I have a lot of questions about the deal struck between the Obama and Richardson campaigns, and I would be grateful to Bleeding Heartland readers who can shed light on any of them.
1. How much initial support did Richardson have last night? The Iowa Democratic Party does not report this information. I would like to hear from as many people as possible about how many people were in Richardson’s corner after the first division into preference groups. In my precinct he had 28 out of 293 people, or about 9.6 percent.
2. Was this a one-way deal, or did the Obama campaign promise to instruct its captains to help Richardson become viable where he was close to the threshold?
Obama volunteers out there, did you get any encouragement to help Richardson out at the caucus?
I’m assuming that either this wasn’t part of the deal, or Obama volunteers did not follow through, because Richardson only ended up with 2.1 percent of the state delegates. Clearly he fell below the threshold in many, many places.
3. Did the Richardson supporters predominantly go to Obama during the realignment? In my precinct a lot came to Edwards—perhaps even more than the number who went to Obama, though I can’t be sure of that. However, a friend who’s an Obama precinct captain near Hoover High School told me that in her precinct the Richardson captain brought pretty much the whole group over. Marc Ambinder observed something similar.
If Richardson had 8-10 percent support in a lot of precincts, and this deal really did transfer his supporters overwhelmingly to Obama, that alone accounts for Obama’s winning margin.
I would like to hear from as many Iowans as possible about how the Richardson supporters moved during realignment at your caucus. If you don’t want to post a comment, please e-mail me at desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.
4. Was there some kind of falling out recently between Richardson and Clinton? For most of the year people assumed that if Richardson struck any kind of deal, it would be with Hillary. Bill Clinton elevated him from Congress to UN ambassador and later to secretary of energy, and Richardson and the Clintons have a similar outlook on trade and other economic issues.
If any Bleeding Heartland readers were involved in the Clinton or Richardson campaigns and can shed light on this question, please let us know or e-mail me confidentially.
UPDATE: I am hearing more stories from friends all the time. In one neighboring precinct, the Clinton people sent enough supporters to make Richardson viable so that Edwards would not get an extra delegate. In another precinct, the Dodd, Richardson and Biden groups combined were 19 short of viability. Obama’s group had more than enough people to send over 19 without losing any of their delegates, but they refused, so most of the Dodd, Richardson and Biden group went over to Edwards.