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.
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.
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)