Sunday, January 06, 2008

Caucus Results from My Precinct

Thursday was my first time participating in the caucuses. I expected it to be a little crazy and it was even crazier than I had imagined. People were told to show up at 6:30 and the doors closed at 7. I arrived at 6 and the room at the Iowa Veterans Home was already crowded.

I signed in and then helped people who needed to change their party to Democrat or register to vote. I would say I collected well over 50 registration forms from people who are now new members of the Democratic party and this was just one of 8 precincts in Marshall County. This is great news for Democrats come November 2008.

People were all signed in by 7, the doors were shut, and people made their way to their preference groups. There were 22 delegates to be had in my precinct. The caucus chair gave the introductory speeches, read a couple letters, and announced there were 372 people in attendance and each candidate needed 56 people to be viable.

Here is a look at the results...

First Count
140 Obama
103 Clinton
55 Edwards
33 Richardson
23 Biden
4 Kucinich
1 Dodd
6 Uncommitted

A few minutes were given for the non-viable groups to move around. Edwards needed 2 people to become viable and they quickly grabbed 2 from the Biden group. Then 10 people from the Biden group moved to Richardson. 3 of the 4 Kucinich people went to Obama.

Second Count
144 Obama
103 Clinton
57 Edwards
43 Richardson
25 Uncommitted

Then the 30 minute period to realign began. I was in the Obama corner and my job was to be the persuader. I talked a girl, who was home from college. She was concerned about Obama's stance on invading Pakistan to find Osama bin Laden. I was unsuccessful and I think she went to Edwards. There were two former Biden supporters that I tried to bring to Obama by saying that I grew up in the house they now live in. That personal connection didn't work and they went to Clinton. I did have some success. I talked the one leftover Kucinich voter to come to Obama over Edwards by telling her a lot of the same things I wrote in my endorsement of Obama.

While this was going on the Richardson group was able to get 3 more people, but were still 10 people away from becoming viable. They tried to pull some people from Clinton and Obama, but no one would budge. Finally, after 20 minutes or so the Richardson group gave up the hope of becoming viable and their group dispersed. The Richardson supporters split pretty evenly between Edwards and Obama, with just a couple going to Clinton.

Finally the 30 minutes were up and the counting for the final numbers began. The Obama group counted 3 times because we had some people that had left over the realignment time. Someone said 4 people, who are residents of the Veterans Home, had to go take their medication and then couldn't return. The final count numbers didn't match to the total number people at the beginning, so other groups had this problem also.

Final Count
159 Obama
107 Clinton
77 Edwards
5 Uncommitted

Delegates Won
10 Obama
7 Clinton
5 Edwards


Anonymous said...

I think the whole story of what happened in the caucuses is encapsulated right there. Out of 66 people who were not supporting viable candidates,, 22 went Edwards, 19 went Obama and 4 for Clinton and that, for whatever reason, Hillary lost the caucuses during the realignment period.

benny06 said...

Good honest reporting, Patrick; thanks for telling us the results. Now we wait for the rest of the nation.

BTW, I'm late to say congrats for the shout out at the WaPO on yours and Iowan progressive blogs.

Anonymous said...

22 delegates from a precinct? I never heard of that!

Thanks for the write-up. In my precinct, 22 people came to Edwards during realignment, 18 came to Obama, and only 9 came to Clinton.

I was disappointed, though, that I couldn't get Edwards the third delegate I was hoping for. We only needed a handful more people, and there were several who didn't show up despite promising me they would support Edwards. Three had even signed supporter cards for him.


Karin said...

Hey Patrick, You had an interesting precinct, but from what I've heard, there were many interesting precincts. I came early to set up before 5:30pm and the Clinton group had already claimed chairs and space and were eating the sandwiches they had catered. I didn't have enough people registering everyone and I didn't have enough room for the regisration. We had 205 attendees, almost 100 over from the attendees from the previous caucus. I also should have had a microphone because my voice couldn't carry over the noise. There were 1 Biden and 2 uncommitted, but they went so quickly into the Edwards group, that I had no chance to identify them. At the viability count, it was clear that the Richardson group would need to double their number at 16 to receive delegates. 31 was viability. The Obama, Clinton and Edwards persuaders decended on the Richardson group early, recognizing their deficiency. I was told that 3 people from the Clinton group left early since "someone told them they could go." The final count ended up with Clinton at 79 with 8 delegates; Obama at 67 with 7 delegates, and Edwards with 56 at 5 delegates. There were clearly some people who understood the caucus math and the awarding of delegates. It was also clear there were people who didn't understand the process. And yes, it was more hectic and chaotic, partially due to the increased number of attendees.