January 3rd, 2008
10:08 PM ET
5 years ago

Richardson supporters moving to Obama camp

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Obama and Richardson chat at Sen. Tom Harkin's Steak Fry in Iowa.(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) - CNN’s Candy Crowley reports that supporters of Bill Richardson in Iowa are now moving over to Barack Obama as their second-choice candidate - a vital designation in the Democratic caucuses. A Clinton source tells her that “The 'Richardson thing’ is real," and that Clinton supporters in the caucuses report “people are moving en masse from Richardson to Barack Obama.”

Obama supporters dispute the reports.

Earlier Thursday, word spread that Richardson caucus goers in precincts where the former New Mexico governor was not “viable” – could not meet the required 15 percent threshold - were being urged to go with Obama as their second-choice candidate.

A Richardson spokesman told CNN that “no deal was cut between the two campaigns.”

The spokesman also said that there is a “natural overlap between Richardson and Obama supporters” on such issues as the war in Iraq and bringing change to Washington.

January 3rd, 2008
10:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Elation at Obama caucus night event

Shock turned to celebration among Sen. Obama's supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Shock turned to celebration among Sen. Obama's supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At Obama's caucus night headquarters in Des Moines, the hall is filling up with people - many young - screaming "We did it!" When they see returns on the big screen TVs ,the crowd bursts into spontaneous rounds of Obama's campaign chant: "Fired up - Ready to go!"

Obama aides say returns show Obama did better than expected among seniors and in rural districts.

The candidate himself seemed to be in a confident mood today. At a visit to a restaurant this afternoon he told diners "I feel good" or "We're doing great."

Obama began the day playing about an hour's worth of basketball with staff and old friends. He spent this evening with family at the Residence Inn and is expected at this hall later in the evening.

Meanwhile, CNN's Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson report a mellow, but not morose crowd of a few hundred gathering in Des Moines for Hillary Clinton's speech. Clinton aides are passing out a potpourri of signs as supporters wait to hear from their candidate – "AFSCME for Hillary," "Women for Hillary," "Ready for Change."

UPDATE: "There's a lot of hugging going on. Everyone is excited, and quite frankly shocked," Steve Hildebrand, Obama's deputy campaign manager, tells CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. "We started a year ago. In a lot of respects it was a dream. We started with nothing. We were up against a Clinton, and a former vice presidential candidate who spent the last six years in Iowa.

But we've only won one state. There are 49 to go. There's no doubt this will be a protracted fight. We have 26 more contests in the next 33 days."

He added that Obama, who has been watching results with his family and a small group of friends at his hotel, will be heading to the HyVee Hall soon for the party, then on to Portsmouth, New Hampshire around midnight.

–CNN's Jessica Yellin


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
January 3rd, 2008
10:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Independents overwhelmingly support Obama

Independent voters overwhelmingly support Barack Obama.

Independent voters overwhelmingly support Barack Obama.

Schneider: Independents overwhelmingly support Obama

In a result bodes well for Barack Obama heading into New Hampshire, the Illinois Democrat overwhelmingly won among Independent voters - 40 percent of those voters chose Obama, compared to 25 percent for John Edwards and 14 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Why is this good news for Obama? Only 20 percent those who attended the Democratic caucuses said they were Independents. But a significantly higher percentage of self-indentified Independents are expected to vote in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary next week.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
January 3rd, 2008
09:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Setting the stage for Hillary Clinton

Workers set up the stage for the caucus night campaign rally for Hillary Clinton.

Workers set up the stage for the caucus night campaign rally for Hillary Clinton.

DES MOINES, Iowa – After hours of watching aides tweak the podium and pace the press area, the crowd has finally filed into the ballroom at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines. Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", a Clinton campaign soundtrack staple, filled the somewhat subdued room.

The ballroom is small and will pack fast. One assumes the temperature will rise from chilly comfortable to summer in Iowa.

Red, white and blue lights sit behind the curtains to give the old-fashioned space a patriotic glow. When Hillary Clinton emerges to speak to the crowd later this evening, she will do so in front of a large "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead Banner." There is a long tiered platform behind her posing the possibility that supporters and family members will stand behind her.

Reporters, producers and photographers are crammed on the riser trying to make nice, although there's already been a food spill and a hot light clipped a journalist as it tipped over. One imagines camaraderie will fade when the candidate takes the stage and the whole press corps surges forward to get the shot.

–CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson


Filed under: Uncategorized
January 3rd, 2008
09:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Quiet night for Romney

Mitt Romney spoke in Des Moines, Iowa Thursday.

Mitt Romney spoke in Des Moines, Iowa Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)– Supporters of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are trickling in to the campaign’s Iowa headquarter in West Des Moines.

It's a very subdued crowd here, some still watching big TV screens, others just walked away from them after the results were projected. An adviser to the campagn points to the strong evangelical turnout among caucus goers for Romney's loss. That was the big wild card for Romney despite campaigning here for nearly a year and spending over six-million dollars on ads in Iowa.

Romney's family was with him on the campaign trail today. The campaign said he was watching results with them here at the hotel. We are waiting for him to come italk to his supporters.

Romney has been saying in recent days that if he comes in second, it would be a strong statement. He appeared confident earlier in the day, when he told crowds that he looked forward to debating the Democratic nominee.

–CNN's Mary Snow


Filed under: Iowa • Mitt Romney
January 3rd, 2008
09:25 PM ET
6 years ago

The tense caucus night wait

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – So far, the press has spent hours watching aides tweak the podium and pace the press area, here in the ballroom at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines.

The ballroom is SMALL and will pack fast once supporters filter in - one assumes the temperature will rise from chilly comfortable to summer in Iowa. Areas outside the room have been set up for folks to mix and mingle - which we're told by aides they're doing.

Red, white and blue lights sit behind the curtains to give the old-fashioned space a patriotic glow. When Hillary Clinton emerges to speak to the crowd later this evening, she will do so in front of a large "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead Banner." There is a long tiered platform behind her posing the possibility that supporters and family members will stand behind her.

Reporters, producers and photographers are crammed on the riser trying to make nice - although there's already been a food spill and a hot light clipped a journalist as it tipped over. One imagines comraderie will fade when the candidate takes the stage and the whole press corps surges forward to get the shot.

–CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Iowa
January 3rd, 2008
09:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: How Huckabee won

Mike Huckabee campaigned in Grinnell, Iowa Thursday.

Mike Huckabee campaigned in Grinnell, Iowa Thursday.

Mike Huckabee's victory in Iowa’s GOP caucus can be largely attributed to his overwhelming support among evangelical voters and women, our entrance polling shows.

Evangelicals constituted the majority of Republican caucus goers (60 percent), and our entrance polling shows Huckabee won 45 percent of that group. Mitt Romney, who has heavily courted social conservatives only drew 19 percent of those voters.

Huckabee also overwhelmingly won the female vote, picking up close to 45 percent of women, to only 23 percent for Romney.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Mike Huckabee
January 3rd, 2008
09:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton camp, EMILY's List beckon newcomers

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – A heavy turnout at the Iowa caucuses might favor New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, thanks to key support from a powerful ally.

Clinton received a big boost from EMILY’s List, a national group that works to elect women candidates who favor abortion rights. The group contacted 60,OOO Iowa women with no history of caucusing and asked them to support Clinton.

The Clinton campaign itself also contacted tens of thousands of Iowans who had never caucused before. Most of them were age 50 and above. The campaign set up a "buddy" system to encourage the newcomers to attend caucuses.

A rush of new caucus goers tonight could mean good news for Clinton as it could for her Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

–CNN's Candy Crowley


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
January 3rd, 2008
09:12 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: War in Iraq more of an issue for Dems

The top issues among Democratic caucus goers are the war in Iraq, the economy and health care.

The top issues among Democratic caucus goers are the war in Iraq, the economy and health care.

(CNN) - The war in Iraq is the top issue among Democratic caucus goers, but not among Republicans, our entrance polling shows. More than a third of Democrats say the war in Iraq trumps all issues, while only 17 percent of Republicans name it the top issue.

Rounding out the top issues for the Democrats are the economy and health care, while the top issues for Republicans are immigration and the economy.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Iraq
January 3rd, 2008
08:43 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Democrats about change

Obama greets diners at a food court on caucus day.

Obama greets diners at a food court on caucus day.

(CNN) - In what could prove to be good news for the Obama campaign, the first waves of entrance polling are showing Democratic caucus goers overwhelmingly chose their candidate based on who they felt could bring about the most change. More than 50 percent named change as the most important attribute in a candidate, compared to only 8 percent who picked electability.

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Democrats
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