Caucus chaos in state

(Above) The line was steady, but manageable at Monday’s caucus held at Clear Creek Elementary School for Clear Lake voters.  -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

But well-organzied local precincts choose Klobuchar, Buttigieg

by Marianne Gasaway

The complete results of Monday night’s Iowa Caucus remained unavailable as of noon Tuesday, but Democrats in Clear Lake’s three voting precincts clearly chose Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg as their favorites for the party’s presidential nomination.

Three-hundred and twenty-seven registered Democrats filled the gymnasium and two lunch rooms at Clear Creek Elementary Monday to participate in the first-in-the-nation nominating contest.  Although the statewide reporting process failed, local organization was good. All those hoping to take part were registered and ready to participate when the clock struck 7.

It was apparent early on that Klobuchar and Buttigieg were well represented, while others lobbied to stay viable. On the night, they each earned nine delegates from Clear Lake voting wards.  Bernie Sanders was next with six, followed by Joe Biden with four and Elizabeth Warren with one.

According to Caucus rules, groups representing 15 percent of the total number of voters in the room was needed for a candidate to remain “viable” and eligible for delegates.

In Ward One, 18-year-old Lidia Futrell was heading up supporters of Elizabeth Warren.  Nearby, her father, Steve, was sitting with a small group of Andrew Yang faithful, while her mother, Alice, who was serving as secretary for the precinct, was undecided.

“It’s an important year.  That’s why I am volunteering,” said Alice.

The Warren group appeared to be in trouble early, but when supporters of Yang and Tom Steyer realized they would not have enough to be viable— even if they joined together, enough migrated to Warren to keep the senator viable.  She ultimately earned one delegate, but Ward One was the only place she garnered enough support to be counted.  Meanwhile, Klobuchar and Buttigieg each earned three delegates from Ward One.  Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden received one apiece.

Dorothy Zalvarriaga said she was attending the caucus looking for a change in leadership.

“The United States is a rich country, but for me it is not rich.  I work hard and I don’t get to see my kids grow up because I am working two jobs.”  She favored Andrew Yang, because she liked the emphasis he put on family.  Kristy Holland and Kim Moran were also members of the “Yang Gang,” saying the candidate “thinks outside of the box.”

Like the Yang and Steyer supporters, Nate Benzing found his candidate, Michael Bennet, lacking the numbers to be viable.  Despite pleading from his daughter, Madison, to join the Sanders group he landed with Klobuchar, saying she was more moderate.

Donovan Reinsmoen was solidly in Klobuchar’s camp, saying he appreciated her bipartisan approach.

Dodie Tanner said she has been caucusing since Eugene McCarthy was

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