Nevada’s First Meaningful Caucus

Nevada Caucus participants “standing-up” for their candidates.

My wife and I helped make history today by participating in the first Nevada Caucus for president. I teach elementary school, but my BA is in political science, and I found the process and experience interesting and rewarding.

First, we live in a part of town that we jokingly call “Republicanville” because of the high percentage of Republicans that live in this part of town. So it was enlightening to see some of our neighbors in attendance that we didn’t know were Democrats.

In addition the turn out was incredible. They so underestimated the numbers that they had to print copies of the ballots that you handed in to make a paper trail of your vote.

Caucusing to persuade Kucinich voters to change candidates.

After some introductions and explanations attendees were asked to stand-up and move to different parts of the room to vote for their choice. An initial count was made, and using those results it was determined that there were not enough votes for Dennis Kucinich for those votes to be considered “viable,” and there was one uncommitted vote. At that point the actual caucusing began and Obama, Clinton and Edwards voters began to mingle with the “unviable” voters to persuade them to their point of view. After those voters made their decisions’ a new vote was made and posted. In our precinct Obama won by a slim margin over Clinton and Edwards came in third. I wasn’t surprised to see almost all of the Kucinich voters change to Edwards. Edwards got exactly the minimum number of votes required to be “viable,” and that number grew a bit after the caucusing.

Upon returning home we saw that Hillary Clinton had been projected the winner in Nevada. A good, somewhat “messy” experience in American Democracy.

Nevada’s first caucus memories.

Nevada is a large state land mass size, but our population is just over 2 million, so we don’t usually garner much attention from candidates. So this was a great experience having our caucus early in the process. Why was Nevada allowed to have our caucus this early? Nevada is a state with a diverse population (especially compared to Iowa and New Hampshire) located in the west.

Learning is messy!

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2 thoughts on “Nevada’s First Meaningful Caucus

  1. I just wanted to mention to a Political Science major that Nevada has been having causus since the late 60’s. Nevadans just have not shown up until the had them early enough to matter.

    Go back to school.

    Joe Pertile

  2. You got me there Joe … I misspoke … obviously the point was that Nevada’s caucus was moved up to the early date for the first time making it meaningful this early in the process and putting Nevada in the spotlight.