James Forsyth

How Obama triumphed

How Obama triumphed
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Last night I headed to a caucus in Johnston, a suburb of Des Moines, and how Obama triumphed there was an extreme example of how he won Iowa. In 2004, 90 people attended the Democratic Caucus in this precinct: this time, 795 turned up. Overall, caucus turnout hit a record high on the Democratic side with more than 225,000 participating compared to 124,000 in 2004

The line of Republicans, independents and first time attendees registering as Democrats so that they could take part was out the door and my non-scientific observations suggested that the vast majority of them caucused for Obama.  He got the support of 316 caucus-goers in the first round compared to Hillary’s 181 and 145 for Edwards. By the end of the night, Obama had a comfortable plurality of the precinct’s 15 delegates.

One thing that struck me at the caucus was just how politically spoilt Iowans are. Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, was at this caucus site as a surrogate for Hillary and several of the people I spoke to had decided who to support based on personal encounters with the contenders. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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