Well…here we go. At least I think so. I have a few errands to run this afternoon, so I wrote this post well in advance and scheduled it to fire off at 5:00 pm, when the Iowa caucuses start. So…I might still be stuck in traffic or fixing a flat tire or even dead right now.
So…feel free to go on (and on and on) without me, and I’ll catch up right after I order myself a beer. I mean, unless I’m dead.
We will mostly focus on the Republican caucus this evening because, as the LA Times points out:
For Democrats, the process will be simple since President Obama is the party’s de facto nominee.
(And for the benefit of our “low-information commenters” [a.k.a trolls] I’ll point out that, no, “de facto” is not some kind of racial epithet.)
The LA Times does a pretty good job of describing the Republican caucus. But…the Republican Party of Iowa does a better job…they have it down to bullet points:
All caucus participants arrive at their precincts where they will sign in at the door upon arrival. Caucuses will begin at 7:00PM CT.
That would be 5:00 our time.
The caucus meetings begin with the pledge of allegiance. A caucus chair and secretary will be elected by the body to run the meeting and take notes.
What! No reading of the Constitution?!? What a bunch of Constitution-hating reactionaries! (And shouldn’t the second sentence be its own bullet point?)
After the chair and secretary are elected, candidate representatives from each campaign are given time to speak on behalf of their candidate.
Here is where uncomfortable things might happen—like, say, Santorum getting smeared by a Paulinista.
Once the speakers have finished, sheets of paper are be passed out to every registered Iowa Republican from the precinct. Voters then write down their candidate preference.
Wait…where is the part where they check for government-issued photo ids?
All votes are then collected. Every vote is counted. The caucus chair and secretary will count the votes in front of the caucus and a representative from each campaign is allowed to observe the counting of the votes. The results are recorded on an official form provided by the Republican Party of Iowa and are announced to the caucus. A caucus reporter is chosen to report the results to the Republican Party of Iowa, accompanied by campaign representatives to verify the results reported to Iowa GOP officials.
Republicans sound so distrustful of Republicans!
RPI officials do not count results; they aggregate them from around the state and report them to the media. To ensure consistency in reporting, campaign representatives have the opportunity to be present with RPI officials as votes are reported to the public.
I hope they at least add them up (which is kind-of like counting). I mean, I don’t want to listen to the reports from all 1,774 precincts.
We will be reporting the votes for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, “No Preference,” and “Other.” “No Preference” votes include those who vote “present,” “no preference, “uncommitted,” or “none of the above.”
That’s the process…enjoy!
5:31: I got here a bit late, and there were three new attendees to chat with. CNN is on the teevee, but I might be totally antisocial and put headphones on to listen to NPRs coverage of the
5:40: I cannot really hear what is going on, but the whizbang graphic on CNN suggests that born-again evangelical Christians rate Santorum as number 2. That sounds about right.
6:07: It is a three way race between Paul, Romney and Santorum, so far. With something like 14,000 votes in…Huntsman has 106.
6:22: That is one hairy-ass microphone cover I see on CNN.
6:25: Santorum slides right by Romney to number 2!
7:04: Romney puts Santorum behind him!
7:05: ….and Santorum surges ahead of Romney!
7:06: I’m getting pretty excited about a last minute Huntsman surge!
7:08: With Santorum in the lead, one must ask: Don’t they have Google in Iowa?!?
7:12: It’s loud…I cannot hear the TV. People are talking to me. Santorum is all over the teevee. I don’t know how much longer I can hold out!
7:25: Promoted comment from Michael: “Romney 23%, Paul 23%, Santorum 23%. The Republicans are having themselves a three-way.”
7:30: Santorum may come out of this in the pole position!
7:38: Okay…so Michele Bachmann isn’t going to win this one. At least she has her Aimes Straw Poll victory to propel her into the lead. Go Michele!
7:40: Gingrich is going to win. I mean, just look at the numbers!
7:44: I heard on the news this evening that Gov. Gregoire has some sort of big announcement tomorrow related to gay marriage. Does this have anything to do with Santorum’s Iowa showing???
7:46: New update. Santorum is sandwiched in the narrow gap between Romney and Paul.
7:49: And, once again, and to Romney’s great shame…Santorum percolates to the top!!!
8:00: James Carville missed his calling in life. He should have been an evil villain in a Batman movie. The Snake™ (says N in Seattle and Rebecca, independently).
8:13: Wow…all night, Romney and Santorum have been swapping positions. Mitt’s on top the Rick’s on top, Mitt’s on top then Rick’s on top.
8:17: Newt speaks. “We are at the beginning of an extraordinarily important campaign.” Yes…there are books to sell!
8:29: Santorum squeaks ahead of Romney. Yeah…well, I cannot wait for next week’s New Hampshire primary, because I want to see Mitt Romney lick Santorum.
8:34: Michele Bachmann says thanks to the 5,891 people of her “home state” of Iowa that voted for her.
8:51: I just tweeted Dan Savage: “As Seattle’s Drinking Liberally organizer, I want to express our deep gratitude 2 u for making tonight so fucking enjoyable”
8:53: Now I just tweeted Dan Savage: “As the person liveblogging at HorsesAss, I want to thank you on everyone’s behalf for making tonight so fucking entertaining!”
8:55: Is that Rick Perry’s daughter standing behind him??? She has his eyes and Steve Tyler’s mouth. My GAWD! The Perry rumors are TRUE!!!!
9:08: My vision of a Santorum—Brownback ticket may yet be realized!
9:09: A decade and a half ago, I voted against Santorum. Even then, long before Dan Savage’s neologism, there was something really, really icky about the man and the candidate.
9:22: Santorum is on the teevee spreading his philosophy….