Little has been mentioned about the real phenomena that occurred in Iowa. Those of us who seek to understand, are not put off by who won and who lost the horse race. They are interested in the mechanics of the horse race itself.

Iowa is not a primary, most particularly on the Democratic side. It is a contest in organization ability and how well your precent captains can convince and conjole. Even if you are underwhelmed by the numbers, in the caucus situation, should your spokesperson have more charisma in that room than the captains of your opponents, you stand to do well. Of course having caucus goers coming to support you helps alot.

So as the Des Moines Register says, the Obama/ Huckabee win is not the big surprise. After all every poll called that combination. What did surprise all pundits, was the turn out.

“The real shock of the night isn’t Obama winning. It isn’t Huckabee winning. It’s the unbelievable turnout on the Democratic side. Nobody was thinking above 150,000, wildest dream. It’s just astounding,” said David Redlawsk, a political science professor at the University of Iowa who backed Edwards.

Iowa Democratic officials reported 239,000 caucus attendees, which was nearly double the number of 2004. Attendance at the GOP caucuses was about 118,000, with some precincts still to report. That eclipsed the 87,666 total for 2000, the last year of contested caucuses on the Republican side.

Turnouts on both sides were up. Republicans launched 25.7%. Democrats on the other hand skyrocketed 91.2%, a truly amazing figure.

Details emerging from the Clinton camp show they were quite pleased with their effort.

Of the 80,000 Iowans the Clinton campaign identified as supporters, 72,000 showed up Thursday night. “That’s a super-human effort,” Crawford said Friday. “We thought if we did that we would win handily.” That was 30,000 more than the number that caucused for Democrat John Kerry in his 2004 caucus victory, Crawford said.

72,000 out of the 2004’s level of 125,000 should have been enough, one would think? However 119,000 caucus goers materialized out of thin air.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe agreed that the outcome came down to “record turnout and lots of independents and first-time voters.”

That would be 1190 buses driven in from Illinois.

Where other Democratic campaigns were working the traditional lists of party faithful, Obama’s campaign actively worked on independents, he said.

Obama’s power to gather fresh-faced activists proved to be unbeatable. “They grabbed their muskets and came out of their caves,” said Jerry Crawford, a Des Moines lawyer and one of Clinton’s closest Iowa confidantes.

This does seem to be a year when all bets are off. If Iowa is any indication, voters on both sides have repudiated their party’s leadership and decided to go with whoever has the least formal connection to the party hierarchy.

Locally, should that same sentiment carry here at home, that would lend support to the outside game, in this case Markell and Protack. Frustration from voters is at an all time high. It is time to quarantine the leadership of both political parties and continue our forward quest without them.

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