NPR logo Open Thread: Obama Loves a Caucus

Election 2008

Open Thread: Obama Loves a Caucus

Barack Obama in Iowa, after winning the Democratic caucus

Democrat Barack Obama may trail Hillary Clinton in the overall delegate count (his 765 to her 845), but there's one political venue he all but owns: the caucus, any caucus, apparently anywhere.

Obama opened his party's primary season by winning the Iowa caucus. Since then, Obama has gone on to win caucuses in Alaska, Minnesota, Colorado and Idaho. He trailed Clinton in overall voting in the Nevada caucus, but still emerged with one more delegate than she did.

What is it about this guy and caucuses?



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His supporters (caucus attendees) are highly intelligent- they must be able to strategize to maximize the delegate count, and they must have many well-reasoned arguments to win over new supporters. Go Mr. O! Rock the vote!

Sent by Anna | 12:15 PM | 2-6-2008

Second-Shift Workers (working-class), Single Parents, and voters over the age of 65, I believe are huge demographics for Hillary Clinton. All of which have a hard time attending a long stand in a corner event.

Sent by Frank | 1:30 PM | 2-6-2008

as a former Republican turned Indepentant, Looking at the demo of both Clinton and Obama, I wouold say the 'quick' votes(primay) would go to hillary as the amount of research done when making the decision to select her. Obama's demo is more educated and familiar with the new media and remember the doings of the Clinton's dureing Bill's term and all the scandals surrounding Hillary and Bill, Basically.... He has an appealing message and He's not a Clinton..,.

Sent by RJ | 2:06 PM | 2-6-2008

Obama is really a good speaker and any day he is able to give a very good speech and get audience. If you look at his candidacy it is really a fairy tale. Without much background in politics and really not attaining many milestones, he was able to run a successful campaign for presidency. And we the people tend to believe what we hear and do not really think much. And every one is dying for a change???But does anyone know what the change is? I bet no one does. But many of us want a change???For better or worse we are supporting for the change.

In short Obama???s Ad has been better than Hillarie???s

Sent by Timmy | 5:02 PM | 2-6-2008

Respectfully, I don't think demographics are the key here. In my Minnesota precinct, where previous record attendance was around 260 people, we had 787 people show up -- at least 600 first time caucus goers. Obama won the vote with 557 to 208 for Clinton. The crowd included retirees, an elderly woman in a walker, as well as high school students who will be eligible to vote in the election by fall. And a bunch of aging baby boomers like myself.
People turned out because of the message of the Obama campaign and the hard work of organizers.
The key I think is where the scope of the election is small enough to allow a committed group of organizers to carry the message to the people.

Sent by Bruce Johnson | 5:33 PM | 2-6-2008

When people have committed to the process enough to do any research, they learn that Obama has a long history in politics, a wide scope of knowledge, and in depth policy proposals. In primary states, it is easier to quickly cast a passive vote.

Sent by HM | 5:53 PM | 2-6-2008

1. How does being a good speaker and energized youth voters with a message of "change" translate into being able to be a good president? IN order for a President to get things done they have to work with the house and the senate (you know old establishment politico's) who are not going to be woed by a good speech with no substance.

2. More on this issue, why is it when Hillary has shown in the past to be able to work across party lines and get things accomplished, she is torn apart for it. Yet, Obama talks about uniting all people and working to break down party lines, he get's this blind support?

NEWFLASH: Candidates of all of elections have been running on this "change" platform since the beginning of Politics. The other Newsflash is that there is no such thing as drastic change in Politics. They are empty promises of Rainbows and Sunshine. People must think somehow he's not from the "system" or "machine" but he would never have made it this far without that "system" or "machine". He also is somewhat hypocritical in terms of this disassociating himself and talking so negative about getting away from "Old Politics" and "typical Washington Politics" yet he has the backing of the likes of Kerry and Kennedy.

The only way to get things done in Washington is attempt to play nicely with others, give a little, take a little, while looking out for your people not solely your party. Contrary to popular belief, not every Demo. idea is great and not every Rep. idea is evil. Tough decisions and tough votes need to take place and mistakes will be made but you can't ride the fence so you can peddle both sides.

Sent by Virginia4Hillary | 6:29 PM | 2-6-2008

Obama support is grassroots at its finest. These are people from every demographic who once they have heard him speak have been motivated to do their own research (viva the internet!) and they learn there is more than just words (beautiful, powerful words) but real intelligence. He is able to balance his courage to stand up for what he believes with the determination to work with all to get the job done.

Do your own research.

And talk with everyone about what you learn. Finally, bringing up the subject of politics is no longer taboo.

Sent by Le'o | 10:22 PM | 2-6-2008

Funnily enough - a lot of black voters (myself included) don't like to admit they support Obama (
which could actually hurt him in the caucus system -

Sent by Leyla Farah | 10:25 PM | 2-6-2008