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Notes on the 2008 Iowa caucuses
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I have copied the following from an e-mail message sent by a friend since graduate school, Robert Givens, professor of history at Cornell College, Iowa
January 6, 2008
This will seem like old news but here are some impressions from caucus night. I have attended four of these over the years and I have never seen a crowd the size of the one that packed into Shimek elementary school (our caucus site) . One of the features of this process that I forgot to mention when we last spoke was that a candidate has to have at least 15% of the total to remain viable. Much to my surprise the Clinton forces were below this number. True, I live in a fairly liberal precinct, but I was very surprised that after all the time and money that Hillary devoted to the caucus process, she could not garner the minimum number of supporters – at least at first. There is a regrouping process that takes place after the first ballot, and the Clinton supporters were viable after that. Despite the fact that they were about 45% of the overall total, the Obama forces got 4 out of 10 delegates, with Clinton, Edwards, and Richardson getting 2 each.
As I watch therace turn in Obama’s favor I am not too surprised. I did think that Hillary did well in the debate last night, but all the commentators claim that Obama did better. He certainly created a movement with a lot of energy here; perhaps he will do the same in . Perhaps Democrats and some independents are so sick of Bush that they want a candidate who will be swept into the .