Iowa Caucus Districts

From the Inside: Polk County Iowa Caucuser First-Hand Account

I am calling it in from Iowa.

After last night’s monumental tech glitch I thought I would report in from my caucus in Polk County, Iowa. My very first Iowa caucus, and I was excited to be there.

“Warren will have the most support if Yang stays in the race. If he drops out, his votes will be cannibalized by Bernie or Pete and they’ll slug it out for the win. If Andrew stays in, Warren will do well.

At the beginning of the evening the caucus had one round of counting. Every person in the room was counted and accounted for. The room went quiet and every one was seated. A Precinct Chair with a microphone walked around the room, person by person while every attendee left his or her hand up. When he got to the first person, she called out “one” then lowered her hand, the second person”two”. All 323 voters in the room were accounted for.

Each subsequent count had to add up to that.

Voters had found their candidates’ groups and sat together. Tom Steyer only had 2 people so there was an announcement made and they found each other, unfortunately Michael Bennet didn’t have any one, I’ve heard him speak and I like that guy.

For the first round, Elizabeth Warren had the most votes.

The first vote was taken to see which candidates had at least 15% of the people present to remain viable. After that round, Amy Klobuchar’s, Andrew Yang’s and Steyer’s two were invited to join other groups… each viable candidate sent emissaries to them and made an appeal.

I was surprised that Yang wasn’t viable, he came very close and his people were enthusiastic. If the over-all attendance at the event had been lower, he would clearly have been viable. Most of the Yang Gang went to the Buttigieg camp and his numbers swelled… most of the rest went to Bernie and a few came over to Warren.

Each time the votes were carried out with the same process – voters were looked in the eye by the vote taker and called out their number. The totals on each count always added up so the math was right. There were a few people there with Yang MATH hats on .. the math had to work.

So if the electoral microcosm of my Iowa precinct is a predictor, here’s what will happen for the Dems going forward:

Warren will have the most support if Yang stays in the race. If he drops out, his votes will be cannibalized by Bernie or Pete and they’ll slug it out for the win. If Andrew stays in, Warren will do well.

The downside to the glitch was not just tourism, this was the first time that candidates snapped to Ag and the environment, and that won’t happen in NH.

Reporting from Iowa,


Don Wiviott lives in Des Moines, has a BA in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He works with his own business, Tomorrow’s Farms, LLC and Vilicus Capital, LLC.  Vilicus is committed to the growth, protection, and stewardship of organic farming. The company accomplishes this by providing farmland investment and management services to connect investors with organic farmers in land partnerships. Don has written solar legislation and is on the Board of the Iowa Farmers Union; he sees agriculture and soil science as a viable path to end climate change.


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