Friday, March 14, 2008

Iowa County Convention Preview

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

For the latest information go to our Iowa Results post.

As we expected in our writeup yesterday on tomorrow's Iowa County Conventions, there's a lot more information available today on what might or might not happen tomorrow. The Des Moine Register:

For the first time, candidates have hired staff to whip up turnout to county conventions.

Teams of paid and volunteer workers have spent weeks contacting the 13,485 delegates elected on caucus night. In some cases, they are trying to sway those who supported former Sen. John Edwards, who quit the race Jan. 30.
Those 13,485 delegates will elect 2,500 delegates Saturday. Those 2,500 will elect some of the national convention delegates during Iowa's district conventions on April 26 and the rest at the state convention on June 14.
The Iowa Independent:

Tomorrow is the day of Democratic county conventions. While these take place for both Republicans and Democrats throughout the state after every Iowa caucus, most activists cannot remember a time when the results of the conventions could play such an important national role. The caucuses, while highly publicized as the first national pulse in presidential politics, are not the actual mechanism by which delegates to the Democratic National Convention are selected. The selection will take place at the upcoming conventions -- county conventions scheduled for Saturday being the first.

Individuals selected on caucus night to be delegates and alternates to county convention are being targeted once again by presidential hopefuls. Delegates receiving the most attention, however, are those who are currently aligned with former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Because no delegates are beholden to their caucus night choice and also because Edwards has dropped from the race, the campaigns for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama are both focusing on Edwards delegates in an attempt to increase their own number of national delegates.

As previously reported, the grassroots campaign built in Iowa by the Obama campaign is back in action. For at least the past two weeks, the Obama team has been making contact with convention delegates and alternates to impress upon them the importance of going to their respective county conventions. This week the Clinton campaign also began making its presence known in Iowa once again. Field directors have returned to their caucus areas, local supporters have phoned Edwards delegates to request support and, just yesterday, an automated phone call by Sen. Clinton herself went out to Iowans.

Finally, the Obama campaign has a page dedicated to the County Conventions, including the time and place of every county convention, a primer and FAQ about the conventions, and a 42 page County Convention Guide.

I think the most difficult thing tomorrow will be finding results.

Update (2PM Sat): From the AP: "Party officials expected results from virtually all the counties by late afternoon. A handful of tiny rural counties were holding their conventions in the evening."


Galois said...

There is a thread at DailyKos where people are reporting unofficial results from the county convention. So far they have reported 12 counties worth over 20% of the state delegates (although one county was approximate). So far we have seen a lot of movement towards Obama from the non-Clinton delegates and even some of Clinton's delegates have abandoned her. If the remaining counties keep their original projections, I currently project 18O-14C-13E. The fifth district, though, is still very close to switching back from Obama to Clinton. Still the way things have been going he should hold it, and we still may see some more movement towards Obama.