What is going on with the polls coming out of Iowa these days? You can take a look at EP’s aggregation of Iowa Caucus polls by clicking on the link above. If you peruse that page, you’ll find poll numbers as inconsistent as any I’ve every seen. Take this data together with Henry Olsen’s comments which I have highlighted below, and you’ll see a clear picture emerging regarding the outcome of the voting ten days from now: We have no idea who will come out on top and by how much.On the Republican side, Donald Trump looks to be capturing a real lead – depending on which data you look at. The latest CNN/ORC poll shows him moving well out in front of second-place Ted Cruz, 37%-26%. Perhaps Governor Terry Branstad’s call for Iowa Republicans to defeat Cruz for his support to end the ethanol subsidy is taking its toll. On the other hand, two other polls taken over the same time interval show the race practically tied – Cruz is up two in a KBUR poll and Loras College puts Trump up one.
On the Democratic side, the real polling insanity begins. With a steady drip of fresh negative press hitting Hillary Clinton in each new news cycle, Bernie Sanders has vaulted comfortably ahead of her in Iowa – according to CNN/ORC. His 8-point lead in the Hawykeye State must fill the Clinton camp with unease – if not outright dread – as it cements the possibility that Sanders’ long-running lead in New Hampshire is not the only obstacle in Hillary’s nomination coronation tour…. hold on just a minute! What’s this? Clinton up by 29 points! That’s right – Loras College, the same outfit that says Trump is up by just one in Iowa, puts Clinton ahead 59-30! KBUR’s take on the Democratic race lands almost exactly in the middle, giving Clinton a more reasonable, but still comfortable, 9-point lead.What is a prognosticator to do? Republican polls taken in the last week or so deviate 13 points. That’s a significant inconsistency that makes predicting the outcome very difficult. But they pale when compared to the batch of polls on the Democrat side. A staggering 37 points exists between the pro-Sanders CNN/ORC poll and the wacky pro-Hillary Loras College poll. Obviously that one is an outlier. Who really thinks Clinton is that far ahead? But the KBUR poll is itself 17 points more favorable to Clinton than the CNN/ORC poll. With the polls all over the map for both parties in Iowa, I think it’s safe to say the outcome of the caucuses on February 1 will be unpredictable – even more than it usually is.
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