Iowa: Off to Cedar Rapids and Coralville

Update: Hillary's event was packed with hundreds of Iowans -- there were a lot of middle aged and elderly people. They were very enthusiastic and cheered a lot, particularly on health care. It started almost an hour late, which meant we were late getting to Obama's event at the Marriott in Coralville. We got there just as the doors opened and people started leaving. There were a lot of people -- they were predominantly young and younger. There were a lot of junior and high school age kids who obviously were too young to vote. We waited and watched everyone come out. Towards the end there were a few middle aged people, but just a few. It was also a very white crowd. We only saw a handful of minorities.

Conclusion: If the college kids come out for Obama, he's in good shape. If the elderly come out for Clinton, she's in good shape. It's all about the turnout at this point. I'll have some video later I hope. My last computer battery is dying and we have an hour or more drive back to Des Moines. More when I can get near a power outlet.


Original post:

It's ten degrees this morning and Jane, Linda and I are off in our little rental car crossing the plains of Iowa. I'm in the back seat, so I can blog while my battery lasts. We're 156 miles from Davenport but we don't have to go quite that far. Our plan (which easily can go awry) is to see Hillary at 12:45 in Cedar Rapids and then head to Coralville to see Obama. Tonight is John Edwards and John Mellencamp.

Jane's post on last night's Huckabee event, Huck, Chuck and Class Warfare just went at Firedoglake.

Now, on to Cedar Rapids.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Maid-Rite! (none / 0) (#1)
    by JHFarr on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:20:19 PM EST
    If you don't pig out on Maid-Rites, you're missing Iowa. I know every mile of I-80 you'll be driving on, and Maid-Rite restaurants are a little scarce along the big roads. Ask someone where the nearest one is, and upgrade your cultural education. :-)

    I don't give a fart about the caucuses, but Iowa is a great state. If you were traveling that way in mid-May, for example, you might never leave...

    It was (a dry) 9 degrees... (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:25:17 PM EST
    ...here in the Queen City of the Plains this morning, so don't feel too bad about the cold in Ioway.  

    If you get the chance, check out Iowa City (the state's first Capital and home of the University of Iowa).  Lots of good dining in the Old Capital/Downtown area.  It is much better than Coralville, which is basically a suburb of IC.  

    Be sure to be ready to hold your nose in Cedar Rapids--it is the city of 5 smells.

    If you ever saw the movie Fargo (none / 0) (#3)
    by magster on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:30:47 PM EST
    and the scenes of driving across desolate frozen plains, that's how I always felt on road trips through Iowa in the winter.

    dc converter car (google it) (none / 0) (#4)
    by msobel on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:45:35 PM EST

    Not recommending any one but they are small and give you easy power on car trips.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jgarza on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:10:33 PM EST
    You are out in the real world covering this, but you miss pundit land, Chris Matthew was being down right dirty talking about Hillary being "sexy" in her new ad!  He has a high ick factor.

    Well of course... (none / 0) (#7)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    "It was also a very white crowd. We only saw a handful of minorities."

    A handful is pretty much the extent of minorities in Johnson County.  

    I don't understand why people are shocked to find that Iowa is so white.  It's Iowa for crying out loud, not Chicago, not the East Coast.  We do have some people of color, just not a lot of them--and certainly not many once you get outside of Des Moines, Waterloo or Davenport.  

    It is not really much different than Colorado or Washington state--once you'r outside the major population centers, it is pretty white.

    As you know, I hail from SE Iowa, and am (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:26:27 PM EST
    surprised the demographics haven't changed all that much since I left many years ago.  Yes, Burlington does now have its very own Mexican restaurant, but I thought there would be more immigration for farmwork, the few mfg. operations remaining, etc.  

    They have changed more than you think (none / 0) (#10)
    by JSN on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 11:47:20 PM EST
    but it it depends on the county and the local circumstances. Even the Census Bureau will admit that the Hispanics will not cooperate with the census because they distrust the government. The uncertainties in the census figures for Blacks are also very large.

    Students enrolled in our school system make up 10% of the county population and Black students make up 40% of the Black population. I think this means the census undercounted Blacks as well as Hispanics.

    A lot of counties have minority populations in the 1% to 3% range but there are counties with minority percentages in the 6% to 18% range. A lot of the migration is internal to Iowa but there are are  Hispanics from came from the southwest, Blacks who came from Illinois and Asians from the west coast.


    Re the college kids: (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:29:16 PM EST
    It is my understanding even out-of-state residents are entitled to register to vote in their college towns.  But, if college doesn't resume classes until after the caucuses, how many college students will go back to school early just to participate in the caucuses?  

    Hard to say it costs a lot of money to come back (none / 0) (#11)
    by JSN on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 11:57:03 PM EST
    early but by this time their parents may be glad to see them leave.
    We will find out tomorrow because most of the population in our precinct are students who life in apartments. The dorm dwellers probably will have to double up with friends because the U of I is not opening the dorms.

    Things are changing they may turn out to be a factor or it could all be bluster. We will see.