A couple of notes from my other precinct caucus visit last night—Des Moines 9—and what they say about what happened.

This precinct caucus was held just a few feet away from Webster 1 and was about twice as large (126 folks).   The caucus chair here was much less experienced and things moved much more slowly which allowed me to see this second caucus.

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After the first break into groups, Obama had about half the participants (and it was a mixture of young folks, upscale whites, and nonwhites—the Obama coalition).  Clinton was second with about 40 and Edwards trailed with 20.   The supporters of the other candidates—Dodd, Richardson, and Biden—were all small in number and had to make their moves.   They tended to simply go different directions, indicating there were either none of those rumored deals or no ability to carry them out.

I talked with one late 30s insurance salesman Richardson supporter about why he switched to Edwards and he said it was his health care plan.  This led to a conversation between this guy and another Edwards supporter about the same age about their views on all the candidates health care plans.   I know some hate this process but where in the world would you see guys who met that night sitting around talking about the nuances of candidates’ health care plans.

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A WORD FROM THE SPONSOR: Jay’s coverage was a gift of enormous measure to the Arkansas Times and its readers, I think everyone will agree. I even got a kind note this morning from a high-up Huckabee supporter about Jay’s work. Jay and I both wish he could stay on the road the rest of the way, but, alas, his duties at Hendrix College call. They are as lucky to have him as we were.

–max

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