Hi everybody. I am currently en route to my first Iowa caucus. Expect periodic updates throughout - from what I hear, these get kind of weird. The Prophet and I are here for Bernie, so this should be fun.
First thing - just arrived and probably should have walked. Parking availability is terrible.
6:32 pm: filled out a registration form to switch parties to be a Democrat. Waiting in line to turn it in.
6:36 pm: turned in. I count at least four party switches to be here for Sanders on the form I had to sign to sign in.
Bernie in the middle
Hillary by the snack table
6:43 pm: they just distributed a survey by calling out days until they hit someone’s birthday. The winner gets to take the survey.
6:52 pm: eight minutes until doors close. O’Malley supporters are either nonexistent or very few. Those I can see in his area are wearing Bernie stickers and sitting. Hillary supporters seem to skew older than Bernie supporters.
6:58 pm meet Buggie Sanders, our precinct mascot
7:00 pm: caucus called to order: Iowa’s 13th precinct. Temp chair has to be asked to speak up because his voice doesn’t carry very well. Explanation of the purpose of the caucus and such.
7:11 pm: bonding with another Bernie supporter while we break off into preference groups. Much talk of Trogdor the Berninator.
7:17 pm: one of my friends in another precinct says her precinct ran out of registration forms.
We’re off in a hall right now. Bernie supporters are overwhelming younger. Fair number of Latino, African-American, and Asian-American (of both South and East Asian ancestry) supporters, but as with the state and even city demographics, mostly white. Seems like a mostly even breakdown of masculine and feminine-presenting persons.
7:29 pm: This is the room they expected us to all fit in. Currently there are a small handful of uncommitted/O’Malley supporters.
This is theHillary hallway.
Here are the people still signing in.
The Bernie hallway in two shots that still don’t get all of it:
7:40 pm: almost done signing people in. Some of my friends and I are speculating about whether or not Hillary might make viability in our precinct.
One friend’s precinct had Hillary-promoting cookies (all our cookies here were non-partisan). Another friend is in a location with a disco ball.
8:00 pm first alignment counting underway. 399 people showed up, Bernie definitely viable. Keeping track of numbers with notecards. The Bernie stack:
8:18 pm: first realignment is over. I helped sway a few O’Malley supporters to Bernie. The issues of particular interest: Bernie’s much longer record of support for gay rights, his stances on education, and his history on Civil Rights.
8:25 pm: our precinct has 7 delegates. After first realignment, the numbers say Bernie had 285 or so people. Bernie is getting 5 of 7 delegates right now.
8:32 pm: it’s official. Bernie got 5 delegates and Hillary 2, and we are free to go. I am wearing a hat my wife fashioned out of a button and sign.
8:59 pm: back home. Looking at the last Dem caucus in my county, my precinct had 4 delegates in 2008. Obama got 2, John Edwards got 1, and Clinton got 1. The total number of caucus-goers was 254, which Bernie by himself crushed this time around.
11:59 pm: A few percent of precincts still to report, but I just counted up raw votes based on the New York Times thing. Here’s the breakdown:
Clinton: 67,494 (50.202%)
Sanders: 66,153 (49.205%)
O’Malley: 769 (.0057%)
Uncommitted: 27 (.0002%)