By Caroline Kenny
ANKENY, Iowa — The Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny, Iowa was the caucus location for 237 Democrats on Monday night. The player’s lounge of the golf club was packed to the brim with voters in an unprecedented turnout for the precinct, which was not expected to happen. The north side of the room featured 158 Hillary Clinton supporters, while the south side was home to 67 Bernie Sanders voters. In the middle were the 12 Martin O’Malley caucus-goers, who were told after the first period of caucusing that 12 was not viable, since it did not meet the 15% threshold, and they would have to realign themselves with another candidate.
The caucus itself was a two-hour ordeal where presidential candidates were not the only matter of business. The caucus chair for the precinct for the year ahead was determined and several delegates for the state party were appointed. The event was also a family affair, as children stood up on chairs in the “observer” section, watching the 18 and over crowd play their part in American democracy.
There are 1,681 precincts in the state of Iowa where caucuses took place on Monday night, and this location in Ankeny was just one of 15 in the town. Hillary Clinton won the Iowa caucuses overall with 49.9% of the vote and Bernie Sanders came in a very close second with 49.6%. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out the night of the caucuses, finished with just 0.6% of the caucus votes.