Running Blog: 2012 Iowa Caucuses

The 2012 Iowa GOP Caucuses


Below is a running blog of my time at the Ankeny Precinct 12 caucus site on January 3, 2012.  I came in thinking I would vote for former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, but was open minded and was just as curious about the passion for the other candidates as I was for the process itself.

6:35  I showed up at my usual polling place and was informed that I was in the wrong place.  Precinct 12 in Ankeny votes at the Ankeny Christian Church, but the caucuses were actually being held down the street at the Ankeny Baptist Church.  Luckily, I was just about there anyway and was early enough.

6:38  Arrival at the correct caucus site and find the line is much longer.  After a couple of minutes of disorganization, some poll workers inform us to line up in the correct queue by last name.  I find the L-P line I’m in is much shorter than the F-K line.  Rats.

6:56  I’m finally through the line, having taken about 30 seconds to find GOETZ in the registry.  How did everyone else take so long?  Incompetence is the only answer.  At this time, I step into a Baptist church, just the 2nd time in my life.  It amazes me how austere the environment is compared to a typical Catholic church.  I’m sorry, but give me the stained glass, crucifixes, and altars.

7:01  Kevin Koesters, the state representative from Ankeny, opens the meeting, noting that many more people have yet to check in.

In my casual glances around the church, I took an eye-ball poll of the ages of the people who are near to me, just to see what the demographics would be.  The results don’t really shock me, as our precinct is made up of young families and young professionals, with very few elderly people.

18-30:  20%

30-40: 35%

40-50: 25%

50-60: 10%

60-100: 10%

7:05  The pastor of the church offers a prayer and the people say the Pledge of Allegiance.

7:08 Koesters begins the agenda, which starts with the electing the chairman and the secretary for the caucus, which reminded me an awful lot of the election for delegates in the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  “I nominate Liberty Valance for delegate!  I move the nominations be closed!”  Koesters is voted chair and Joel Jensen is elected secretary.

7:18  The gathering of the speakers for the presidential candidates begins.  No speaker is found for Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, or Mitt Romney, but people from the caucus itself volunteer to speak on their behalf.

7:20  Terry Keck from Ankeny speaks for Michele Bachmann.  He doesn’t have much to say, other than she has an “iron spine” and will be the best to fight Obama because of her doggedness.  Applause factor:  2 out of 10

7:22  Garrett Mehnke, a former aide to Senator Charles Grassley, has prepared remarks for Newt Gingrich.  He declares Newt has the two things required to defeat President Obama:  Experience and ideas.  Applause factor:  7

7:26  Ben LeBlanc, grandson of Ron Paul, speaks about his grandfather.  He expounds on the pro-life doctor and how deep his Christian values are and his deep love for the Constitution.  Applause factor:  9

7:29  Anna Holt, retired Air Force and Ankeny resident, talks for Rick Perry.  His faith and character inspired her to follow him, saying he has real-time executive experience that no other candidate possesses.  Applause factor:  5

7:32 Eric Wilson, another picked-from-the-crowd speaker, converses about Mitt Romney.  His speech begins and ends with one short statement:  Mitt is the only electable candidate.  Applause factor:  5

7:33  Joel Doe (never gave his last name) was the sharpest dresser of the lot, and spoke on behalf of Rick Santorum.  He quoted several founders, including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, and how the GOP needs to duplicate 1980 and 1984 in how to defeat liberals (Ronald Reagan landslides).  Applause factor:  7

7:40  The ballots are allowed to be cast, per direction of Chairman Koesters.  I put my vote in for Santorum.

7:43  The ballots are picked up, usher-style in the pews, by, you guessed it, ushers.

7:46  The rules and transparency of the counting process is explained by Koesters, where 3 stations of 2 people would tally the slips of paper.

7:55  Nominations are taken for Polk County Central Committee.  One man by the name of Steward, looked a little rough and ratty.  The next two who volunteered were normal looking.  A question came up from the back of the congregation of who each person supported.  The ratty guy said Santorum, and one normal guy said Paul, and the other said Perry.  Ratty guy wins, which was my first indication that it was a Santorum crowd and not a Paul crowd, despite the Applause Factor.

8:01  The ballots having been counted, were displayed on a white board at the front of the church.

Rick Santorum  98

Ron Paul  71

Mitt Romney  64

Newt Gingrich  56

Rick Perry  24

Michele Bachmann  13

Jon Huntsman  1

Undecided  1 (Really?  C’mon man!)

Santorum wins Ankeny Precinct 12


~ by goetgre on January 3, 2012.

3 Responses to “Running Blog: 2012 Iowa Caucuses”

  1. I’ve personally never participated in a Caucus, so this was actually interesting to read. I figured it was just like a typical vote, kind of glad I didn’t go and spend so much time since I’ve still got no clue except who I won’t vote for.


  2. Greg, why Santorum? Also who in the hell had the balls to pick Huntsman after he “trashed” Iowa and didn’t bother getting his message out in Iowa?


  3. The entire time I was caucusing, I was thinking, “God, I gotta fart.”

    Precinct 54 Caucus Results:
    41 Paul
    22 Romney
    14 Santorum
    14 Gingrich
    3 Perry
    2 Huntsman
    0 Bachmann

    Ron Paul has ET fingers.
    Mitt Romney is Mexican.
    Rick “The Rodent” Santorum
    Newt Gingrich’s looks like he’s swimming on a full stomach.
    Ricky Perry is one scotch away from a neck tat.
    John Huntsman.
    Michelle Bachmann had a sex tape with Biz Markie.


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