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There are two ways to win the Iowa caucuses. One is to get more votes than everybody else. The other is to beat that ever-changing and ephemeral opponent called Expectations.
Expectations are, for the most part, whatever the media say they are. It’s also up to the media to decide whether any given candidate cleared that invisible bar.
Sometimes, the actual winner of the caucuses is not the candidate who gets the most points, but the one who beats Expectations. That was the case in 1996, for example, when conservative pundit Pat Buchanan came in a close second to caucus winner Bob Dole. Buchanan beat Expectations and went on to win the New Hampshire primary.
In the Iowa caucuses, polls taken more than two weeks before the votes are counted are still poor predictors of the actual results. The Expectations game, however, is based almost entirely on polls — with a few caveats and provisos about ground organization, debates, and advertising.
So let’s look at the new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll through the lens of Expectations in the Republican presidential race.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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