It’s Caucus Day!

2,798 volunteers going strong!

There are 1,250 precinct captains in place and more than 21,000 caucus-goers have pledged to attend their caucuses on the Governor’s behalf.

hanger1.jpg Still putting out door hangers last night. Finished two more Cedar Falls precincts, and tried to do another, but it was already dark, besides being cold. It just gets too hard to see the numbers. We quit for the night, but the people at Richardson headquarters stayed at it all night to make sure Waterloo was covered. They got most of it! They even went to a private island in the Cedar River. A couple precincts were left by morning. One team, including a Roadrunner, got stuck in the snow and had to call AAA. It was 3 am before they got home! We headed out this morning again, with help from our home-stay host. The sun is out, but unlike New Mexico, it doesn’t seem to warm things up much. We’ll break for lunch before going out again. It’s hard to believe we can accomplish much at this point, but we keep going! Based on the polls, it looks like the outcome could be Obama, Edwards, Clinton, and Richardson. register.jpg It would be great to have Richardson break into the top three, especially since that’s all that most people hear about. We all want to see Clinton knocked out of the race. Why vote for someone who has the same plan to bring the troops home as George W. Bush? At least Edwards and Obama have plans now to bring the troops home soon. If Hillary gets the Democratic nomination, I’m going to have to hope that someone like Ron Paul gets the Republican nomination so I have someone to vote for. She’s not so bad on some issues, but she won’t admit doing anything wrong in voting to give Bush unlimited powers, and then continuing to fund the war in Iraq, and voting for more Patriot Act shit. I’m so disappointed in our elected officials in DC. The elected Democrats seem like such cowards. We need a new Congress more than we need a new President. Edwards, and Clinton have lousy records on voting for war, war funding, and against basic civil liberties for U.S. citizens.

hanger2.jpg Ran some more door hangers around this morning. Had a great lunch with staff and volunteers here at Richardson headquarters in Waterloo. We’re still calling people to make sure they know where their caucus is tonight. A few people hung up, several were glad to have the information. One woman said she and her husband were so sick of phone calls from all the candidates that they are soured on the whole caucus now, and may not go! She did let me give her the location.

The caucus I attended was fascinating. First of all, twice as many people showed up as expected, statewide, and the precinct I helped with was no exception. There were four precincts set up to caucus in one large room at an elementary school, but they had to take two precincts out to make room. I went up with ‘my’ precinct to a classroom, which was immediately full, with people lined up down the hall waiting to sign in still! Then, caucus attendees were split up again, with half of the group going to another classroom, all of them Obama supporters. Again, it wasn’t enough. Richardson, Dodd, Biden and undecideds had to caucus in the hallway. Then the fun began. Immediately, supporters of Obama, Clinton, and Edwards began asking the smaller groups to join them. In Iowa, the caucus chair decides how many people are needed in support of a particular candidate in order for that candidate to be considered viable, in terms of the minimum number of attendees needed to elect delegates to the county convention. It was determined that that number was 23. We had 5 Richardson people, 1 Dodd person (the caucus chair), and no Biden or Kucinich people. Even with the undecideds added in we didn’t have 23 people! None of us were viable, and our lack of numbers prevented us from bargaining with other preference groups for more people. There is a kind of horse trading that goes on, with preference groups trading people in order to be viable, or to help another group be viable in order to hurt another candidate. It’s like nothing I had ever seen. One of the Richardson people went with the Obama people, after being promised he’d be a delegate to the county convention. I lost track of the others, and one Richardson supporter said she would never support or vote for Obama, even if he is the Party nominee. I don’t know where she ended up. Once all that was over, people were counted to verify viability, and number of delegates for the convention determined. At that point, the Roadrunners from New Mexico left for L’J’s Bar & Grill to watch the numbers come in. demresults010308.jpg It was great to see CNN’s pie chart, showing the top three, who dominated everything, but also a section of the pie for Richardson!

Final analysis? The people of Iowa did good! Doubling the number of people caucusing is impressive. Much of that could be attributed to massive spending by the top three candidates, including paid staff, newspaper, radio and TV ads, phone calls, and door-to-door work. Obama left cookies on peoples doors! What of all the work by Richardson volunteers, and the ubiquitous Roadrunners? We won too. Previous to Richardson’s message getting out, none of the top three would commit to getting our troops home, even before 2013! Unbelievable! Now, both Obama and Edwards say they will have the troops home between a year and 18 months. Victory! Of course, we still believe Richardson is the best qualified for the job of President, and for actually getting out troops home. His plans involves working with other nations to help Iraq rebuild, not abandoning them to to the wolves. I believe he can do it. And Iowa? It was a straw poll vote. They still have to hold their convention. Richardson is now part of a group of the top four, and will be part of the debate from now on. No longer is it just three. Edwards did well in Iowa because he still had a residual campaign in Iowa from four years ago. His strength in New Hampshire is not as good. Richardson could still do well there. It’s not over yet. richardson2.jpg

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