Originally Posted by Lucy
And there are problems among different dimensions altogether. Perhaps Obama's core supporters were more enthusiastic and worked harder to drag people to their corner of the floor. Perhaps the charismatic Obama tended to attract charismatic supporters, and more of the "not quite sure" joined their groups in the high-school-clique setting of many caucuses. Caucuses are weird beasts.
Indeed, polling before caucuses is very difficult because of the complete inability to identify likely attendees (while the GOP uses a straw poll rather than formal caucuses in Iowa, anyone recall Pat Robertson in 1988?). I've attended 3 Democratic caucuses that were non-binding (including as a Jesse Jackson delegate - Run, Jesse, Run!) and have to say that I never saw anyone change their mind, even after all the arguing back and forth.
My favorite recollection from 1992, when I was for Clinton:
A guy for Tsongas: "I just don't trust Clinton, you never know what other skeletons he has in his closet."
Me: "I'm sure with all that scrutiny he wouldn't do anything stupid once he was President!"