Colorado Caucus

First let me say that I would be pretty happy with any politician running tonight. I would be happier with others, and that is why I went to Caucus in Colorado tonight.

I just tried to sleep, and couldn’t. What I saw tonight was too exciting. Caucus. A usually boring and technical event usually attended by nice old ladies with cookies and me.

Tonight, something was different. I got to the location at 6:30. Half an hour early. I didn’t get in until 7:30. An hour long wait in the cold, because there were hundreds in line in front of me. The last time I was here, there were perhaps 50 in the room. This time? 125 in my precinct (there are generally 8-15 precincts that meet at each caucus location, depending on size). The organizers had to check fire code to see if they could let everyone in.

That is inspiring. That is the health of our democracy. That is why I moved to this beautiful town. That is why I am up late tonight, still sick, and rabidly watching the coverage of a primary. A Primary. I can’t remember ever being able to drag more than 2 friends to a primary. Tonight, through twitter, email, phone calls and even a few post cards, I think I brought over 40 folks with me to the Caucus. Something is in the air.

Caucus

To put those numbers in check, the last county assembly I attended, the top race almost tipped by 2 votes. 400 or so people go to this, so 40 by me, 40 by a Obama precinct captain, 40 from a Polis leader, it adds up. Time will tell, but Obama and Polis used technology much, much better than Clinton and Fitz-Gerald.

There were two main votes tonight, for President and for Senator (who, in turn, was able to vote for your Representative). The first order of business was counting how many people were in the room, which was a feat because some were in the room, but were not able to vote (being registered as an independent for example made you not eligible to vote at Caucus). 125 in the room. I almost didn’t get to vote.

I have been to this same precincts caucus for the last 3 years. As said, usually me and some really nice older ladies with great baked goods to share. Usually at the same location on the Hill, a historic neighborhood on the Hill. This year, it changed to another school on the Hill, but not the same one. Because of all this excitement, hundreds turned up at the location, and it took me until 7:30 to figure out that I made a mistake. A quick run to the car, a couple block drive, and a frantic search revealed that I lucked out, big time. Doors were still open, and because I had checked in to the other location, I had my card that was used for voting.

Obama Votes 2 minutes later and I would have missed the voter count. Too close for comfort. I saw my neighbors, who I made sure were registered in a party so they could vote tonight, and took a seat beside them.

I whispered to Jen “Last time we fit around one table.” This room had 12 tables, and ran out of chairs. Ridiculous turnout. Over a megaphone the precinct captain read the rules. Straw poll, then the real poll, and then elect delegates to vote at the county assembly. Do this for president, then for Senate. Then we are done. Simple to me, but I have done this a few times.

125 people in the precinct means the ‘threshold’ for getting a delegate is 18. Clinton received 22, just enough to get one of the five delegates. Not a single person under 40 or so voted for Clinton. That surprised me, not a single one. I volunteered to be a delegate for Obama, and was picked by the group to go to county assembly.

Senate was next, which was a weird race because there was only one real candidate. And it was the delegates for these supporters, who, when they are at the County Assembly, can vote for the Congressional District 2 race. 10 delegates, and a 65-35 split Polis vs. Fitz-Gerald. There was a scuffle for who got the extra delegate. I brought 4 friends with me to the Caucus, and those 4 friends were among the 10 delegates fighting for that positioning. It made a huge difference. The crowd sided with the pack of Polis supporters while the Fitz-Gerald precinct captain tried to get a side deal cut for an aggressive split of delegates vs. alternates. I am not sure of the outcome, but I am a delegate for Polis.

Fun little political asides. It was a fun night. We broke after this final vote and thanked our great organizers.

What was amazing about tonight?

  • The Youth Came Out
  • Colorado, a red state, had a massive amount of Democrats come to Caucus
  • The Blogs vs. The Media (more civil and together than I thought)
  • Pingback: Augenzeugenbericht: Super Tuesday in Boulder, Colorado « Sprechblase()

  • Craig Wilcox

    I was at the Park Hill Caucus in Denver. Our precinct also had about 125 present. Fire codes be damned there, as we fit the whole bunch of us in a single classroom. Isn’t classroom size an issue this election?!

    Had to leave early to get my girls to bed, but did manage to see that Obama got all 8 of our assembly delegates.

  • JaFi

    My precinct had 70 people. After Edwards and uncommitted failed to make threshold the vote ended with 55 Obama, 15 Clinton. Of the 15, 4 were men, 3 were young men in their 20’s. Of the 11 women only 1 was under 40. The 55 for Obama were heavily young men under 30 with a sprinkling of men and women in older age groups. You could definitely see the results of the Obama campaign at CU.

    I was disappointed to see a trend continue of the men speaking to support Obama via criticizing Clinton. It will be interesting to see what happens at the county caucus in Longmont.

  • Kimm

    Sounds like Colorado was very involved all over. My father called from Telluride to say that where they usually had 10 or so at their caucus, they saw 125 last night. It sounded noisy. Oh – and everyone went Obama.

  • My Lafayette precinct had 39 people present (maybe half under 30). Clinton got 1 delegate (by one vote), Obama the other 3.

    For what it’s worth, the trend I saw was “men in suits” supporting Clinton and “people in jeans” supporting Obama. I wish I could support Obama, I like the energy he (and his supporters) bring. I wanted to hear arguments that would sway me to either candidate, but nothing persuaded me.

    Fitz-Gerald stopped by and spoke a few minutes. Maybe that is why she dominated the voting, but I wanted to see Polis do better.

  • Jil Cohen

    I was at Boulder High for Caucus last night. It was a total cluster and chaotic and unorganized, but I’m still glad I went. My precinct had 110 people and 85% voted for Obama. Polis won the majority of the congressional vote, but there were a lot of undecideds too, so 3 of the 5 delegates for the county assembly are undecided, but the other two were for Polis…

  • @Mike Galloy Joan was in the District? I still have yet to ever see her in Boulder.

    That includes working as a fulltime organizer at the Boulder County Dems in ’04.

  • @Andrew Yes, she was there and said she had been in Broomfield earlier (she said 2500 people at the caucus there).

  • I wanted to be there last night! I had a physics test at CU – and not one person at the University gave a damn. The physics professor gave me an outright no for a makeup, the undergrad program admin gave me a no. The OMBUDS office gave me a no. So much for the right to vote… I’m glad to see people standing up and taking part! Keep it up bTown!

  • Pingback: Friendly Intelligence - February 9, 2008()

  • Pingback: the amazing race()

  • I would to share a few points related to caucus. As a cost-saving measure, Colorado stopped holding primary elections in 2000 in favor of a caucus system. Caucuses are run and paid for by the political parties. After the preference poll, delegates are then selected among the attendees for each viable candidate, and supporters of nonviable groups may re-caucus into viable groups. There is a 15% threshold for viability within each level of the selection process.
    ————–
    Angelinjones
    <ahref=”http://www.addictionlink.org/drug-rehab-center/colorado” rel=”do follow”>colorado drug rehab

  • amethystlady2

    WOW, Ryan, that is dreadful. I hope you have graduated from CU and turned that professor (or is that OPRESSOR) in to the University. He denied you a right…true, it wasn't an 'election' per se, but just as, if not more important! How DARE any professor deny you that right!

    ps-I am a 72 yr old female…I voted for Obama in 2004-yes, I know he wasn't running then…lol…but I knew when I saw him speak, that he would be our next President…and I was right. Too bad that other person who wrote on this blog “couldn't vote for Obama.” I feel sorry for them.

  • amethystlady2

    WOW, Ryan, that is dreadful. I hope you have graduated from CU and turned that professor (or is that OPRESSOR) in to the University. He denied you a right…true, it wasn't an 'election' per se, but just as, if not more important! How DARE any professor deny you that right!

    ps-I am a 72 yr old female…I voted for Obama in 2004-yes, I know he wasn't running then…lol…but I knew when I saw him speak, that he would be our next President…and I was right. Too bad that other person who wrote on this blog “couldn't vote for Obama.” I feel sorry for them.

Commenting Rules