So where was the vaunted Dean “hard count”? According to ABC's The Note, Dean's "campaign believes they turned out all of their "ones" — their hard count voters — but that the caucus became a primary based on momentum, and they were ill-suited to win a primary." Before the caucuses, Dean’s people were tossing around hard count numbers of 35,000 to 50,000 people, saying that if turnout was around 125,000 they would have enough to win.
But turnout was only 122,000 of which Dean got only 18 percent (delegate count) to 21 percent (entrance poll figures). That means Dean turned out only 22,000 to 26,000 people. Not bad, but nowhere near what they claimed. Two things might have happened. First, many people ended up switching, despite their earlier commitment to Dean. In that respect, Dean’s organization might have ended up giving lots of rides to people who went for Kerry or Edwards. Second, the Dean organization might have just been blowing smoke about their organizational ability, hoping that with enough spin they could create something out of nothing. But at the end, it was mostly nothing.