Thursday, January 07, 2016

My job in Iowa

I got my assignment.

First, this is how the Iowa Democratic caucus works. The state is divided into 1,681 precincts. On Monday, February 1, registered Democrats go caucus at their assigned precinct center, which are typically schools, union halls, and churches. They immediately go to separate corners of the room, according to whom they support. Then, people from each side go to other corners and try to convince other people to join their corner. After 30 minutes of convincing, there is a head account, and delegates are proportionally assigned to each candidate.

My job for the three days before the caucus is to knock on the doors of Bernie supporters and make sure they go caucus on Monday, that they are not late, and that they don't get lost. If I get assigned to a rural area, I will have to drive long distances between homes. If I get assigned to the major city of Waterloo (population 68,000), I will be walking door-to-door.

My biggest concern is the cold. It's going to be in the teens to 20s the entire time. It will also definitely be windy. I will need to buy winter gear.

Here is a breakdown of Black Hawk County, where I will be based.
Population: 132,897
Persons over 65 years of age: 14.8%
White: 86.2%
Black: 9.0%
Latino: 4.2%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 2.2%
Foreign born: 4.8%
Language other than English spoken at home: 7.7%
High school graduate or higher: 89.5%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 25.3%
Median household income: $45,747
Persons below poverty level: 17.0%

In 2008, 60.5% voted for Obama, 38.4% voted for McCain.

The area's claim to fame is John Deere tractors:

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