Smith at the top of the ticket in '08 than Huckabee and Obama? That could be the perfect wave. Very long odds on it holding up through Super Tuesday, but I'm guessing it's a tight-lipped crowd in Smith-ville tonight.

  • C Wienstein (unverified)

    OBAMA and Portland's own JOHN BRANAM

    I am excited about Obama's win today. Locally there is a candidate John Branam for Portland City Council that offers similar hope for Oregon. Branam is a fresh voice that I think will do great things for our City and hopefully in the future for Oregon.

    I am hopeful that others will see the value in getting behind Branam to help build an Oregon leader for the future. I see few Oregon Leaders for the future. Most of our younger elected officials have been ok, but not stellar by any means. Let's learn from Obama for Oregon's own future. As our Country becomes more diverse, the young people are on the money in wanting a person other then a caucasian male.

    I would love to see our Country with our first African American President. Obama and John Branam have the ability to excite many disenfranchised voters for one reason. They both come across as honest and real. It has been a long time since we had an African American on Council. Hillary is far to moderate for my tastes. We need to begin moving away from all the damage the Reagan administration has left on American politics. The Clintons offer little to help us swing further away from the damage of the Reagan and Bush years.

  • (Show?)

    Obama needs California and Michigan to remain competitive past March.

    WTF are you talking about, Sal? Obama's not on the ballot in Michigan. Neither is Edwards. Or Richardson. It's just Hillary, Kucinich, and Gravel in Michigan. Why? Because their primary is breaking the DNC's rules - and their delegate count has been zeroed out.

  • (Show?)

    You'd think that a GOPer willing to cross party lines would be more open to Hillary.

    Actually, all the GOPers that I've talked to who are considering voting Dem are either voting for Obama or Edwards. They all hate Hillary. And they're unhappy with their choices from their own party.

  • (Show?)

    Obama has done remarkably well across the board & congrats to him. If Jeff and others are right on the other thread & this ends up putting paid to Edwards' candidacy, I'll be supporting Obama.

    It is interesting to note however that Clinton did nearly as well among independents as Obama (41% vs. Obama's 43%), and her I% is much higher than her overall, compared to Obama's which is higher but much closer. This suggests that the I turnout in D caucuses may have partly had a dynamic like that Jenni describes for disaffected Rs & can't be attributed purely to Obama's draw for Is.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Chris Lowe | Jan 4, 2008 1:06:19 AM It is interesting to note however that Clinton did nearly as well among independents as Obama (41% vs. Obama's 43%)

    I am not sure what numbers you are referring to (nor what Blue Oregon is either for that matter). The ones posted here are Obama beating Clinton for the independent vote 41% - 37%, but those numbers do not jive with the linked CNN page. The actual CNN data shown on their site at the link shows Obama destroying Clinton on the independent breakdown, garnering 41% vs. 17%. In fact Obama beats both Clinton and Edwards combined in his percentage of the independent vote (Clinton 17%, Edwards 23%).

  • (Show?)

    the number that jumps out is turnout: 220,000. that's 100k more than 2004, the "most important election of our lifetime" when anti-Bush feeling was so strong. this time, the campaigns had trained their people relentlessly on how to do caucus -- getting there, getting sorted, getting results. and they focused like frikkin' laser beams on turnout (both Hillary & Obama suspended campaigning so their people could work on gotv, and, i suspect, to get a good long sleep in).

    i heard, but have not seen, that Obama got 25% of all votes cast, and Edwards & Hillary got 20%. if this is true, it bodes very well for the Dems. we may be seeing a turning point, not just the desire for change, for a people-oriented politics & govt (that desire was there 4 years ago for Dean) but the understanding that to make it happen — to prevent future Bush's — people will actually have to get off their butts and vote. 4 years ago, they really wanted change. too many people didn't do anything about it, and they now understand the share of the blame that belongs to them. this year, at least last night, they got up and went out to vote.

    and given the number of young voters who did so, and who went for Obama, this can only be seen as a very good thing — um, unless you're a Republican.


  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Just a note on urban/rural - it appears to me that while Clinton did better than Obama in rural, that can be attributed to the age factor. Rural tends to be older.

    I see a lot of support for Obama here in my rural area. While for a generation the young people have been registering as Republicans, we have just seen a dramatic swing the other way. In the last three month period, we saw a 78% (I'm not kidding!) increase in the number of registered Democrats in the age group of 18 to 28 in Crook County. While I was very skeptical of that number, I rechecked my work done in September compared to my work done in late December on the Democratic Voter File, and it checks out. I think the Obama factor is huge with younger voters.

  • (Show?)

    The ones posted here are Obama beating Clinton for the independent vote 41% - 37%, but those numbers do not jive with the linked CNN page. The actual CNN data shown on their site at the link shows Obama destroying Clinton on the independent breakdown, garnering 41% vs. 17%.

    That was input-er error. I've corrected it.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    I'm excitied about Obama, too, as I'm sure most Dems are. I just hope that whoever is the nominee can some how win over swing voters in key states like Ohio, WV, and MO, as Bill CLinton did in '92 and '96. I had thought that Edwards might be in the best position to do that, although it's hard to envision him winning the nomination. He still ahs a shot in SC, though. Clearly , Obama showed that he has more appeal to Inds. and young voters than CLinton. I think that if Obama wins NH, he's the nominee, although CLinton (and perhaps Edwards) won't give up easily.

    I am one who favored keeping the OR primary in May, and it looks like we could still have a race at that time.

  • Mike Belgrove (unverified)

    One of the writers on a site I blog for talked a about Obama's win. Of course he first had to explain was a Caucus was to our readers, lol.

    Honestly I hate to play the race card but I'm very surprised to see Obama win in a state like Iowa. Maybe the world isn't as racist as I thought. I'm feeling like if he can win there he can win anywhere.

  • (Show?)

    t.a., I'd like to believe what you say, but the financial numbers undercut a claim that this represents "people" politics.

    80 million dollars. 212,000 voters.

    $377 per Democratic caucus goer.

    Damn straight they had high turnout, given those expenditures.

    Feb 5th will let us know what the country really thinks.

  • (Show?)

    Paul, don't you think that's a little simplistic? Money is definitely in politics and you'll always be able to attach a high value to the cost per vote. But the reason its so high in Iowa is because the caucus system is geared toward involved participants. Democracy seems more safe in the hands of people who have personal contact with the candidates and then spend an evening with their peers discussing it. Isn't that the heart of "people" politics, at least compared to the system whereby extremely casual voters gather their information only from Jon Stewart and ads?

  • Alabo George (unverified)

    Look at the stats, and see that for the first time America is hoping. The only prescription for the disease in American minds, as caused by the past years of mal administration is WORDS. Words that can heal the past, and inspire the future - the man with the 'Word' is Barack Obama. I bet America needs fresh air.

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