Thursday, January 03, 2008

Obama & Huckabee Win Iowa Caucuses

The caucuses have convened and the 2008 Presidential Race is off and running. I watched C-SPAN coverage of the Iowa Caucuses this evening with my wife. I was surprised to find out that the Democratic caucus is run differently from the Republican caucus: both do elect delegates to their county and district conventions, but the manner that they do it are quite different.

Democratic Caucus:
All of the attendees gather in a room and at a given signal, everyone breaks off into groups of support for individual candidates: Obama people at the front of the room, Clinton folk back by the water fountain, and Edwards supporters by the double doors. Any group that lacks viability (less than 15% of the caucus attendees) must join a group for another candidate.

This evening, neither Joseph Biden's nor Christopher Dodd's groups were viable at the caucus I was watching, their supporters then moved to support other candidates.

There is a count of each group and then the number of delegates are assigned based on a percentage of supporters for each candidate.

At the caucus I watched on C-SPAN, Obama received 3 delegates, Edwards received 2 delegates, and Clinton received 1 delegate. These delegates go to the county convention in a few weeks.

Republican Caucus:
The attendees write the name of their candidate on a piece of paper and then the caucus organizers count up the votes that each candidate receives. The delegates are then apportioned based on the percentage of votes. There is no viability test at the Republican caucus.

At the caucus broadcast by C-SPAN, it was a close race between Huckabee and Romney; I was surprised but there was very little support for Guiliani.

All of the news services (AP, CNN, NY Times, AJC) are reporting that Democrat Barack Obama (with 37%) and Republican Mike Huckabee (with 34%) have won the Iowa caucuses.

Enjoy Barack Obama's Victory Speech here.

The evening's surprise is third place Clinton's near tie with second place John Edwards, and Guiliani (4%) coming in a distant sixth place behind Romney, Thompson, McCain, and Ron Paul. Biden and Dodd should call it quits on the Democratic side as their candidacies have gotten little to no national attention. On the Republican side, it is still a muddled race and I can see most of their candidates forging on until Super Tuesday in early February.

BLOG UPDATE (01/04/2008): The New York Times reports that both Biden and Dodd have abandoned their campaigns for the Democratic nomination for US President. plezWorld predicted this move a few hours ago based on the low appeal of their candidacies with the caucus attendees ... damn, I'm good!


Mr. X said...


he ... could ... go ... all ... the ... way ...!!!

Hathor said...

It seems like way too much effort and money spent for the amount of people who participated and the number of other primaries the candidates have to run in.

plez... said...

mr. x,
i sure HOPE so...

whether you like it or hate it, MONEY greases the engine of our political system! the one advantage to Iowa & New Hampshire is that the small town feel of these states gives the candidates the opportunity to speak more casually and to smaller assemblies of people, thus educating us onlookers as to what each candidate is about. that system would only work in places like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, etc.

Aaron & Alaine said...

Obama Wins! This is a huge moment. Obama, a black man, has soundly defeated his rivals in a state 94% white and largely rural. He has delivered a resounding first round defeat to Clinton and he has proven that his audacity IS reason for us to hope. The first black president of the United States could come in OUR lifetimes. I'm starting to believe.

David Sullivan said...

I've got an Obama post at my spot today. You know I'm happy today, but be careful what you wish for...

Villager said...

It was a historic night ... and I imagine that Black folks will be fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes for many years to come (smile)!

Have you read Obama's first book yet?

I read it last summer ... it was the reason that I became an Obama supporter.

peace, Villager