January 3rd, 2008
10:25 PM ET
7 years ago

Iowa caucus turnout shatters record

Caucus goers enter the Lovejoy Elementary School in Des Moines.

The Iowa Democratic Party said that with 96 percent of the precincts reporting, they were seeing record turnout, with 227,000 caucus attendees. In 2004, their turnout was about 125,000 caucus goers.

The Iowa Republican Party is also projecting record turnout, with 120,000 people taking part in the Republican caucuses. About 87,000 people took part in the 2000 Republican caucuses.

Filed under: Iowa
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Stephen

    David R,

    Good for you. If more Americans actually lost sleep in order to figure out who would be best to lead this country, we'd truly be heading in the right direction.

    January 3, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  2. Jolt


    Asking someone where they went to school and calling them immature are not very persuasive ways to make arguments. If you disagree with Fred, you should argue on the issues and be ready to defend yourself with a real argument.

    There are many good reasons to not vote Republican this year. The poor management of a war which is costing our country over 1 billion dollars a day, our struggling education system, our broken health care system. I don't think our country can survive four more years of Republican incompetence and hypocrisy.

    -Harvard Class of '88

    January 3, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  3. Paul

    As a person who has traveled the world extensively, I can say Clinton was well respected and liked around the world. I can't say the same for Mr Bush. Congrats to Mr. Obama, but I must admit my heart is with Mr Edwards.

    Out of Iraq
    National heathcare for all
    Stop global warming

    Sicko! Sicko!, SAicko!

    January 3, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  4. Jito463

    You may want to look at the real caucus numbers from KCCI, the local CBS affiliate (channel 8 for those who live there). The Democrats had pathetic numbers compared to anything the GOP had. Even Rudy's numbers – at 3% – were massive compared to the numbers for the Dems combined.


    January 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. joey

    Yeahhh for Fred..

    the republicans told us for years (before 2000) that they had all the answers, that they were right about everything. Well they had their chance, now .. for six years virtually unobstructed in absolutely every way. They had carte blanche to do just about ANYTHING, and they DID IT.
    And everything they did was to build the power of their own elitist party.
    And now the country is worse off in EVERY way.
    By any measure you can offer, the US is diminished.
    They have destroyed America in ways terrorists could not.

    They have acted ONLY in the interest of their party, their power, and their wealth, to the detriment of us all.
    .. and then denied accountability to themselves for their bad decisions.

    yep.. we are sick of it.. good riddance

    January 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  6. Jito463

    Hmm, just discovered that the Dems don't show the "true" caucus numbers. Instead, their numbers are based on the number of "delegates" for them, or some such. Crazy. In which case, there's really no way to tell just who had the biggest turnout.

    January 4, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  7. Lee

    Rich in Salt Lake City: The world is a scary place, and you are one reason why. It would serve our country well, if more people would pay attention to the political process, and try to make informed, intelligent decisions on which candidate will bring positive changes to this small country in a global world, than worry about sports scores.

    January 4, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. homosapiens

    Hey Rich, do us all a favor and go to a game somewhere on election day. One of the problems we have is idiots voting who never bothered to inform themselves on the issues, but take their freedoms for granted.

    January 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  9. Jeff B


    You know, you may think you're being cool and slightly cynical in that knowing kind of way-well, guess what, buster? The joke's on you, and it has been for decades–and you've just been too hooked to your need to score easy "sophistication" points to see it. Well, if tonight's any indication, those days are over for the good ol' U..S.A. Step up to the plate already or get out of the way.

    January 4, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  10. Jim in Denver

    As a strong Democrat over 65 I'm elated with the Obama Edwards wins in Iowa. The heavy turnout by the Democrats is a message of doom to the "Republic" party and their absurd president. To the "republic" righties who still consider CNN part of the "liberal media", whatever that means, I salute your ignorance and outdated Rove arrogance. I stopped watching CNN long ago. Lou Dobbs is about as bad as it gets. He should be doing sports for FOX noise. Bye bye Repubs and GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  11. Aaron M

    This is the real story of the night, disenfranchised America is finally waking up and getting up to vote!

    January 4, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  12. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    This is because Iowans - like many Americans, I believe, are desperately seeking a chance from Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton in their future.

    January 4, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  13. Chad

    I'm an Independent and I attended my first caucus last night. Figured the Democratic field is strong with many good/great candidates, so decided to caucus Republican to help choose the best possible candidate on that side of the fence. I tend to vote for the person who best aligns with my own personal beliefs rather than blindly following a party line and I really wish more people would do the same.

    This election truly is about changing and undoing the damage that has been done by the Bush/Cheney regime and I can see a desire in both parties to do this...its not Just the Dems that are stumping on change, tho they Are the most vocal about it.

    I love the fact that we saw record turnouts on both sides last night...the Democratic caucus was just down the road from my house and there were people parking blocks away from the location...truly an impressive turnout. On the Republican side, we saw 1300 caucusers cram into a community college gym...again, Far more than anyone expected to show up! People are passionate on both sides about changing from the current regime. Some of you need to get over the idea that all Republicans are evil minions of Bush and buy into Obama's message of unifying the people of the United States of America...it shouldn't be an "us vs. them" world all the time; we can all learn to work together.

    I guess that's part of the reason I becam an Independent...I don't feel the obligation to espouse on the virtues of any one of the 2 parties and denounce the other one as evil and "rejected."

    Here's looking forward to watching the outcomes of the primaries...Can't wait to see who we get to choose from for the general election!

    January 4, 2008 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  14. mark wilkes barre pa

    Fred,,, this is just the first caucus of many to come,, calm down man. your gonna ruin your keyboard with the froth drippin from your mouth, lol,,,, this is not a mandate of american voters, this is alot of excited people showing up at the FIRST caucus. Hasn't this caucus been hiped for the last month ? Fred let me burst your froth bubble with this little fact there has been only one president elected to office in recent times who one there caucuses,,,,,BETTER GET A TOWEL FRED,,,,,,,,GEORGE WALKER BUSH,, OUCH,, WOW,, ZING,,,, caucus in our times only sway dumb people to vote for someone they would not have otherwise voted for,, Don't be dumb,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    January 4, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  15. mark wilkes barre pa

    john ralston,,,, as I agree with you that some of the comments above are at best premature,, your comment,,, bush wasn't even elected in 2000 was rediculas, old , and until you and whoever can get rid of the electorial vote,, YOU are wrong my friend. Move on Man,, it's not healthy,,

    January 4, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  16. Ray

    Ignorance is rampant today, amazing.

    The surplus in the 1990s was due to a REPUBLICAN congress and had nothing to do with Clinton, he just needed to sign the paper, but he didn't support the changes. In fact, Newt needed to send the same bill to him 4 times before Billy Boy signed it because it had significant welfare reform.

    Difference between the last 7 years and the previous 8? We're at war. Roosevelt and Truman didn't have a surplus during their years in war. Surely you can't expect this administration to have one. Not to mention the HUGE unemployment during the WWII years compared to record low unemployment numbers during the Bush administration.

    The sad truth is that if Clinton wasn't so "busy" spending "quality time" with his interns, he would have taken care of the terrorist threat after one of the four previous attacks on American interests. We most likely wouldn't be in a situation where we needed to destroy the surplus. So in reality, Billy Boy himself is responsible for the the current deficit, albeit indirectly.

    Some people want to say America has rejected the Republicans. Well, it's less to do with rejecting one party over the other. After Roosevelt and Truman (both Democrat) successfully defeated Germany and Japan in WWII, the Americans elected a Republican, Eisenhower. After Kennedy and Johnson (Democrats) messed up Vietnam, America elected Nixon (Republican). After the cold war win by Reagan/Bush Sr (Republicans), America elected Billy Boy (Democrat).

    If you don't know, when a sailor wants to sail "into the wind", she will actually zig-zag through the wind. That is sort of how Democracy works, I believe. Democracy is sailing into the wind, not with it at our backs. In order to sail into the wind, we will need to zig-zag from left to right and left again.

    January 4, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  17. Ivelisse


    should we actualyy pay attention to the 2% of the residents of Iowa?????

    January 4, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. Rob

    Freaks! It's like a political hype-man convention here. I can understand the excitement felt by Democrats concerning the turnout. It does give the impression that the states 7 electoral votes will go to the Democrats.

    In 2004, Democrats turnout was about 125,000 caucus goers. Republicans had about 87,000 people take part in 2000 since President Bush ran unchallenged for a second term in 2004. 1,505,814 votes were cast during the 2004 general election. Bush got 751,957 (50%) of the vote and Kerry received 741,898 (49%). Very close.

    The Iowa Caucus had a turnout of about 347,000 – not 1,505,814. Plus, votes cast during the caucus are still subject to change depending on any late entries or “breaking stories” the campaigns have planned.

    Enjoy the perception of momentum because it can feel the minds of the weak with joy. Just remember about 1,158,814 Iowans have yet to cast their vote and November is still a long time away.

    January 4, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Markus

    Well said Chad. Rather than re-hash all that you said I'll just state here that I second your opinion, and state that what we need in this country is more independents.

    January 4, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Steven

    Fred and Bob,

    I understand where you are coming from. Let me just add that Dems are just as bad as Repubs! I am tired of politics as usual on both sides! To blame one side and not the other is biased but you have every right to do so! Iowa has spoken and the other 49 states are awaiting their turn. It will be an interesting ride.

    January 4, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Shannon, Charlottesville, VA

    Mary Butts: Your comment is a distraction from the truth that the Republican party is a miserable failure.

    January 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. tr88

    I'm not quite sure how many of the commentators see what happened last night as the end of Republicans, I sure don't. Just the opposite.

    Mccain will make Obama look like he is a candidate for Student Council President., if Hillary doesn't destroy him first – and she is surely going to gve it her best.

    Obama's gaffes on foreign policy will resurface and his hat in hand diplomacy style will result in a huge defeat.

    January 4, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. tr88

    Is it me or is CNN overly trying to downplay the big story last night, the vulnerability of the brilliant, presumptive nominee?

    Wolf looked like he was choking back tears. All that access and nowhere to go with it.

    January 4, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Jay

    It is great to see more and more people becoming involved in the political process and getting their voice heard. This brings more meaning to "We the people..."

    I disagree with Fred's assessment of the results from the attendance at the Iowa Caucus:

    In 2004 59% of Iowa Caucus participants were Democrats and in 2008, 65% percent of participants were democrats. In 2004 Democrats had the majority at the Iowa Caucus but still voted as a Republican State come election day. Is Caucus attendance a fair assessment of voter turnout?

    In Iowa both parties can use these numbers to get voters excited to get out the vote. If the results of the Iowa Caucus are the ballot come voting day I think the United States of America will be in good hands – no matter what the outcome!

    January 4, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Shannon O'Hara

    Iowa may have won a PR result by getting the World's Press and TV to spend their money in your State.

    But Iowan citizens should feel ashamed: You have 1,900,000 registered Voters – 334,000 decided to contribute to the Democratic process.

    5.69% of the electorate – 94% of Voters felt that the exercise was a waste of time.

    Why does your State Governor, Chet Culver, do nothing to galvanise people to exercise the right which so much blood, sweat, tears and tragedy over the centuries has given them?

    Kind Regards

    Shannon O'Hara

    January 4, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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