Finished with the “precinct convention” (i.e., caucus) portion of the vote. The caucus started at about 7:15, and was still going on when I left at about 8:15. What I experienced sounds pretty different from what I’ve read about the Iowa process (probably because we’re down to 2 candidates).
At 7:15, lines were formed for each candidate–a line for Clinton and a line for Obama, and each person “signed in,” pledging their caucus vote to a particular candidate. There was no trying to talk Edwards supporters over to the Obama or Hillary side, or any of that; you just signed your name in the appropriate place (with your address, after showing either an ID that they checked against the rolls, or the little card they gave you earlier in the day that said, in effect, “Yuppers, I voted!”), and that was it. After everyone signed, there were be the proportional distribution of delegates for the district, followed by the delegate selection.
There were easily two Obama volunteers for every Clinton volunteer. There were also far more Obama people–I would guess between 2 and 3-1 out of a crowd that looked to me to be between 200-300 people (in a township that only has a stated population of about 1100!). This part of Austin would look to be heavy Obama territory.
At 8:15, there were still lines to sign in. There were now two lines for each candidate, and there was basically no waiting at the “Hillary” lines, with plenty of people still in the “Obama” lines. The Obama people were a big cross-section of folks–mostly white (Austin is pretty heavily Caucasian), but a few African-Americans and Indian-Americans. They covered all the age spectrum, and were men and women both. The Clinton folks were heavily female.
It wasn’t a “contact sport” here in Rollingwood, but when something like 60% of the adult population of the district shows up to vote for a single party’s primary, that’s pretty amazing.