Video by Jusice Gage
“With liberty and justice for all,” rang out in the Storm Lake Middle School as Republican caucus-goers finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, signaling that the Iowa caucuses had begun.
Young and old gathered around tables Monday, Feb. 1, in this northwest Iowa community to discuss politics and the candidates for whom they planned to vote. Some were dressed in patriotic colors while others sported red, white and blue Uncle Sam hats.
Among the caucus-goers in Storm Lake were several Buena Vista University students participating for the first time. Junior Austin Adamson had prepared for the evening and had advice for fellow students attending for the first time.
“Do your own research. Read news articles about your candidate and their accomplishments,” Adamson said.
The eager first-time caucus attendees mingled with lifetime caucus pros at both the Democratic and Republican caucus locations in Storm Lake.
Korean War veteran Clint Hoferman, 84, said he has attended so many Iowa caucuses he’s lost track.
“Oh my God. Thirty (times)? Wait, I’m not that old. Probably around 20,” he said.
Audio report producers: Tiffany Brauckman (announcer), Zachary Schmidt, Brittany Poeppe, Mackenzie Rappe and Brett Pongratz/KBVU 97.5
Senior Jenny Van Oort spoke passionately to Democrats at a precinct caucus at the high school on behalf of the candidate she supports, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Van Oort said she supports Sanders because she believes he can unite a country that has been divided by politics and politicians for too long.
“We’ve tried it both ways; we tried it Republican and we tried it Democratic, and it’s simply not working,” Van Oort said. “If something doesn’t change soon, I’ll never see an iota of the successes that my parents have laid out before me.”
Overall, Storm Lake Precinct 4 followed the overall state in both Democratic and Republican votes. For the Democrats, five delegates were given at the precinct location: two for Bernie Sanders, two for Hillary Clinton, and one for Martin O’Malley. Ted Cruz won Buena Vista County on the Republican side.