Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Shall We Caucus?

I will bet you wish you knew someone who took part in the Iowa caucus. They have still not announced the results and it is about 16 hours later.

You do know someone. I was there. In my small town we had exactly 21 people taking part in the Democratic caucus.

I felt it was not run as efficiently as I would have liked. I like a little more order than I saw there. This is only my observation and not meant to cast aspersions on the process.

The doors were closed at precisely 7:00 PM as instructed by the rules.  A cover letter was read that explained what we were going to do.

There were local representatives for 3 of the candidates. Since they were residents of our town they would also be voting.

Each representative spoke to the reasons we should vote for their candidate. If someone wished to speak about a candidate who did not have an official representative we were welcome. Two of us did.

Then we were given a card and a pen so we could write the name of the candidate we were voting for. We then were grouped by candidate.

The groups were Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Tom Steyers, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar. That was it.

In order to be "viable" and move on to the next level a candidate had to have at least 15% of the total of votes attending. Bernie Sanders and Tom Steyer were eliminated and their supporters chose other candidates.

In the end Pete Buttigieg had the most supporters. To close the caucus a delegate was chosen to go to the county level and represent the top candidate from our precinct.

So that was the result in my precinct. I have no idea yet what happened in the rest of the state.

I normally keep my political beliefs to myself because I choose not to share them. I will share that my candidate was viable but did not come out on top. I hope he did well in the state. I also hope that people will vote in their primaries too.


27 comments:

  1. Interesting! I had an idea of how it worked, but you explained it in a very clear way. It sounds very democratic but a more complex way than a primary where it is one person,, one vote. What we are facing now is an embarrassing situation with more people questioning the value of their vote. This was the last thing the Democrats and, for that matter, our country, needs. Lord knows, we need a break.

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    1. It has been a confusing few days. We need to go back to the old caucus rules. Unfortunately this is not the first time there has been a problem with caucus results. Th Republicans have had debacles too. And primaries with one person one vote have not been exempt from problems either. I guess stuff happens.

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  2. Thank you, Emma, for describing so clearly how the Iowa caucus process works and how it played out in your precinct. You have done your readers a service and I for one appreciate the objective way in which you did it.

    Based on what the television had been telling us in the past few weeks, I must admit I was rather surprised that Elizabeth Warren did not receive a single vote in your precinct.

    Sometimes the pundits and talking heads don't know what they're talking about.

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    1. I was also surprised there was no one supporting Elizabeth Warren in our precinct. And I was surprised that Bernie Sanders did not have enough supporters to make him viable here. I guess we are not representative of the whole state.

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  3. Thank you for participating. We discussed how caucus worked yesterday, at cards. I'll take this for next week's card group and we'll know how it's really done.

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    1. I am a firm believer in participating in the process of electing our officials. If I am paying their wages I want to choose them.

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  4. Thank you, dear Emma, for recounting your experience at the root of the Iowa Caucus. Whatever party is informed by its result must support fairness, centrism and government by discussion. We have been without a functional president for 3 years and suffered as a nation.

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  5. We watched it on TV, it seems it was a complete mess. Hope things get sorted out. Cheers Diane

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    1. They still do not have total results. Frustrating.

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  6. Thanks Emma for explaining the process and I agree that these days it’s best to keep our political leanings to ourselves.

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    1. It is a shame that people cannot have a civil conversation about differing opinions. One of the dearest people in my life is a former workmate. We differed on political and religious views as well as many others. At the same time we liked each other and had some wonderful conversations about our beliefs and how they differed and how we were the same. All the conversations were friendly and we learned from each other. Tolerance is what needs to be practiced more.

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  7. I watched as long as I could.
    Thank you for describing the experience. I never really understood it before (still don't). I think if you are not involved you don't really pay much attention.
    I never truly liked Iowa being first. (nothing again Iowa or Iowans!) Just felt too much time and attention given to it. I know there are pros and cons and everyone does the best they can. The whole election process needs overhauling but I have no ideas.
    I did like the sharing and exchange of ideas at the caucus. It was great to see people mingling and talking. Not everyone will win. I hate hearing "If my candidate does not win, I won't support anyone else."

    Again, thanks for sharing this.

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    1. You are welcome. If you ever get a chance to caucus make sure to try it. It is an experience.

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  8. Biden described the outcome as "like a punch to the gut."

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    1. I am sure he felt that way. He was number 3 in my precinct.

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  9. The Iowa Caucus and the Acquittal were on top of each other, so I imagine that impacted the number of voters.

    Chris Matthews (some cable TV person) said this about Iowa: The Dems couldn't organize a 3 car funeral, so how could they handle this?

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    1. I believe I should be insulted for my state. The caucus was a mess. The statement was uncalled for.

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    2. What he actually said was: “The guy in the White House is chuckling all night here, showing the Democrats can’t even get a three-car funeral organized or whatever you want to call it...” The original expression was "a two car funeral."

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    3. No matter who said it the statement was uncalled for.

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  10. i enjoyed knowing about voting in your area dear Emma

    i hope the chosen one works for the nation honestly

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  11. We looked on TV and it seemed like a complete mess. Hope things can be resolved. Cheers Diane!custom printed blanket

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