I attended my neighborhood’s precinct Republican caucus last night. The precinct is the smallest defined voting area within Douglas County Colorado where I live. 42 registered Republicans out of 247 registered within that area filled a high school classroom to SRO. (P.S. High school buildings are BIG these days!)
That 17% turnout of warm bodies was probably ‘good’ but I would prefer there be a Presidential Primary in the hopes that more people would express their binding preference for a candidate. Colorado is a ‘caucus’ state. At the precinct caucus you vote for precinct delegates (2 + 2 alternates) to attend the County Assemblies where they vote for delegates to attend the State Assembly and eventually the Republican National Convention, where they vote for a single Republican Presidential Candidate. At every step of the way delegates can express a preference for a candidate but they are not legally bound to ultimately vote for a specific candidate.
During the precinct meeting people have the opportunity to speak their preference in support of a presidential candidate before a casual secret ballot straw poll is taken. 4 or 5 spoke in favor of Mitt Romney (business man, electability). A couple spoke in favor of Ron Paul (stop spending money overseas for foreign aid and wars when we have problems here to deal with). One spoke for Rick Santorum (consistent in what he stands for) and none (!) spoke for Newt Gingrich.
As a room full of like-minded Republicans all were unified in the thought that Obama has got to go.
My precinct poll results were 27 Romney, 7 Santorum, 6 Paul, and 2 Gingrich. Thus I was shocked to find when I returned home that Santorum had won voting in Minnesota and Missouri that night and was leading Romney in Colorado by about 40% to 28%. What’s up with THAT?
The final statewide result was 40% Santorum and 35% Romney, with 13% Gingrich and 12% Paul, so Romney recovered some ground. My Douglas County results were 47% Romney, 33% Santorum, 12% Gingrich, and 8% Paul. About 65,000 Republicans voted statewide, about 6,000 in my county. I suppose that’s not a bad turnout considering warm bodies have to get up and moving on their own personal commitment. Thank goodness the recent 2-foot snowstorm was 4 days past and left only icy side streets in its wake along the heavily populated front range. Note however that 65,000 is less than 10% of 793,000 registered Republicans statewide and 6,000 is likewise against the 71,900 registered in the county. (Someone told us that Douglas County had a 95% Republican turnout in the last presidential election and they were investigated for fraud (to no avail) because that was so high.)
As someone must be saying, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”. We are fortunate IMO to have numerous qualified candidates, any of which would make a ‘decent’ president. Certainly the commitment is stronger than usual this election amongst some of us at least that it’s “Anyone But Obama”. In God, crystals, crossed fingers, etc., We Trust. One can only ‘hope’.