Senator Barack Obama won the Iowa Caucus, becoming the clear winner. And the clear loser, Senator Hillary Clinton, who will now have to re-group and re-organize and re-think her entire campaign and strategy.
The real victor tonight, though, was the turnout. The rejection of the Bush Administration is “real clear.”
Read Real Clear Politics take on the caucus, especially the turnout flavor of the caucus. John Presta.
DES MOINES – Just got back from a Democratic caucus in West Des Moines. Turnout was astronomical: 108 people attended four years ago, and when I asked Caucus Chairman Ivan Webber what he would consider to be a remarkable turnout this year he said 120-125. In the end, 224 people showed up. The line was still running down the hall at 7pm when the doors had to be closed, so they ushered everyone inside the room to finish the registration process.
Many of the folks I talked to on the way through the door were first time caucus goers. After the first round of forming, the count was Obama 83, Edwards 43, Clinton 43, Richardson 31, Biden 12, Kucinich 3, Dodd 2. The viability cut off was 31 votes, leaving Bill Richardson 3 votes short. After 10 minutes of negotiating, however, Richardson pulled in 6 addition votes, making viability.
In an interesting twist, the Biden group appears to have had a prearranged deal with the Clinton camp to throw their support her way in exchange for a delegate at the next level. Biden’s precinct captain, Maxi Prinsen, explained that their strategy was to prevent Richardson from gaining any extra votes, to hope Edwards finished 3rd and was effectively killed off, and also to help prevent an Obama blowout.
In the end the final tally at the caucus was Obama 87, Clinton 50, Edwards 47, Richardson 37.