January 3rd, 2008
10:25 PM ET
11 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. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    People on both the Republicans and Democrats should be happy. Why you ask? It is important to note that more people came out than before. That is a good thing because it shows (at least for right now) more people feel it important to take a role in the process. I hope that this leads to more of the public involvement in all of the governmental process. We, as Americans, should be ashamed and embarressed because our turn out for voting for president or any other elected office is so low. I am sure that most other countries that have open, free and fair elections have much higher turn outs. Why can't we, as Americans, have regular turn outs for election in the 70% to 80% range. I know that asking for 90% is asking for too much.

    January 4, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Jean, Des Moines, Iowa.

    As a caucus goer in Des Moines last evening, I want to say I am very proud of the intelligent and well informed Democrat participants we have in Iowa. Speaking as a member of the Democrat party, this is very serious business for us and we do not take our caucus votes lightly.
    To JITO463, what in the world are you talking about? I cannot understand your math – I also watched KCCI last night after the caucus and read the Des Moines Register this morning. – the turnout for my party was tremendous. My precinct in anticipation of a large crowd, moved our caucus from our local elementary school to the local high school cafeteria and it was packed!. Also I have spoken to a number of people who attended other precincts in Des Moines and surrounding towns and they reported the same – We came out in huge numbers!.
    I would like to make a comment about the republican vote for Huckabee – My prayer is that the republicans who vote for him because he is a "Christian", remember that our country's laws are based on the United States Constitution and not the Chrisitan Bible. We are a country of all faiths, cultures and races – not mainly Caucasian "pseudochristians" who wave Bibles and shout Bible verses but in turn, advocate war, do care not about the poor or global warming, believe corporate greed is okay and intolerance of all who do not believe or "act" as they do. Remember Christians – bottom line from Jesus – "The Golden Rule."

    January 4, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Bob, Seattle

    Record attendance is NOT a tribute to any particular 'rock star'.

    Record attendance is merely a response to how important this particular White House race happens to be to the folks.

    America (and the world) truly is facing some heavy duty issues. Immigration, Social Security and the welfare state, Economy, Islamic radicalism, Globalization, Healthcare, etc. Americans are KEENLY interested. Congress owns it's all time lowest ratings. Americans want change and are showing that they are ready to fight for it.

    Americans are showing that this particular race is not ordinary. It is about extra-ordinary issues. Extra-ordinary fears. This translates into extra-ordinary participation.

    Go Obama.

    Go Huckabee/McCain.

    January 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. ali

    While I'm very happy with last nights results (okay, Kucinich was my man, but Obama and Edwards were right behind him imho), let's not get too cocky.

    Remember all the vote suppression in 2000/2004/2006? Voter caging? It's still going on, just not in the primaries. There are criminal activities going on with respect to voter suppression (vice the handful of cases of voter fraud).

    The thing that worries me is what the Bush administration will do between Nov 2008 and Jan 2009. Will the shredders be running overtime? What criminal acts will they attempt to cover-up? What will they do when they realize that their criminal acts will get hit the full light of day?

    The Charles Foxtrot that is our voting system needs to be fixed before we can truly fix the problems facing this country. Gerrymandering also needs to be fixed to get some new blood into Congress.

    To quote Robert F Kennedy Jr, "Republicans are 90% corrupt, Democrats are 60% corrupt." I'm just thankful that the apparent move towards 'change' is advancing those who apparently are not largely beholden to lobbyists and corporations.

    And Mary, you can't seriously think that President Clinton's actions are in the same league as the Bush administration? What he (Clinton) did was wrong. In many other democracies (yes there are other democracies in the world, many truer democracys than our shambles), the same action would have led to resignation. But what President Clinton did pales in comparison to Bush, Cheney, et al.

    What the Bush administration has done and continues to do is criminal and has done damage to the nation's reputation that will take generations to fix (domestically and internationally). Mary, you're the one that needs to open your eyes and mind.

    January 4, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Nick

    All I see on this page is a bunch of ignorant democrats bashing the republican party for trying to keep the United States from becoming a socialist society like France. Heck I think the dems wouldn't mind if we became a communist society. That's the problem with democrats, they think everyone should be on an equal playing field even if you don't work for it, that to me sounds like comunism.

    Republicans will overcome.

    January 4, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. LibsAreSoDumb

    Its too funny that Libs in this country are just so ignorant. Just because you hear or read something from our wonderfully corrupt liberal media doesnt make it true. Learn some history, open your minds and get an education. Both political parties are corrupt and have been for years. However, you better be real scared of the party that has the entire main stream media as a cheering squad.

    I find the truth is somewhere in the middle. Bush is not as bad as what you are told he is, and the Dems are not as shinny clean as you are told they are. There will be no REAL change in this country with the media we have in place and without vast changes in our political system.

    My personal prediction for 2008 is this (and please dont think I care if you agree with me or not): Obama gets the nod and no matter who the republican cadidate is wins due to the lasting (unspoken) prejudice that still exists in this country. Like it or not, there are a very large number of people in this country that will not vote for a black man. Especially one that is a Muslim.

    I'll end on this note which makes a strong point about the media. Why is it every time a Republican candidate is mentioned in a "news" article, thier religious beliefs are noted, yet if I didnt look it up myself I would have never know Obama was a Muslim and Hillary an Atheist ?

    January 4, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. johnny, Des Moines

    The Republican's campaigns are for the most part based on anthropogenic climate change denial, picking on Mexicans, and talking about Christianity without actually practicing it. Considering this, and what they've done for the country in the past few years its no surprize that the Democrats had double their turnout. Winning the Republican nomination is going to be the political equivalent of winning the NIT.

    These results are close to what we will see nationally. Iowa is essentially a microcosm of the United States. Its a little whiter than average, but thats a surface difference – the attitudes are similar. Yes, there is alot of farmland here, but most of our residents live in cities, just like the rest of the country.

    Shannon O'hara, check your math. 334,000 voters out of 1,900,000 registered voters is 17.6%, not 5.69%. The computer you typed your message on should have a calculator function, so it should have been a trivial matter to get the numbers right.

    January 5, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  8. johnny, Des Moines

    Jito463 wrote:
    "Dems don't show the "true" caucus numbers. Instead, their numbers are based on the number of "delegates" for them . . . there's really no way to tell just who had the biggest turnout"

    Actually the Democrats do track the number of attendees as well as the number of delegates sent. I was there and they counted and reported all attendees. Thats how we know the tally. You should probably listen to Rush or one of the other professional writers to get your spin. Amateur right wing spin is generally pretty weak.

    January 5, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  9. gary from maryland

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again ,and expecting better results.

    Why don't we try Ron Paul all the way. Let's go by the Constitution and stop spending money around the world that is paid back to our politicians in lobby money.(read " The Economic Hit Man") Let's secure our borders so, not only illegals are stopped, but the one million felons would have been stopped that are killing, raping, and robbing us. Let's stop borrowing trillions from China, and giving them our technology. Let's pay off our deficit instead of adding to it every year. Let's stop the Repubicans and the Democrats from turning the U.S.A into the North American Union( google Security, Peace and Prosperity act of 2005). Our country's sovreignty is being taken from us: do any of you know this is happening,(other than the Ron Paul voters).

    January 5, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  10. Greg -FL

    Lot's of uninformed individuals here, but I am not surprised.

    Fred – what single dollar was taken from domestic programs to 'pay for the war'. Name one.

    Others – what exactly has President Bush done that is criminal? Draw the exact same conclusion from intelligence that President Clinton, Senator H. Clinton, John Kerry and a majority of world leaders had. Why did the vast majority of public officials here and abroad have the same views on Saddam Hussein up until it was decided to be a political issue for Dems to win in 2004?

    Are people so ignorant that we should not listen to terror suspects communicate with terror leaders oversees to stop their plans. We have used the exact same technique domestically for organized crime for years. Ignorance seems to be bliss in this country, at least on the left.

    January 5, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Obama's my man

    I am abroad in France this year and it is hardly a communist society. People mobilize and are educated about the political system and when they strike–the system listens. It is the best example of a working Democracy which is responsible to the reactions of its citizens–in the world.
    The republicans have in NO way prevented a sway from democracy in america. Instead, they have misinformed the public and ignored the citizens' reactions to their crimes and defiances of the Constitution... doing whatever they please, unchecked, to inflate their bank accounts. They have killed thousands of Americans and Afghanis and Iraqis to secure oil supplies which will be withheld until the best price can be demanded for them from the American people. The current administration has turned us into more of a totalitarian state than a true democracy.

    It's time to turn it around.

    I dont know if any of the candidates can make us more of a successful democracy in a few short terms of presidency, but if anyone can do it, Barak's my man. And the fact that he's muslim?? Well that just means he is the most fit of all the candidates to deal with foreign affairs in the Muslim countries we are facing in conflict NOW. Anyone who would not vote for him because of his skin color or religion is ignorant and racist and I can only hope there are less of those turning out to vote than Americans dedicated to righteousness and democracy.

    January 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Just the facts, please


    Clinton did slow the growth of the national debt, but the debt continued to grow under his presidency. Here are the figures taken from the U.S. Treasury Department website.

    Clinton's 1st day as President
    National DEBT on Jan 20, 1993............ $4,188,092,107,183.60 $Tril

    Clinton's last day as President
    National DEBT on Jan 19, 2001............ $5,727,776,738,304.64 $Tril

    DEBT: Down/(Up) under Clinton........ ($1,539,684,631,121.04) $Tril
    The national debt is now at about 9 trillion under Bush.

    I would urge everyone to be wary of extreme right or left propaganda. The truth USUALLY lies somewhere in the middle. Clever elites throughout history have played the masses against one another to prevent true change. Don't be played, don't play the hate game or we all lose.

    January 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Cayden

    It's amazing how people manage to contort history. The last 25 years of politics have been dominated by REPUBLICAN leaders and in the last 25 years massive amounts of wealth have been created, millions around the world have been lifted out of proverty because of beneficial trade agreements, homeownership has soared to record levels, etc., etc. The last 25 years have been good years in America; that is, if you actually look at the numbers and stop listening to the rhetoric of opportunist politicians.

    There's no doubt that the country is ready for change and we still have a long way to go and many things to fix; but I wish we could stop being Republicans and Democrats and start being just plain old Americans. I also hope that we as a country do not succumb to the siren song of populism and socialism. History has shown that capitalism is the only economic organization that works. It was not until China adopted more capitalist practices that their people began to enjoy greater prosperity and higher standards of living. It was not until the communist regime in soviet Russia that people stopped regularly starving. The citizens of these nations have paid a great cost to learn these lessons. Let's learn from their mistakes and not endure the poverty, disease, and lower standards of living that are sure to come if we should embrace things like universal health care, protectionist policies, government mandated caps on CEO pays, etc. Economics is not a game of opinions. Just like math 2+2 will always be 4 and capitalism will always result in a nation that is more prosperous and enjoys a higher standard of living than socialism.

    January 5, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. Phil

    What I don't understand is if NAFTA and these "beneficial" trade agreements are working so well, why are the immigrants pouring over the border from Mexico? I thought NAFTA was supposed to STOP that, not increase it.

    The trade agreements are a sham.

    January 6, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. Globoin


    Thanks for being willing to take such treatment! My turn.

    Bush isn't doing what he has promised to do in protecting our national security in terms of immigration. He is doing an excellent job protecting it in terms of the war in Iraq – however, that is not his call.

    The moral equivalancy of the Clinton administration does do more harm to the moral underpinnings of the country, in my opinion.

    January 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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