Entries in Caucus (10)


Maine’s Angus King to Caucus With Senate Democrats

US Department of Energy(WASHINGTON) -- Maine’s newly elected Independent senator-elect, Angus King, announced on Wednesday that he’ll caucus with the Democrats, boosting the party’s control to 55 seats, compared with 45 held by Republicans in the new Congress.

“I have decided to affiliate with the Democratic Caucus because doing so will allow me to take independent positions on issues as they arise and at the same time be an effective representative of the people of Maine,” King announced in Congress Wednesday morning.

The senator underscored remaining independent even in caucusing with the Democratic Party. He will be one of two Independents in the Senate, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who also caucuses with the Democrats.

King noted that the decision was “relatively easy” after the Democrats’ victories on Election Day.

“In the situation where one party has a clear majority and effectiveness is an important criteria, affiliating with the majority makes the most sense,” King said. “The majority has more committee slots to fill, has more control over what bills get considered, and more control over the Senate schedule.”

But he left open the door to the possibility of caucusing with the Republicans if, in a new Congress, Republicans were able to take back control of the Senate.

“It would be a question of the majority but also a question of, which I emphasized, on my ability to maintain my independence,” he said.

King won his seat with 55 percent of the vote, replacing the retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., welcomed King into the Democratic caucus, noting that he and the Democratic caucus embrace his independence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington Caucus: Last Call Before Super Tuesday

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Washington state holds its caucus on Saturday, and it will mark the last chance for a candidate to claim a victory before Super Tuesday on March 6.

Washington is proceeding with its voting contests differently this year. In 2008, Washington split presidential voting contests and awarded half its delegates through a caucus and half through a primary. This year, Washington canceled its primary altogether as part of its budget cuts, opting to hold only a caucus, which will be run by the state Republican party rather than the state government.

In Washington, voters do not register by state party, so the caucus is open to all registered voters. In 2008, turnout was relatively strong for the primary—529,932 votes were cast, 11 percent of the eligible voting population.

Mitt Romney received the same percentage of votes in the Washington primary and caucus in 2008—16 percent. He placed third in both caucuses, behind John McCain and Mike Huckabee, who placed first and second. This year, Romney and Santorum have both polled well in the state.

There are 43 delegates at stake in Washington’s primary, and they will be doled out proportionally. While that is a higher number of delegates than in Michigan and Arizona (both of those states were penalized by the Republican National committee over moving their primary dates, and thus lost half their delegates), but the caucus has not received the same amount of attention from the media and the GOP candidates.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is that Washington is considered to be a solidly blue state. The Republican candidate who claims victory here will not be able to use that as a trump card the way he could a swing state like Michigan or Ohio, or even a red state like Georgia or Oklahoma (both of which will vote on Super Tuesday.)

The other, more dominant reason lies in the scheduling. With Super Tuesday taking place just three days after the Washington caucus, candidates are focused on the more competitive Super Tuesday states: Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

There is, however, a plus side to the scheduling of the Washington caucus. As the final contest before Super Tuesday, it is the last chance for a candidate to build steam to carry him into the 10-state voting contest on March 6. And while it is unlikely that a victory in Washington would give the winner enough momentum to shake things up across the board, with races being so close in key states like Ohio, any small boost is something.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Wins Wyoming Caucus Vote

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CHEYENNE, Wyo.) -- Mitt Romney has won Wyoming’s presidential caucus vote, a series of county straw polls that took place over the last three weeks.

With 39 percent, Romney finished ahead of Rick Santorum (32 percent), Newt Gingrich (21 percent) and Ron Paul (8 percent). The Wyoming GOP released the final results Wednesday night.

Like Iowa’s presidential caucus vote, Wyoming’s is not binding and will in no way affect the state’s 29 delegates.

Wyoming’s caucuses, however, took place over the better part of a month: Counties were allowed to hold their precinct caucuses over a wide range of time, and the first county voted on Feb. 9. If Iowa’s caucuses rendered a snapshot of public sentiment in that state, Wyoming has supplied a pinhole exposure.

More media attention will likely be paid to Wyoming’s county conventions, held March 6-10, which will directly elect 12 delegates to the Republican National Convention, and to its April state convention, which will elect another 14 delegates. None of those delegates will be allocated (or “bound”) to any presidential candidate, though each will have to announce support for a particular candidate or “undecided.”

Only 2,108 total votes were cast in Wyoming’s precinct caucuses -- far fewer than were recorded in any state’s GOP primary or caucus so far. Nevada, the next smallest event, saw more than 30,000 Republican votes.

Also like in Iowa, the precinct caucuses served another function, besides recording a presidential-preference vote: electing delegates to Wyoming’s later conventions. If Romney’s win Wednesday night is any indication, he’ll receive more backing than his competitors from Wyoming’s unbound national delegates at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., this August.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Maine Hosts a 'Lazy Caucus' in Vacationland

iStockphoto/Thinkstock edit Delete caption(AUGUSTA, Maine) -- On Saturday evening, the Maine Republican Party will announce the results of its state’s caucus. Still, Saturday isn't neccesarily the date of the Pine Tree State’s caucus.

While the GOP candidates and the media have focused much of their attention over the past week on Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri, a voting contest has been under way in Vacationland since Saturday, Feb. 4.

Maine hosts a “lazy caucus.”

The state’s Republican Party requested that Maine’s counties and municipalities hold their caucus events sometime between Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. The majority of the state’s events have been slated for Feb. 11, but a couple of towns have already caucused.

Twenty-four delegates are at stake in Maine’s contest. In 2008, Mitt Romney won the state, which is close to his home base of Massachusetts, with 52 percent of the vote. John McCain and Ron Paul finished in second and third place, with 22 percent and 18 percent of the vote respectively. Turnout was low in 2008 -- 5,482 votes were cast, about 1 percent of the voting eligible population.

Though Democrats have carried the state in recent presidential elections, Maine is very much a “purple state.” It has two Republican senators and a Republican governor, but their two House reps are Democrats. Mainers pride themselves on their political independence, which makes Paul a popular candidate.

Maine’s caucus is open only to registered Republicans. Previously, unregistered voters and voters previously unaffiliated with a party, can register as Republicans at the polls, which means that independent voters can participate in the event.

In his speech to supporters Tuesday night, coming off of his second-place finish in Minnesota, Paul said he expected to do well in the state.

Because the Maine Republican Party will release the statewide results of the caucus in bulk Saturday evening, there will not be the same ability to monitor the various counties for a sense of how the race is going.

The end of Maine’s caucus week marks the start of a quiet period in the primary schedule. The next primaries will be in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Sweeps: Stops Romney in Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images(SAINT CHARLES, Mo.) -- Rick Santorum won all three Republican voting contests Tuesday night, breaking Mitt Romney's winning streak and denying him the image of an unstoppable front-runner.

Based on ABC News projections, Santorum won the Missouri primary and the Minnesota caucus.  The Colorado GOP also tells ABC News that Santorum won that state's caucus.

In Missouri and Colorado, Romney came in second, though he didn't do as well in Minnesota, where he got third.

Ron Paul placed second in Minnesota, while falling to third in Missouri and fourth in Colorado.  Newt Gingrich, who wasn't on the Missouri ballot, finished fourth in Minnesota and third in Colorado.


At a victory rally in Missouri, Santorum predicted that Romney would be denied his oft-noted massive campaign organization come the fall.  And he said of his own supporters' cheers that "in Massachusetts, they were heard particularly loud tonight."

"We doubled 'em up here and in Minnesota," Santorum said to cheers.

Romney, meanwhile, didn't have a chance to give a victory speech.  Speaking in Colorado as he trailed Santorum in the vote count there, the former Massachusetts governor said that "the race is too close to call in Colorado at this point, but I'm pretty confident we'll come in number one or number two."

"This was a good night for Rick Santorum," said Romney, who called Santorum after the results in Missouri and Minnesota were reported, though he left a message because he didn't get through to him.  "I want to congratulate Sen. Santorum.  I wish him the very best."

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Expects Santorum to Have ‘Pretty Good Day’ Tuesday

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich made a condensed campaign stop in Colorado Monday, attending two events in Golden -- his only effort in the state this election cycle.

Gingrich also held one event in Minnesota on the eve of the caucus/primary day for the two states.

The former House speaker will not hold an election party on Tuesday, a sign that he is hedging his bets on Super Tuesday.

Gingrich and Rick Santorum crossed paths Monday in Colorado at an energy forum, and Gingrich was asked whether the two spoke about dropping out of the race while in a state in which Santorum is expected to do well.

“Oh, neither of us is going to get out of the race.  We are both busy having a good time, and I think you’re actually going to find that the three candidates who are currently in the race, for example between them, for all practical purposes, tied Mitt Romney in a state that was supposed to be very good for him in Nevada, so three of us will actually get as many delegates as he does,” Gingrich said.

When asked if Gingrich thought Santorum should drop out, Gingrich said he’s a “free agent,” but predicted Santorum would have a “pretty good day” Tuesday and “earned it.”

“He targeted it differently than I did. I was out of state in Florida to fight it out despite being outspent five to one and for me that was the right decision,” Gingrich said.  “He took the same amount of time and energy and he came to Minnesota, and Missouri and Colorado and for him that was the right decision.”

Gingrich said his challenge in the next states would be early voting and admittedly is looking ahead to Super Tuesday.

“Forty percent of the vote in Florida is cast before the primary, and so, you know, we’ve got Arizona where we’ll be in the very near future, we have Ohio, which happens to fit our travel plans right now.  We’ll be in four cities in Ohio tomorrow and Wednesday, and you have Tennessee, which is also starting, I think, on the 15th, so it certainly makes your whole process of targeting vastly more complex than it used to be,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich also hit Romney, saying he has no electability, citing polls that show Obama is ahead of Romney nationally.

“I think if you look today, for example, electability was Romney’s great advantage, well he get’s beat by Obama in a poll this morning,” Gingrich said.  “I’m within two points as good as Romney is, despite all the media, so how does go out and argue that he’s the more electable.”

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, Obama is at 51 percent and Romney at 45 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Tells Coloradans He Feels 'Very Good' About Caucus

Steve Pope/Getty Images(DENVER) -- On the eve of Colorado’s caucuses, Rick Santorum told a boisterous crowd of about 250 he “feel(s) very good” about his prospects on Tuesday.

He reminded the crowd that Mitt Romney won the Centennial State in 2008 with 60 percent of the vote but said this time he can win there.

Santorum said Romney may be the candidate with the most money, but the former Massachusetts governor used that money to “run negative ads the whole time,” and Colorado should instead be “electing the guy” with the “best record,” not the most money.

He also lobbed a not-so-veiled hit at Romney, saying the party should not nominate a candidate that even his “supporters aren’t excited about.”

Santorum again repeated his comparisons of Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts to the administration’s health care legislation, calling them “remarkably the same,” but gave Newt Gingrich a pass Monday evening.

"Speaker Gingrich supported the individual mandate for 20 years that was the core of ObamaCare.  But he pales by comparison to what Gov. Romney did in Massachusetts,” he said.

Santorum's supporters in Colorado will have a chance to vote for him on Tuesday when the state holds its caucus.  Minnesota's caucus and Missouri's primary will also be held on the same day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum to President Obama: ‘We’re Not That Stupid’

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- Rick Santorum laid down the gauntlet in Colorado Monday, pledging to campaign every day on the controversial regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services requiring Catholic hospitals and universities to provide contraception and the morning after pill if the Obama administration does not change its stance.

He said the administration has been “hostile to people of faith, particularly Christians and specifically Catholics.”

“That’s just a bunch of poppycock,” Santorum said in response to news that the White House said on Monday it is working with religious institutions on the policy.  “That’s just ridiculous.  You know, Mr. President, we’re not that stupid.  The Catholic Church has been arguing and negotiating this for a year and the administration is saying ‘it’s just a misunderstanding.’  It’s just a bunch of bull.  They are folks who are trying to use their power to force people to do things that they believe they should do and are right.  They don’t care about their religion."

“Guess what?  They do provide some protections for some religious groups, just not Catholics,” he said.  “I’m not going to stand for it.  And I’m going to call them out on it.  And they’d better change.  And if they don’t, I’m going to make it an issue every day of this campaign.”

Santorum, campaigning in Colorado ahead of the caucuses Tuesday, aimed to both lower and raise expectations that his campaign -- despite losing the four previous contests -- can do well in the Centennial State and in the day’s other two contests: Minnesota and Missouri.

“We feel like we’ve made a good effort here in Colorado although brief.  Look, it’s not like we’ve been out here for two months campaigning and the same thing in Minnesota.  I mean we’ve run abbreviated campaigns in both states, the same thing with Missouri,” Santorum told reporters after an energy conference.

“We hope to run strongly here,” he said.  “Remember, four years ago [Mitt Romney] got 61 percent in Colorado.  He underperformed and got less votes in Nevada; he underperformed in South Carolina; he’s underperformed in New Hampshire just going down the list and the same thing with Iowa.  He’s underperformed for four years and I suspect he will again in these three events tomorrow and hopefully we will be the one to take advantage of it this time.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Dismisses Story of Error that 'Cost' Him Iowa Victory

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is dismissing any idea that he actually won the Iowa Caucus, an assertion some supporters are making after one caucus attendee reported an apparent clerical error that over-counted Mitt Romney’s support by 20 votes.

“Here’s what I know. Having talked to the chairman of the -- Matt Strawn, who’s the chairman of the Iowa -- Republican Party of Iowa, that all these counties are going to be reporting in,” Santorum said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Greta van Susteren. “They’re going to be certifying them, that there was one county where there was a 20-vote mistake in my favor, but there was a 21-vote mistake vote in Romney’s favor. So it actually netted out to what I understand is a one-vote difference.”

The question was in response to a report on Des Moines’s KCCI-TV in which a Ron Paul supporter, Edward True, 28, of Moulton, Iowa, said his precinct made a mistake.

“There will be, without question, given the lateness of the hour and the hectic-ness that comes with turning in these numbers,” Santorum said, “there will be changes. And with eight votes, or now nine votes difference, there may be some. But that doesn’t really matter to me….This was a tie. And we came from, you know, 4 or 5 points two weeks before the election and ended up with 25 points. And the most recent poll, which was published…four days before the caucus, we were at 15 and we ended up with 25.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


25,000 Turn Out for Obama in Iowa

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- More than 25,000 Iowa Democrats caucused Tuesday night in support of President Obama, according to his re-election campaign.

The turnout — touted by Obama’s campaign strategists online and on a day-after conference call with reporters — was significant for a candidate running unopposed in the state and signals that the president’s grassroots organizing machine hasn’t lost its touch of four years ago.

While only a small fraction of the record 239,000 Iowa Democrats who caucused on Jan. 3, 2008, the showing for 2012 amounted to roughly one-fifth of all Republicans who huddled across all 99 Iowa counties to pick their nominee the same night.

Obama also enlisted more than 7,500 supporters to join his army of volunteers mobilizing for his re-election, his campaign team said.

The president has campaign offices in every state, with eight in Iowa alone, more than any GOP presidential candidate. He has also won commitments of support from more than 1 million Americans who have donated to his campaign or signed up to volunteer.

A record 125,000 Iowa Republicans turned out to caucus Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio