Horsetrading report from Iowa

· long story short

Charles Eicher reports on his caucus experience in his blog, Disinfotainment. Specifically, he recounts an amusing little horsetrading bit of gamesmanship in which the Kerry supporters managed to screw themselves out of a delegate:

After an initial vote, any candidate polling less than 15% is declared unviable, and those persons must realign to a candidate or declare they are undecided. The only viable candidates were Dean, Kerry, and Edwards. Then everyone is given an opportunity to talk to other caucusgoers, to try to get them to come to their group. And here’s where it got really interesting.
The Kerry group had enough votes to get 4 delegates, but the Dean/Edwards vote was tied, the remaining delegates would have to be decided by coin toss. So the Kerry people decided to screw Dean by shifting 3 surplus voters to Edwards, to make the apportion 4-3-2. When the final vote was called, the Kerry faction discovered that they had miscalculated, they should have only shifted 2 voters, and they lost their 4th delegate. The final split of delegates was 3-3-3. Suddenly the Kerry faction wanted a third vote. They were overruled by the caucus supervisor, but only after much shouting and bickering, and a call to the Democratic Party HQ for a decision on rules. The Kerry people outsmarted themselves, and screwed themselves out of a delegate instead of screwing Dean out of a delegate.