Huckabee, Obama Winners of Iowa Caucuses

While most Americans are setting New Year's resolutions, the 2008 candidates were making the most of their final moments in Iowa, packing in last minute speeches at various campaing stops as they vie for the nomination for the presidency.

From Fox News:

"All the hand-shaking, diner-visiting, coffee-drinking, stump-speaking, driveway-shoveling, teeth-chattering, door-knocking, leaflet-passing, face-to-face campaigning that the 2008 presidential candidates have lost sleep over in Iowa culminates Thursday with the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Candidates are scrambling to make their closing arguments in the last 24 hours, together packing in dozens of appearances in Iowa and blanketing the airwaves with advertisements."

Throughout the day, news sources have covered the commotion of the Iowa Caucuses, updating the status of which candidate is favored over the others, and the curiosity as to who will come out on top is almost too much to handle.

I've been watching the coverage of the Republican Party Caucus on C-Span. I am anxious to find out which candidate those gathered in Carroll, Iowa, have chosen as their nominee. Just watching the votes being counted is almost unbearable.

As the votes are tallied, the camera focuses on the names, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani. This is something I've never witnessed before, and it's rather exciting.

CNN.com describes the voting process:

" The Iowa Democratic Party keeps the total vote tally a secret and only releases the percentage of delegates won by each candidate, so it all comes down to how many delegates each precinct has, not the popular vote.

By comparison, the rules governing the 1,781 Republican caucuses, which are held on the same night as the Democratic caucuses, are pretty simple. The Republican caucuses will use a secret ballot, and, since there is no viability threshold, each vote is simply tallied and the number of votes each candidate gets is reported to party headquarters."Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses in Iowa on Thursday night, turning back a heavily funded effort by Mitt Romney in the first critical test of the 2008 presidential nominations.

As I type this, MSNBC reports:

"Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the Republican caucuses in Iowa on Thursday night, turning back a heavily funded effort by Mitt Romney in the first critical test of the 2008 presidential nominations."

From Yahoo News:

"Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards fought for first Thursday in Iowa's presidential caucuses, a multimillion-dollar exercise in grass-roots democracy and the initial, critical test in the campaign for the party's 2008 nomination. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee vied for the Republican victory.

Earlier, the contestants had their final say.

Huckabee told a crowd in Burlington, "It's about believing in a cause," a summation that rivals in both parties could easily embrace. Likewise Edwards' plea to his backers in Iowa City: "This thing could be really close. ... We need you to make calls, talk to your friends." And Obama in Des Moines, when asked how he was feeling: "I feel great, although my throat. ..."

Back on C-Span, the chairman of the caucus in Carroll County, read the nominees from all four wards and it seemed as though Mitt Romney and John McCain were the candidates of choice, with Mike Huckabee not far behind. The secretary of the caucus is now calling in the results to Des Moines. It looks as though the results in Carroll County differ from the rest of the state of Iowa. Surfing through channels and across the internet, Mike Huckabee appears to be the winner.

As for the Democrats, Senator Barack Obama has been declared the winner statewide.

Jeralyn from Talk Left lived blogged her caucus experience:

"8:41 pm: Final tally: Obama wins, with 213. Edwards second, with 132. Hillary third, with 107. Obama gets 4 delegates, Hillary and Edwards get two each. That's a wrap. I'll have more later from the convention center, including thoughts on this caucus group. This is definitely an urban, progressive group."

Sunny Hundal from Liberal Conspiracy also blogged live:

"6:15pm The Republican numbers currently are: Huckabee 31% / Romney 23% / Thompson 13% / McCain 12%.

6:16pm Obama pulls slightly ahead with 66% of Democrat precincts reported: Obama 35% / Edwards 31% / Clinton 31%. Whoop whoop!

6:25pm 69% of Democrat precincts reported: Obama 35% / Edwards 31% / Clinton 31%.

6:27pm CNN is predicting Barack Obama will win Iowa! with 74% of Democrat precincts reporting, the stats are now at: Obama 36% / Edwards 31% / Clinton 30%."

Stacy from Mental Floss writes:

"It’s hard to get around Des Moines this week without bumping into a presidential candidate or the press. I was surprised to learn that CNN American Morning was at the Waveland Café, a delicious hole-in-the-wall two blocks down from my house. They were chatting with Ron Paul. Later this afternoon, Ron Paul is headed to Palmer’s Deli for a quick bite to eat. Another excellent choice, Ron. I think you’re really going to enjoy Palmer’s."

Social Europe Blog writes:

"And the results of the Republican and Democratic caucuses in Iowa seem to produce some very remarkable results. CNN has just (2 am GMT) projected that Mike Huckabee will win the Republican caucus by quite some margin. Mitt Romney seems to suffer a hard defeat."

Now that the caucus is over, I'm not surprised that Senator Obama and Mike Huckabee have come out ahead in the race.

New Hampshire is next, will that caucus pack a bigger punch?

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