Final results are in for the Iowa satellite caucus in Port Charlotte

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:
Iowa Caucus
Iowa Caucuses 2020 (Credit: MGN)

The Iowa caucus was held Monday, where Democratic candidates are making their last-minute pushes for votes. They are sending everything from text messages, to having people wear their gear and holding rallies.

Those who are registered to vote in Iowa but were in Southwest Florida curing the day’s caucus got to take part in the event at the satellite caucus office in Port Charlotte.

We looked at how the surrogate site works for Iowa voters in Southwest Florida.

Temporary Iowa caucus chair Tome Andre and temporary secretary Susan Hegland have been hard at work preparing for the first Democratic Iowa satellite caucus in Charlotte County.

“Last week, I participated in online training for the satellite caucus,” Andre said.

Andre and Hegland have participated in caucuses since they first started in the 1970 and never left Iowa to go on vacation around caucus time.

“It does get cold in Iowa in the winter, and there are snowbirds that come to Florida or other southern places,” Andre said. “And why shouldn’t they have the opportunity to participate?”

The caucus veterans tell us the satellite caucus, for the most part, will be the same as the ones held in Iowa, with a couple of exceptions.

“You had to pre-register for the satellite caucuses, and you can’t just show up at the door and be a participant,” Andre said.

How the satellite caucus works: Instead of casting votes, Iowans will debate the merits of candidates and go stand in a section of the room that is assigned to the candidate they want to win.

“Absentee balloting is available for every other election but not this,” Hegland said. “And so this takes the place of absentee ballots.”

The caucus officials will count the number of people in each group and double-check

Candidates with the least amount of support are eliminated until there’s enough to declare a winner.

As the caucus got underway, the atmosphere was fun with people laughing and getting along with everyone, even if they support a different candidate; because at the end of the day, the Democrats here say they want to take the White House back.

The final results are already in with Amy Klobuchar taking the lead with 56 votes, Pete Buttigieg had 43 and Joe Biden had 33.

All other candidates were eliminated from this caucus because they didn’t have enough people standing in their corner. That would include Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and others.

People who caucused for them had to go and stand in another candidate’s section.

Based on the final percentages, Klobuchar gets four delegates, Buttigieg gets three and Biden gets two.

Those numbers are sent back to the state and the candidate with the most delegates will win the Iowa caucus.

Iowa is a swing state, so Iowans we spoke to today say it’s important for everyone in the country to pay attention to the Iowa caucus.

“We’re the start,” said caucusgoer Jean Carlson. “I think people see that we are not all decided. Some people are coming to the caucus today and making their decisions today because there are so many that have great qualities.”

“We’re fairly educated on what the issues are and the stances of all the candidates are,” said caucusgoer Bob Shoemaker.

What was interesting here is no one we spoke to could have predicted this outcome.

“I came here to support Joe Biden, and it was a nice group of support, but it wasn’t enough. It’s a little concerning to see a lot of the moderate voters here in Florida from Iowa they really didn’t go for Joe as much as I hoped they would,” said Michael Sondergard.

“We’ll see what happens tonight because this is a select group of older Iowans who are retired and have different ideas about things than what possibly the whole state might have,” said Janice Hopkins.

We spoke to people who were certain Warren was going to be a viable candidate, but then they ended up picking Buttigieg when she was eliminated.

Most people had left the room at about 5 p.m., but the people that were left discussed important issues that should be on their candidate’s platform.

There were 96 satellite caucuses across the world as afar away as the country of Georgia.

This caucus was also surprisingly fast, but we have a while before the final tally comes out.

Most of the caucuses started at 7 p.m.

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