Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The caucuses

I'm just back from my precinct caucus.  My initial impression is that the Bennet campaign seemed a lot like the Clinton campaign back during the 2008 county and state conventions -- much better organized and funded than their opponents, but still outnumbered.  The Bennet folks had t-shirts, water bottles, cookies, and volunteer greeters.  They seemed in every way a more professional organization than Team Romanoff.  Nonetheless, Romanoff just had far more people in the room.

Organization can help make sure that your supporters show up, which is obviously very important.  Organization can also make sure that your team wins close calls, like disputes in rules or providing alternates for missing delegates.  And organization can help win over undecided voters.  But this was the precinct caucus -- undecideds mostly don't come.  (Well, so far it looks like about 7% of the Democratic caucus goers are uncommited, compared to the 26% of Democratic primary voters who are undecided.)  So the end result looks unsurprising, with Romanoff on top but both candidates easily qualifying for the ballot.

Meanwhile, the GOP caucus is looking really interesting, and it's not clear yet whether Norton will prevail. So I'm guessing the headlines tomorrow will say something to the effect of "insider candidates take a beating" or something.

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