What a night. And, as Ben Smith at the Politico notes, the Des Moines Register pollster was right. Obama won by 7 points, exactly as the poll predicted. Turnout was huge for Democrats, far surpassing the Republicans:
Projections showed a turnout of 220,588 for Democrats, compared to 124,000 who participated in 2004. Most projections had estimated turnout would be about 150,000.
Turnout was also up on the Republican side, where projections showed about 114,000 people taking part.
On the Democratic side, change won. Real change – neither Obama nor Edwards are considered establishment figures (though Edwards obviously isn’t exactly some yokel just come to town). No doubt this was a huge win for Obama — and correspondingly, a devastating loss for Hillary Clinton. There is no other way to spin it. Her campaign was built on inevitability — and she simply wasn’t in Iowa. Obama and Edwards had to run against the Clinton machine — and it was (is) a machine. Bill and Hillary and all their friends, very powerful friends, put everything into this campaign. And tonight they lost.
On the Republican side, turmoil reigns. There is no way the GOP powers that be will ever let Mike Huckabee be the nominee. All the so-called Republican frontrunners tanked. How about Rudy coming in sixth? Romney got nuked. Thompson is a joke and McCain looks hapless.
As predicted, this was a great night for Democrats.