I caucused in a livestock arena! Well, I just got back from the democratic caucus and it was utter mayhem. I was running late anyway because Noah had a playdate right after I got back from work. I swung by the house and picked Erik up. It took 45 minutes from our house to get into the Livestock Arena at the fairgrounds (ordinarily it would take about 7-10 minutes). Parking was a disaster and it hadn't even started snowing yet. There were 2,218 people who showed up and the vast majority were for Obama. (I guess the other stations were insane too, and Abe and Jakes was shut down by the fire marshal and the remaining people had to be sent elsewhere. The doors were supposed to be locked and the polling was supposed to begin at 7:00. Finally, at about 8:15 they got started. It took about an hour and it took much longer to get there and in the building than it did for the caucus to take place. It was a pretty cool experience. For anyone who doesn't know how a caucus works because the one today is the first one that we've ever had in Kansas, here's how it goes:
You go in the door and find out where your candidates supporters are gathering. You find a group of people to join and gather a group of 25. Everyone who goes in hands in a ticket. The tickets are gathered and counted to get a total number of people. After that, representatives of the candidates, in our case, elected local officials, make short speeches as to why you should vote for their candidate. (By this point, it was getting very hot and people were getting restless.) Then, since it was apparent that Obama supporters were the vast majority, they only counted Kucinich, Clinton, Richardson, and Edwards (note that several of these candidates dropped out, but they still had supporters.) To be considered a viable candidate, a candidate must get 15% of the vote. Clinton got 352 while Obama got 1,144 so she barely got 15%. Then, the supporters of the non-viable candidates "realign" and pick one of the viable candidates and delegates are awarded based on those percentages. For our station, Obama got 9 delegates and Clinton got 2.
It looks like the state as a whole is going to go to Obama, possibly because of his ties to the state. I haven't looked at the national race since I got home, but it really wasn't even a contest tonight. It was hot and miserable and I'm glad I wasn't supporting one of the non-viable candidates because Erik, Noah, and I were ready to get out of there. Noah was very patient; I think more patient than Erik who tends to get bored and destructive. Noah flirted with a pretty girl who was part of our group and kept himself pretty well entertained. He's such a pimp! Anyhoo, the process was exhausting, but very rewarding. I think I'm going to go to bed early and sleep my caucus off.