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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeNewsPoliticsOfficials: Iowa Republican Caucus Turnout Projected to Smash 2012 Record

Officials: Iowa Republican Caucus Turnout Projected to Smash 2012 Record

Ted-Cruz-Donald-Trump
Ted-Cruz-Donald-Trump

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, left, and Donald Trump, right. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Turnout on Monday for the Iowa Republican caucus is expected to shatter the previous recorded high of 122,225 in 2012, party officials estimate. Turnout in the Iowa Republican caucus could hit as high as 150,000 and the state party is moving to ensure caucus sites are prepared.

“We’ve never seen this level of intensity. We are getting an average of a hundred calls an hour from people asking where their caucus sites are. It is normally closer to four or five,” Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said Monday morning. “I can’t imagine a scenario in which that previous record isn’t broken.”

That is particularly bad news for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who cannot simply rely only on his base to show up to earn enough support to emerge victorious in the Iowa Republican caucus Monday night. If Cruz is to win he also needs Donald Trump’s supporters to not show up to caucus. While estimates vary, conventional wisdom between and among the campaigns put Cruz’s tipping point from 135,000 to 150,000.

“If that number goes well above that, Donald Trump has a shot,” said Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has campaigned almost continuously with Cruz all month. “If that number is that or below that, Ted Cruz is in control.”

But analysts say Trump has more than just a shot even if those numbers don’t exceed 150,000. Quietly, Cruz’s backers are predicting–or, rather they are counting on–less than 135,000 people showing up to caucus Monday night.

“If we are to believe the polls, the reality of the problem for Cruz is that Trump wins even without a surge of new voters,” Richard Baris, PPD’s senior political analyst said. “His performance among evangelicals is far stronger than most pundits and campaign operatives ever thought it would be. Cruz needs to expand his edge and right now he’s too busy trying to hold them against Sen. Marco Rubio.”

Kaufmann also said a greater than anticipated number of independents and Democrats are switching their voting registration to participate in the Iowa Republican caucus. He said he attributes much of that to the Trump message and, to a lesser extent, Sen. Rand Paul bringing in younger voters previously registered as Democrats.

Jeff Roe, Cruz’s campaign manager, disputed the models and the impact of turnout shown in recent polls. Roe mocked the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll that had Trump leading with 28%, Cruz with 23% and Rubio with 15%, tweeting the survey suggested turnout of 386,000. That assertion was disputed by the J. Ann Selzer, who runs the widely respected state survey.

“Turnout seems not to affect him [Trump],” Selzer said. “Either way, he seems on solid ground.”

Meanwhile, Trump ended an event in Waterloo, Iowa, early Monday afternoon where he slammed against D.C. Republicans for being ineffective at stopping President Obama’s agenda. The national frontrunner also pressed his supporters to caucus at all costs before moving on to another event at Cedar Rapids.

On Monday, Cruz’s team deployed some 12,000 volunteers, with precinct captains in roughly 90 percent of Iowa’s 1,681 precincts and county chairs and supportive pastors across the state.

“We are in uncharted territory here,” Baris says. “Whomever is telling you that they know who will win the Iowa Republican caucus, is full of hot air.”

Written by

Led by R. D. Baris, the People's Pundit, the PPD Elections Staff conducts polling and covers news about latest polls, election results and election data.

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