Thursday, January 03, 2008

Kelly Drake's Report from Iowa

Kelly Drake emails from the frozen midwest:
I'm currently in Iowa City but I've also been to Maquoketa as well as the Quad Cities (Davenport). From my contact with voters, I really think that tomorrow night's outcome will come down to the Second Redistribution and who people decide to choose once candidates become viable or not for delegates. Especially considering the Kucinich move to press his supporters to vote for Obama.
In terms of college students and their voting records....The Clinton & Dodd campaigns helped out the Obama campaign (at least here in Johnson County, where the University of Iowa is located). There are lots of resources to get students back campus to caucus as backlash against Clinton's outcry at the fact that out of state students legally change their voter registration to Iowa. But the fact that most colleges aren't in session until the 22nd is hard to judge. Because students who grew up in Iowa but attend school elsewhere will be home to vote if they choose, however, at the same time the 40% of the Univ. of Iowa's student body that is from the Chicago area may or may not make the trip into Johnson County to caucus.

I wouldn't count on the Kucinich effect. I was a Dean precinct captain at the 2004 caucus and there was supposedly similar deals between Edwards and Kucinich, but those did not pan out at the actual caucuses. It will be great if that does pan out for Obama though!

All this aside, my contact with voters here has been pretty promising. The average voter seems to be tuning out all the negativity emanating from the Hillary campaign against Obama. My sense is that people don't trust her any further than they can throw her. And I've talked to quite a few people who are first choice Richardson, Biden or Dodd but then if their guy isn't viable for a delegate or Hillary's support is overflowing then they plan on voting for Obama.
For tomorrow night (Thursday) I've rounded up a group of people to take to caucus (a good chunk of them first time caucus voters), then afterwards we're going to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the returns! It should make for a great night!

Kelly Drake
Iowa alumni/Seattle Obamamaniac



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