Iowa Democrats Release Initial Candidate Caucus Result Numbers

The Iowa Democratic Party has released additional information and numbers from the Iowa Caucus held on February 5. While the vast majority of precincts did not break into preference groups for the governor’s race or congressional races, some did, and we now know how some of those turned out.

Overall, the party reports that 4,944 delegates were elected on caucus night, 82% of which have had their names entered into the party’s database. Only 109 precincts broke out into preference groups, which account for 6.49% of all precincts. Some of those precincts were larger than others, however, and 582 delegates were elected from preference group precincts, or 11.77% of the total number of delegates. 4,362 delegates were elected from their precinct as a whole, as in they did not get selected via preference group.

As for the current known breakdown of candidate support among those preference group delegates, the party has this:

Type Total
Unverified 242
Glasson 109
Uncommitted 67
Boulton 64
Hubbell 54
Norris 20
Under review 16
Axne 6
Wilburn 2
McGuire 1
Uncommitted – CD 3 1

The Cathy Glasson number is likely to rise sharply considering the precincts whose delegates are still unverified (which means local party members haven’t entered in the data yet) come mainly from Glasson strongholds in the state. Not a single preference group precinct from Johnson County has their delegates confirmed yet, and it looks like those make up just under half of the total unverified delegates. Both Dubuque and Poweshiek counties have two large precincts each that are unverified, as well.

Glasson’s campaign was the only gubernatorial operation that was pushing for preference group breakouts on a statewide basis. While they look to have won the most delegates out of those precincts, it’s still just a small fraction of the overall statewide delegate total. Even if the vast majority of the remaining unverified delegates were for Glasson and she got to around 300 total (which is probably higher than possible), that’s just 6% of the 4,944 delegates elected that night. The question for their campaign going forward is how many of those remaining delegates might favor Glasson but didn’t push for a preference group breakout.

Most of Cindy Axne’s delegates for the 3rd Congressional District appear to have come from her own home precinct, where she nabbed five delegate spots, with herself serving as one of those.

Most campaigns were content to get their supporters elected as delegates through uncommitted groups or just as generic delegates. Internally, they all probably have a good idea of where they really stand in preparation for a potential convention. Nate Boulton’s campaign claimed to have elected “thousands” of supporters to delegate slots on convention night, but that’s impossible to verify just yet.

And in many of the precincts on caucus night, there were legitimately undecided activists who got elected as delegates. All in all, there’s still a lot of jockeying for position that each campaign will be doing between now and the March 24 county conventions. Now the universe of people for that step in the caucus-to-convention process is set – a group of about 5,000 delegates and any number of alternates.

Unlike during a presidential caucus, the party held off on releasing candidate breakdown information until they could get more data verified. The off-year caucuses don’t usually have preference groups. The party will continue to put out more information on delegate numbers as they work with local volunteers to get data entered.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 2/17/18

12 Comments on "Iowa Democrats Release Initial Candidate Caucus Result Numbers"

  • Co chairing Johnson County credentials. My priority is actual process and accuracy, not rushing to help produce a press release that may or may not be correct.

    I just shipped Johnson County data off to IDP last night. (I work in a stand alone database rather than VAN) I spent a three day vacation on data entry, then had to catch up on work and buy a fresh voter file to cross-check for credentials issues.

    Johnson County’s convention size is 251. Here’s what was written down in the packets.

    None – 109 (precincts without groups)

    Glasson 54

    Uncommitted 42. Primarily uncommitted GROUPS but if the precinct wrote down “Uncommitted,” I listed Uncommitted. So this includes some precincts with no groups, including my own (I did not chair or do the paperwork)

    Hubbell 14

    Boulton 13

    Norris 4

    McGuire 1

    One delegate listed as “Glasson” from a one delegate precinct, where technically groups and preference were not supposed to happen. Count that as you will.

    13 seats were not filled. 12 were in precincts where there were not enough people who wanted to be delegates. None of these precincts had groups. One one-delegate precinct was unable to convene due to the weather.

    There are so many lurkers in None and Uncommitted that I think anyone trying to claim “victory” is being disingenuous.

  • Pat, you say: “The question for their campaign going forward is how many of those remaining delegates might favor Glasson but didn’t push for a preference group breakout.” There were at least two precincts in Dubuque Country where that was the case. Both of those precincts (including the one I chaired) were chaired by Glasson supporters, so we couldn’t very well push, had there been enough caucus-goers. We might have had a surrogate push for a breakout, but the other precinct only had 3 people (counting the chair and secretary), and mine only had 11. Hardly enough to break out and give meaningful numbers.
    As John says above, we weren’t even able to elect our full slate of delegates. I blame that on the weather in Eastern Iowa that evening.

    • We often see delegate seats go unfilled in certain precincts in governor years, and sometimes even in presidential years. It depends a lot on the kind of precinct. In rural precincts (Johnson County has several!) few people, even caucus attenders, want to take a whole day on what might be one of the first nice days of spring to attend a convention.

  • There is still plenty of time before the June primary election so I think i t is really to early to claim a leader or possible victor. I think the union voters will split between Glasson and Boulton. . I still personally think that breaking into preference groups for a gubernatorial candidate is not a good idea. Dems should be uniting and not dividing. It is bad enough that we have to divide into preference groups in presidential years so why bring it into gubernatorial years?. To me a better way to elect delegates is to forget about the preference groups and just elect delegate.

    • “Dems should unite not divide” was my pitch for going Uncommitted, even though I personally back Boulton. I got a lot more positive than negative feedback for it – but to hear Team Glasson talk I was “the Establishment” trying to “take away our right to vote.” (Excuse me, you DO remember what I do for a living, right?)

      • Yes, John Deeth, you work for the Johnson County Auditor’s office and then have the nerve to work as a consultant for the Iowa City Community School District as their consultant for the school bond vote, pocketing $500 for doing so. Smells bad.

  • Just to add another tally on the board, I am a delegate from a precinct which did not break into preference groups. We had just enough attendees to fill our delegate posts. I am backing Glasson because she has taken stronger progressive positions which I support, notably Universal Health Care. When we elect candidates, we are not only filling offices, we building a field of potential candidates for future, higher offices. I want someone like her in my future.

  • Before all the Glasson folks get too giddy about this, go back to what a minute representation this is: just 6.8% of all precincts voted to break down by interest groups, and some of those groups were not even based on gubernatorial candidates. It’s not an indicator – not even a fart in the wind.

  • I’m curious about those supporting. Cathy because of universal health care. I think all the candidates support universal health care but I also see that as a federal issue. Help me understand why Cathy has a stronger credibility on that issue than others beyond the fact she’s a nurse. Not criticizing her. Just trying to understand. Thanks.

    • Cathy Glasson has credibility because she didn’t sit with the fat cats who paid a lot of money at the Democratic dinner in Des Moines. She paid $50 to sit in the bleachers to watch the fat cats who paid MORE money to eat dinner. She’s from humble origins and backs a $15 minimum wage for Iowa workers. She’s fighting for fast-food workers while she’s running for governor.

      • She also has no qualifications that suggest she is ready to be the chief executive officer of a state, and her main issue is a federal one. So there’s that.

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