Caucus: Clinton Revises Turnout Model Up

** Hillary Clinton's team has revised its turnout model. The same senior campaign source who projected a turnout of 140,000 voters is now predicting that 150,000 voters will show, and says that, according to the turnout model the campaign is employing, Clinton will finish a strong first on the strength of turnout from Democrats. Two days ago, Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, told me that the Obama turnout model assumed about 150-155,000 people too. Clearly, the more independents who turn out, the better for Obama. The more Democrats -- the more _new_ Democrats -- the better for Hillary Clinton. An Edwards aide said the campaign predicts that 135-140,000 Dems will caucus.

And yes -- Dems -- they'll be Dems by the beginning of the caucus, because independents and Republicans will be forced to register as Democrats before they can participate.

Some turnout facts:

** 122,193 Democrats turned out in 2004.

** The 2006 primary election turned out 184,000 Democrats.

** Don't automatically assume that high turnout helps Barack Obama or assume that an increase in turnout comes from independents. Democrats, too, could caucus in record numbers, which helps the two candidates who are banking on them: Edwards and Clinton.

** There were approximately 500,000 Dems on the voter file who did not caucus in 2000 or 2004. There are 600,000 independents who tend to have weak vote history, especially in primaries.

** 17,000 to 22,000 independents became Democrats and caucused in 2004, according to estimates.

** About 1,500 Republicans turned out.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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