7:56 PM CNN reports massive turnout, and a high percentage of first-time caucus-goers. Trump’s supporters are turning out!
7:58 Also, a lot of people changing party affiliation. Those are also Trump supporters.
8:00 Democratic caucuses also have massive turnout and new caucus goers. That bodes well for Bernie Sanders.
8:02 Entrance poll shows that 43% of Republicans are first-time caucus goers, up from 38% in 2012.
8:33 More reports of very crowded caucuses on ABC News. I predict a big Trump victory based on this.
8:59 Cruz leading Trump 1.6 points in early returns. This is a real nail-biter. However Clinton seems to be trouncing Bernie.
9:10 15% reporting, Cruz leads by 2.5 points. Not good for Trump.
9:18 Cruz 2.9 point lead with 22% reporting. We can only hope that late-reporting caucus locations are more favorable for Trump.
Early-reporting locations are places with fewer voters, so remember that 22% of locations is significantly less than 22% of the vote, it’s more like 10% of the vote.
9:32 Cruz 3.1 points lead with 25% reporting. If Trump loses, despite leading in all polls, the reason is a ground game failure on the part of Trump.
Also, the entrance polls indicate that last-minute deciders disproportionately decided for Cruz and Rubio.
9:38 Cruz has 3.6 point lead with 47% reporting. Not good for Trump.
9:47 Nate Cohn at the NYT says “At the moment, it’s pretty easy to imagine a scenario that few people talked about in the run-up to the caucuses: a very high turnout, and a Trump defeat.”
10:00 At least we can say that the Republican who wins Iowa usually does NOT win the nomination. And Trump has a huge lead in NH polls, which is a regular primary and not a weird caucus thing.
10:22 Rubio keeps getting closer to Trump. If Rubio somehow catches second place, this night will be a disaster for Trump. Rubio’s strong showing is still a disaster, it will force out BushChristieKasich really quickly.
It pisses me off that the GOP establishment is gloating right now.
10:29 Huckabee dropped out.