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January 01, 2008

Intriguing piece of information

I don't know if this means anything or not, but it's kind of making me go "Hmmmmm" if you know what I mean.

I spoke with one of the people in charge of organizing Thursday's caucus here in Madison County yesterday afternoon, to get all the details of what I'll have to do at the meeting, and he threw out something that might have some impact on the voting results. Or not.

He mentioned that his phone has been ringing off the hook, but the part that really perked up my ears was when he mentioned that a lot of his calls have been from ..... Registered Democrats, both Catholic and Evangelical Protestant. Are they dissatisfied with the Democratic field? Are they infiltrating the caucus to swing the vote towards a nutter like Ron "I fingerpaint with my own feces" Paul? Are they glad to see a fellow evangelical like Huckabee doing well on the Republican side, so they're coming over to put him over the top?

I don't get it myself. The race on the Democratic side is pretty hotly contested. You've got a populist Southerner who's banging the class-warfare drum like a screen door in a hurricane, a "clean & articulate" minority candidate with a fresh, unsullied legislative record & an endorsement from The Oprah, and a longtime political insider with a supposed expertise in foreign policy and the willingness to stoop to any depth to get as many votes as possible. I don't see this as a race where committed Democrats can say "Hey, I can live with any of the candidates, so I'll just go over to the Republican side for the night on a lark." Maybe they're just calling him out of curiousity to see how the other side lives? I'm not smart enough to answer that question.

I don't know many evangelical Democrats, but I do know lots of faithful Catholics who were born into the Democratic party, just like some people were born with red hair and others were born with large, misshapen hunchbacks. If I see any of them at the Republican caucus on Thursday night, I'll be sure to ask them who they're supporting & why, but until then, this is just another interesting factoid to help feed the Horse Race Fever.

Madison County's got somewhere around 17,000 people (accoring to the 2000 census), and my contact is thinking that this year will be an overflow crowd like '88. Our countywide caucus will be held at the Winterset High School auditorium, with the individual precincts breaking down & voting in classrooms after the joint presentations, and a crowd of more than 800 or so will mean it's "standing room only". Assuming that the county's 50-50 split between the two parties (Iowa's teetered between the parties lately, so that's probably a fair cop, if you count affiliated voters only), that means that a 10% turnout will give us somewhere around 600 people (assuming 1/3 of voters are Rep, Dem and Ind). If I'm not too drunk from the post-caucus dinner we're having, I'll come give you my impressions of the process.

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posted by Russ from Winterset at 06:52 PM

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