Apparently, Donald Trump is more worried about not winning Iowa than he’s let on in public. To be fair, he’s leading the final Des Moines Register poll before the Iowa Caucuses. Mr. Trump leads with 28%, with Sen. Cruz at 25% and Sen. Rubio at 15%. Still, Mr. Trump must be worried. This Time article doesn’t have the sound of a confident candidate. Time quotes Trump as saying “You have to get out there and caucus, or we’ve all wasted our time. Unless I win, I would consider this a big, fat, beautiful, and, by the way, a very expensive, waste of time. “If I don’t win, maybe bad things happen.”
Trump gained 6 points since the previous DMR/Bloomberg poll, which was conducted January 7-10. Cruz dropped from 25% to 23% with Sen. Rubio gaining 3 points, going from 12% in early January to 15% in the just-released poll. A major takeaway from the DMR/Bloomberg Poll is that “nothing in this poll forecasts a groundswell of new people.” That’s supposed to be bad news for Mr. Trump if the Monmouth University Poll is to be believed. The DMR/Bloomberg Poll says that Trump’s support is solid, regardless of turnout.
Shane Vander Hart of Caffeinated Thoughts took a picture today of a Trump call center in Des Moines. The parking lot was virtually empty. What’s worse is that this empty parking lot was in the late morning. If ever there was a time when a call center should have volunteers making calls, it’s on the final Saturday before the big vote. There have been unconfirmed reports of Trump precinct captains not having lists of people to call to get out the vote.
The final DMR/Bloomberg poll is the most respected poll because it’s incredibly accurate. In 2012, it got 3 of the top finishers almost exactly right. The exception was Rick Santorum, who was supported by 15% of the people called. He won the Iowa Caucuses, finishing with 24.6%. In 2012, the DMR final poll got within tenths of a point for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
The anecdotal evidence from the reporters on the ground doesn’t square with the DMR/Bloomberg Poll. That doesn’t mean it’ll be wrong. It just means that someone’s wrong at this point. The point is, we won’t know who is wrong for another 48 hours. At that point, we’ll have a much clearer picture of things.
One thing seems clear, though. Sen. Rubio is having a bigger effect on Sen. Cruz than Sen. Cruz is having on Sen. Rubio. At this point, it’s almost as fascinating as the rest of the race.
Finally, Rand Paul is steady with 5%. Gov. Christie is at 3%, with Bush, Fiorina, Kasich, Huckabee and Santorum stuck at 2%. In fact, Gov. Bush dropped 2 points since the DMR/Bloomberg Poll of early January. Apparently, that $100,000,000 war chest can’t hide a terrible candidate. It can’t even dent Marco Rubio’s approval/disapproval rating.