Sioux City Precinct Experiences "No Problems" on Caucus Night

Feb 4, 2020

CAUCUS NIGHT AT PRECINCT 19 IN SIOUX CITY, IA
Credit Siouxland Public Media

The Iowa Democratic Party says results from the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses have been delayed indefinitely due to “quality checks” and “inconsistencies” in some reporting.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer spent last night at ONE caucus in Sioux City where things appeared to run smoothly.

“I hereby call this caucus to order.”   

ABBIE GAFFEY LEADS CAUCUS NIGHT AT PRECINCT 19 IN SIOUX CITY, IA
Credit Siouxland Public Media

Abbie Gaffey leads the caucus for the 19th Precinct at North Middle School’s library in Sioux City, one of more than 40 locations in Woodbury County.

One-hundred and twenty-fived registered Democrats showed up here.

Gaffey’s only gaffe came with a little math at the beginning of the night.

“I apologize. I majored in English.”

“We forgive you.”

A quick correction.  And, no complaints from the room full of supporters for seven different candidates and a few undecided.

“If your group has 19 people you are a viable group.”

After everyone grouped together for their most popular politician.  Biden brought three dozen people (29%) followed by Bernie and Buttigieg with a near tie at 27 and 26 (22/23%). 

CAUCUS NIGHT 2020

Three viable candidates, with Warren in fourth place, then Klobuchar, Yang and…

“Is there a Steyer group?”

Then, it was time to realign.

“BERNIE, BERNIE.”

“I-O-W-A, Mayor Pete all the way.”

“My original candidate was Andrew Yang.  I’m weighing all of the candidates and I think I’m going with Mayor Pete.  He is above Biden and Bernie for me at least.”

NORTH HIGH STUDENT SUSI PHUNG
Credit Siouxland Public Media

That’s 18-year-old Susi Phung, a North High schooler, attending her first caucus and she’s not the only one new to this political game. 

“Do you like Sioux City?  I love it”  

So, is Brandon Sanchez who recently moved here from Illinois.

“It’s interesting to have my vote count.  Like in Illinois you are swallowed up.”

BRANDON SANCHEZ
Credit Siouxland Public Media

“Is everyone where they want to be?”

And, after some coaxing and coaching, Biden still came out on top with 45 votes or 36%, Mayor Pete bumped Bernie into third place. 

However, all three candidates received three delegates to the county convention.

Five people did leave without picking a back-up.

“Pandemonium, but a good pandemonium.  We had a new system this year we had to use a tracking application,” said Gaffey.

REPORTER: “Did you notice any trends from tonight?    

PRECINCT 19 LEADER ABBIE GAFFEY
Credit Siouxland Public Media

“I did notice the Amy Klobachar group got up in mass and went to the Biden group, that you might suspect because they are both moderate candidates.  The Warren team ended up splitting.  Some went to Mayor Pete and some went to Bernie.  And, the Yang people went to Buttigieg.   So, they were looking for young candidates with fresh voices within the Democratic party,” said Gaffey.

Organizers of this caucus say a few more people showed for 2020, but without the drama of four-years ago when Clinton and Sanders supporters didn’t see eye-to-eye.

“There were some naughty words said and people had to be reprimanded.  But, this time we didn’t eject anybody, everybody behaved themselves,” said Gaffey.

“Last time was bad.  This time it wasn’t as rowdy.”

That’s Sarah Oyadare, a native of Nigeria, who picked Joe Biden as her top choice for the Democratic nomination.

SARAH OYADARE
Credit Siouxland Public Media

“He’s the best candidate to beat Trump, that’s why I chose to vote for him.”

And, precinct leader Abbie Gaffey says that’s the goal as she ended up with her third choice on caucus night, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“I really wanted to pick a female candidate.”

“I am perfectly happy.  I will work with whomever.”

Woodbury County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Dumkrieger released this statement to Siouxland Public Media News on caucus night,  “The results were slow, but our planning and the dedication of our volunteers made the night successful.  On to the general.” 

CAUCUS NIGHT AT NORTH MIDDLE SCHOOL LIBRARY IN SIOUX CITY, IA
Credit Siouxland Public Media