David Shuster on MSNBC reports that an official in the Dean campaign told him they had identified 50,000 (I'm almost sure he said fifty
and not fifteen
, but it's hard to believe) Iowans who had committed to going to caucus for Dean. The official also said that the campaign wasn't so worried about the tracking polls.
Keep in mind that the record caucus attendance for Democrats was 125,000 in 1988. Even if all these first-time caucus-goers means that this year will break that record, it is hard to see how Dean loses in Iowa if the 50k number is correct. There would need to be at least 175,000 caucus-goers, and Dean would need a VERY low turnout of his own supporters, and another candidate (Kerry, Edwards, or Gephardt) would need to get almost all of the undecideds.
We may be in for a big surprise Monday night.