Keith Olbermann wrote:Our third story on the COUNTDOWN. The first hard numbers from the Iowa Caucuses. They are very preliminary. But let‘s go to them immediately. The Democrats first at 8 percent of the caucuses reporting. This is overall support. It‘s very early and it does not exactly dovetail with the early entrance poll results. As you see, Edwards 35, Clinton 32, Obama 30 with 9 percent now reporting on those stats. And the numbers widening a little bit to Edwards at 39 now. Clinton 38, Obama 36. Very heavily weighted in the early numbers to the top three candidates.
On the Republican side with—let‘s see, the numbers are a little stronger than that. Additional Democrats—sorry, Richardson at 2, Biden at 1, Chris Dodd at 0. Gravel, Kucinich and uncommitted also reporting at zero, by the way.
The Republican side, with 2 percent of the caucuses reporting, not a surprise at the top right there, Huckabee and Romney fairly close, 33 percent, 24 percent. That, of course, a straw vote, not a caucus per se. Fred Thompson, early on at least, with numbers to hearten his camp and supporters. McCain in fourth, just ahead of Paul. And Giuliani with 2 percent, having not campaigned essentially in the state. The first hard numbers out of the GOP straw vote and the Democratic Caucus in Iowa tonight.
The last four American presidential candidates, Kerry and Gore, Bush and Dole have one thing in common, victory in Iowa. We‘ll be awaiting word anytime now of which Republican, barring a Pat Robertson-like upset, it will be either the Massachusetts governor, Mr. Romney, or the former Arkansas governor, Mr. Huckabee, has won the Iowa Caucuses this year. With Democratic results, we hope, not far behind.
The weather in Iowa today relatively moderate for January, just below freezing, pointing to a strong turnout tonight. There are really four races playing out this evening. In each party, one group fighting for first and one group is fighting for, hey, look how I didn‘t suck so badly.
In the first group the final polls going into today‘s caucuses had put Senator Obama at the lead of the Democratic pack. Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee ahead of his Republican rivals, several of whom decided long ago to bypass Iowa. Some of them perhaps regretting that decision tonight.
Richard Wolffe joins Keith.