Caucus I was, and caucus I did. Braving the winter Iowa chills and crowds of people, some with their crying and unhappy children, I attended a local community center last night to caucus for Obama. It was clear right away that the sheer number of attendees way exceeded what anyone could possibly expect. In fact, I believe this election year set the record for caucus turn-out.

Once inside the community center, I indicated that I was supporting Obama and was given a sticker with his name (no thank you nice man, I will stick that sticker on myself, I do not require any help in that department). Lines, several of them, were attempted to be formed by above mentioned crowds. That was quite an undertaking. I am not registered to vote in Iowa, but I knew I could register at the event. However, I was at the wrong location (according to my local address), and was denied registration. That’s fine, I asked if I could still witness the event, and was granted the entry.

Now, imagine 422 people (not including all the minors who were not counted) all in one room, standing around, waiting for something to happen. It was overwhelming to say the least. They could barely fit all of us in one room (you’d be in pretty bad shape if you were claustrophobic). There were some conversations happening around the room, but nothing too vocal as I expected. By the way, this was a location specifically for democratic presidential candidates, supporters of Republican candidates were meeting elsewhere.

Next, we were instructed to go into different rooms, according to which candidates we were supporting. We were then counted, a task that would’ve been made much simpler, had they counted us AS we were entering the room, rather than once we were all in the room. But that’s just details. Anyway, turns out that we had 182 Obama supporters in the room. Major news! That was almost half of all the attendees. According to the rules, you needed at least 64 people for the candidate of your choice to be viable. And then for every 47 people, your candidate gets 1 delegate.

Clear on the math? So at that point, we had enough people for 3 delegates. These delegates were sent to the rooms with Clinton, Edwards, and Biden supporters, trying to convince them to switch sides and come to the Obama room. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get to hear their arguments (had to stay in the Obama room). Well, their arguments must’ve been somewhat affective, because we got 14 more people by the time the second count took place, giving Obama 1 more delegate, for a total of 4.

As for the others, both Clinton and Edwards ended up with 2 delegates, and Biden (who at the start of the night didn’t have enough supporters to be even viable) finished with 1 delegate.

Looking at the overall state numbers, the story at my caucus location seems to be pretty representative of the state (at least for the top 3 candidates). Obama got 38% of the votes, Edwards and Clinton 30% each. I’ve got to say, this is a great time to be in Iowa.

Advertisements