Weekend open thread: off-year caucus edition

Share caucus stories from today or anything else on your mind in this thread.

Looking around the multi-purpose room at Clive Elementary School today, I could not believe that 293 caucus-goers, plus a bunch of observers and media, squeezed in there on January 3, 2008. That was insane. Today only eight Democrats showed up in Windsor Heights 2 today, and that was more than the number who showed up in Windsor Heights 1 and 3.

One woman at my caucus brought a flier for Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin encouraging people to sign up to receive text messages from the campaign. They’re asking Democrats to send a text message to 64336 indicating their most important issue for 2010 (text A for jobs, B for health care, C for the environment, D for energy, E for education, and F to share some other issue). Then the campaign has your cell phone number and knows what you’re especially interested in.

I get the sense that the Republican caucuses were more lively today because of the contested primaries for governor and Congress (in IA-02 and IA-03). At some caucuses, supporters have a chance to speak on behalf of their favorite candidates. Also, the campaigns have an interest in getting their supporters elected as delegates to county conventions, and later to district conventions, in case no one gets 35 percent of the vote in the June primary. (Ed Fallon’s gubernatorial campaign urged its supporters to attend the 2006 off-year caucuses for that reason.) With five Republicans competing for the chance to face Leonard Boswell, the GOP primary in IA-03 could easily be decided at a district convention. That’s how Steve King won the Republican nomination for IA-05 in 2002.

The floor is yours.

About the Author(s)


  • Francis Thicke

    stopped by Iowa City SE Jr High where Dems had a cluster of caucuses. I had three people at mine.

  • Nothing to Report from the Anarchist front...

    Not enough energy in the community to do a formal autonomous “thinking persons” collective discussion this time around.  Lots of folks in DC this week, so…

    Glad to hear things went well for “We the Sheeple”. 🙂  

  • Very quiet at the Bettendorf Library.

    We had 13 caucuses set up; a couple of them never got anybody.  Mine had just me till Phyllis Thede showed up with her husband.  (She talked about what she’d been doing in the House lately, he made his pitch for the Iowa Senate.) I think the most highly attended caucus had five people.

    • I know of one caucus

      where only the precinct chair showed up.

      What is your take on the Democratic primary of Dave Thede versus Rich Clewell in Senate district 41?

      • From what I've seen

        Rich Clewell has more time as an elected official (Davenport school board) and as a Democrat.

        Dave Thede used to be a Republican, but like me in my past life, was more of an independent registered in a party so as to caucus, etc. He’s had the experience of his wife’s campaigns (unsuccessful Senate, successful House) to teach him some of the ropes.

        Both could use some licking into shape to be a good challenger, even though Hartsuch is nuts.  I think the primary process will be good for the eventual winner, make him a better, more honed candidate.  I’ll support Dave for now, I’ll support whoever wins after the primary.