At Nebraska caucuses, Sanders prevails

Attorney David Begley files this report on the Democratic caucuses in Nebraska yesterday:

I observed one of the Democratic caucuses held in Nebraska yesterday. As I was leaving the caucus site my fellow Nebraskan remarked that her experience was “horrific” and she would not do it again. Quite right, as over 700 people were packed into the Ralston Middle School cafeteria which looked to be rated for about 300 children. There was a basketball game in the gym.

Overcrowding was common in Omaha on Saturday. One grade school gym was too small and the event was moved outside. Luckily, it was a very nice day.

The caucus itself was very different from the Iowa GOP event I attended. The voting was public rather than by private ballot. I find that creepy. The counting process was chaotic. There was a little chanting of “feel the Bern.”

As an observer, I was standing by the undecided group. The Sanders guy told them at some point that he “didn’t like numbers.” That irritated me. When he went off about fossil fuels I shot back that I had driven to the caucus and what was I going to do without them. A party official knew I was an observer and told the Sanders guy so.

Sanders won Nebraska with nearly 57 percent of the reported votes at this point. Sanders is reported to have picked up 14 delegates and Clinton 10. The New York Times posts the caucus results here, with 137 of 154 precincts reporting. Seventeen precincts must be using carrier pigeons. The Lincoln Journal Star breaks down the results here.

What does it mean? I think Nebraska Democrats don’t much like Hillary and are dissatisfied with the Obama economy as well as Hillary’s position on Keystone XL. I believe that the party establishment mostly supported Hillary that this was therefore an anti-establishment vote.

The results in Kansas’s Democratic caucuses were like Nebraska’s only more so. Sanders won with nearly 68 percent of the vote. The New York Times posts the results here. Yesterday’s Kansas-Nebraska act turned thumbs down on Hillary.

In Nebraska the caucus process was a complete disgrace and very poorly executed by the Nebraska Dems. The caucus is relatively new here because the primary election is in May and the Democrats have Iowa envy. As I was leaving I came upon an elderly woman navigating down a steep hill with the use of her cane. She had to walk a great distance because the parking lot and side streets were full.

The caucus arrangement disenfranchises people who can’t fiddle away two hours on a Saturday. Only the highly motivated attend. One also has to vote publicly and in a defined window of time. (Absentee ballots were available.) All of this is pretty rich coming from the party that is allegedly all worked up about voting rights.


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