Seattle Politicore - a team of student journalists from the University of Washington - made the trek to the Idaho Democratic Caucus held in Kootenai County last night, as did a record 1205 pumped voters, despite the snowstorm. Barack Obama was the victor of the night, claiming 27 delegates in the Coeur d'Alene contest, compared to Hillary Clinton's 7 delegates. John Edwards's resilient failed to reach the 15% voting level to continue to the state caucus, as did the undecided.
Considering the success in Kootenai County and the 100% of delegates he won in the larger Ada County caucus, the traditionally red state of Idaho has proven to be one of the largest support areas for Obama's campaign. He was the only candidate to visit the state, rallying 150,000 voters in Boise last weekend.
"They said there were no Democrats in Idaho," Obama said at the rally. "I didn't believe them."
He was right not to believe them.
"I feel like I can share without getting blasted by Republicans," said Clinton supporter Tracy Stephenson, dressed with Clinton buttons and t-shirt. Throughout the night, each group referenced an extreme dissatisfaction not only with the current administration, but with Congress as well.
Between boisterous cheers of "O-BAM-A" and less dense but equally passionate "HILL-AR-Y"s, here are some of the highlights from Tuesday night:
"I have been waiting for a candidate like this since 1969," said Obama supporter Daniel Megow, "since Bobby Kennedy. And if Obama gets the nomination, I will be a democrat for life, if not, then I am going to back to being an independent."
While the majority of the crowd chanted for Obama's promise of change, About a fourth of the crowd were supporters of Clinton, highlighting her experience in Washington and attention to reworking healthcare.
"We are making history today," said Stephenson. "We don't just need experience, but we need universal healthcare. We needed it a long time ago. But you can't be smart if you don't have the experience."
Edwards campaign still lived in Idaho last night, but it did not thrive. Kristy Johnson, Sub-Caucus Chair for the Senator's now-finished campaign, praised Edwards for showing how "to be patriotic about something other than war."
"He spoke for one America," she said, referencing Edwards work towards aiding the 37 million Americans still below the poverty line.
Sadly, Edwards campaign (as well as the campaign for the undecideds) each did not receive 15% of the vote and therefore will not take any delegates to the state level.
Long lines outside around 7 p.m., despite blizzard conditions -
The Coeur d'Alene scene as Justin StormoGipson speaks for Barack Obama -