Posted: January 2, 2008 4:46 PM
Clinton Camp Says Des Moines Register Poll 'Out of Sync'
The campaign for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., was quick to criticize the accuracy of a new Des Moines Register poll that predicted a second-place showing in Thursday’s Iowa caucuses behind Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. The poll, published Tuesday, showed Obama garnering 32 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers’ support, ahead of 25 percent for Clinton, and 24 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
In a memo sent to reporters, chief strategist Mark Penn said, “The Des Moines Register poll adopts an unprecedented new turnout model for the caucuses, and its new poll is out of sync with the other polling done in the race.” He went on to note, “The other recent polls all show Hillary trending up and leading or within 1 point of the lead, and many show her moving up from a substantial deficit to tie and having the momentum in this race,” and closed by with a reminder that, “we do not see this poll as accurately reflecting the trends we are seeing in other polls, on our nightly canvasses or in our own polls, and voters should understand this is a very close race, and that their participation on caucus night could make all of the difference.”
Clinton surged across the state for the last full day of campaigning before Thursday’s caucuses. At the First United Methodist Church in Indianola, she appealed to the crowd: “Caucus not only for me, but for yourself, your families, your children and your grandchildren, who deserve as bright a future as possible … Caucus for those who aren’t able to caucus … Put on your coats, warm up your car, call your friends, pick up a buddy, and together we’ll make history.”
After Indianola, the senator has scheduled events in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Ottumwa and Des Moines. Iowans unable to see her in person need only turn on their television sets. A two-minute advertisement entitled, “If you stand for me for one night, I’ll stand up for you every day as your President,” will air on 6 p.m. newscasts across the state.
According to her campaign, “In her message, she calls for an end to the Iraq war, a new energy policy, rebuilding our middle class, and affordable quality health care for all Americans.”
The outcome of the caucuses Thursday night remains tough to predict. As Adam Nagourney put it in a recent New York Times article, the end result could prove to be anti-climactic: “A number of polls going into the final days have suggested that after all of this, the Democratic caucus on Thursday night could end up more or less a tie.” And presidential historian and NewsHour regular Michael Beschloss adds, “It’s so much in the eye of the beholder that it does make the media more important.”