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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

For all the talk of Rube-mentum and presumed Trump victory, when does Trump go into the lead exactly?

9:34 PM: On the Dem side, starting to hear a lot about 48% being an amazing accomplishment for Sanders', which of course it is, but ...

The margin is getting a bit tighter between Clinton and Sanders. Currently at Clinton 51.3% and Sanders at 48.1% with almost 50% of the precincts reporting. Full results here.

On the GOP side, we keep hearing about the momentum for Rubio and the assumption that Trump is winning. And I don't necessarily doubt those numbers. But 22% of the GOP results are in and Trump isn't in the lead yet. Full results.

They're only totally, totally anecdotal accounts but I've heard some examples of precincts where the Trump supporters were just terribly organized and did poorly. On the other hand, on the GOP side it's just a secret ballot. There's not much to organize. You just need to show up. Just a primary basically, only you have to stay longer.

We have the live results over at the right of the page and then the detailed results here. The Democrats' results are coming in more quickly than the GOP's. At the moment, close to 30% of the precincts have reported on the Democratic side and the margin, pretty much from the beginning has been pretty close to exactly what the polls showed, a narrow margin for Hillary Clinton. At the moment it's Clinton 52%, Sanders 47%. Certainly too early to think it will necessarily end up that way. But the entrance poll numbers also pointed to a solid night for Clinton. The real answer is probably contained in the county by county breakdown which you can find here.

On the GOP side, still up the air but hints suggest a win for Trump, underperformance for Cruz and overperformance for Rubio. But here's the thing. The establishment enthusiasm for any signs of life from the Rubio campaign combined with the press desire for a new storyline already seems to producing a wave of Rube-mania. And expect it to continue, even if he's only in third place. There is likely sheer pandemonium at the Chamber of Commerce in DC as Rubio vies or second place with Cruz.

Have a sinking feeling we may not have Ted Cruz to kick around anymore.

Lots of interesting details in the entrance poll data. It will likely turn out to point toward if not exactly tell us the eventually result. But here's one thing you can flat out ignore: the endless stream of reporter anecdotes about how they couldn't get inside the caucus venue because it was so packed, how new 'ballots' needed to be printed, extra caucusers being tossed out windows because there's so little room inside. All this stuff is nonsense. Same stuff gets said every time. Just disregard.

Okay, we're hearing the initial results from the so-called "entrance polls", about how it sounds - similar to exit polls only going in, not going out. The very early analysis suggests positive news for Trump and Clinton. But I wouldn't put a great deal of stock in either.

On the Dem side, people are pointing to the percentage of first time caucus goers and saying the numbers of them are not as high as in 2008. If true, that would suggest but by no means prove a more conventional Democratic turnout and good news for Clinton. Sanders needs to turnout out new and younger voters. Again, unless he doesn't.

We are, of course, in the hints and allegations, wisps of nonsense phase of the evening. Chuck Todd just rattled off some information about the Democratic caucus entrance polls and then proceeded to explain that it was basically meaningless. Thanks. But no, I'm not harshing on Chuck. Live TV is hard in moments like this. We've got live results to the right. We've got our reporters ready to go. Stay with us for all the results, commentary, comedy and more.

Unlike the GOP side, which I examined here, there's much less to talk about on the Democratic side, largely because there are in practice only two candidates. Multi-candidate races, particularly unstable ones like the current GOP race, have many potential winners and many different ways for different candidates to win. So, as I noted earlier, Rubio can win with a strong 2nd or even 3rd place showing. None of this applies to Clinton v Sanders: The polls have been very close for a while. So there's no way to win but by winning. And only one of them can do that.

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I want to look at both contests tonight in Iowa. Not predictions. I have no idea what will happen. But some things to look for.

First the Republicans.

I'll start with what I believe is a critical bedrock assumption. Democrats really, really want Marco Rubio's campaign to end in the rapid back-to-back of the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary. This is not to say that I think Rubio is a strong candidate or that he would win the presidency. It is to say that I consider him a credible national candidate who could win. Each of the other candidates are in their own way weak national candidates or in some cases close to impossibilities against a national electorate. When Rubio says in debates, which he does again and again, that he's the Republican the Clinton camp doesn't want to face, he's right.

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