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Senator Amy Klobuchar dominates at satellite Iowa Caucus in St. Petersburg

Posted at 10:17 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 23:16:42-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A total of 106 Iowans showed up to cast their votes in a first of its kind historic Iowa Caucus in St. Pete.

When the two rounds of voting, called alignment and re-alignment, were over, Senator Amy Klobuchar had a total of 48 votes. Her next closest competitor was former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

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"This is the most important election in my lifetime I can promise you that," Todd Davis said. "And, I think this is exciting because this is the first year the Iowa DNC has allowed for caucusing outside the state."

Todd and his wife Deb Hill-Davis took time out of their vacation to do their civic duty in St. Pete.

"We are here for snowbirds day for about 18 days, and we were over on the East coast, and we drove about 200 miles to get here today to be able to do this," Hill-Davis said.

According to the Iowa Democratic Party, 87 satellite caucus sites are being held across the world. Sixty are in Iowa, 24 are in other states and Washington, D.C., and three others are internationally located. Florida has a total of four.

The satellite caucus in St. Pete was held at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. The hall was so packed that organizers had to ask observers to wait outside.

The easiest way to describe how a caucus works is like a big group of organized musical chairs. People who plan to vote for one candidate huddle in groups.

Organizers for other presidential hopefuls can go to your group and try and persuade you to join their camp. If one candidate doesn't reach 15 %, they are considered non-viable. Those groups have to join other groups in the second round of voting, or they can decide to remain non-committed.

After the 2nd alignment in St. Pete, the totals for the candidates were Klobuchar, 48, Buttigieg, 21, Joe Biden, 17, Elizabeth Warren 18, and Bernie Sanders with zero.

The party's campaign will then determine who the delegates are - there were nine delegates to be picked. Biden received 1, Warren 2, Buttigieg 2 and Klobuchar with 4.

ABC Action News Political analyst Dr. Susan MacManus said these numbers prove you really can't trust the polls. None of the so-called front runners lead in the St. Pete caucus.

"This is just one small piece of Iowa; let's make that very clear but small pieces add up. That's what we'll be looking for late in the evening how closely this vote here reflects what happened in the whole of Iowa," MacManus said. "What was surprising was how Biden struggled and really how badly proportionately that Sanders, the progressives did. So, I think the big surprise for some if you look at polls was that the progressive candidates Sanders and Warren didn't do that well."