I participated in my first caucus this weekend. First, I have to say "Go Fightin' 34th!"
My wife and I had to park several blocks away because there were so many people attending!
We were told that in 2004, there were _maybe_ 15 people attending for my
precinct (one of 10 or more in my district). This time there were at
least 60! Can't wait to see the official tally.
Most of the people there were older (35+ I'd guess). Not that many
young people. But I'm not surprised since my district and precinct
don't necessarily include a lot of affordable housing for young people.
It's an older area.
On the initial voting, there were 4 delegates for Obama, 2 for Hillary,
and 1 for undecided. There were maybe 8-10 people who were undecided
so it was fun to have the debate and try to rally people to your side.
We were asking the undecideds what they had questions about and mostly
it was too close to call for them or they didn't understand enough
about the details of the candidates to make a decision and wanted to be
We ended up swaying enough from the other camps to take that undecided
delegate into the Obama camp so the final was 5 Obama, 2 Hillary. I'm
one of the 5 delegates that will be at the larger conventions on the
5th and 19th (we had a hard time finding people who were in-town able
to make it).
Fortunately, we were in a school and each precinct got to find an open
classroom so we weren't all jammed into the auditorium. So, it was
easy to hear the points during the debate.
We had one person who was a conservative Independent and Iraq war vet
who spoke passionately and emotionally about why he is for Obama. He
is in the camp of "we broke it, we need to fix it" with Iraq so was not
for the hawkishness of the other candidates.
Most had good reasons for supporting their candidate, although I wish there could have been more substantive talk on the issues. I need to come more prepared next time. It was pretty energizing to see so many more people out there. When I went door-to-door in 2004, it didn't feel like I made much of a difference (no wonder Bush won again!)
Looks like the final results for my 34th precinct are in:
Obama: 736 delegates (70%)
Clinton: 293 delegates (28%)
Money raised for dues and contributions to the 34th: $29,000.
FYI, the upcoming caucus schedule is:
• Saturday, February 9th: Precinct Caucuses (see below)
• Saturday, April 5th: 34th Legislative District Caucus
• Sunday, April 13th: King County Democrats Convention
• May: Congressional District Caucuses (dates TBD)
• Saturday, June 14th: Washington State Democrats Convention
• August 25-28: National Democratic Convention, Denver
See you on the 5th!