the 603 alliance had their caucus today at the Hopkinton State Fair grounds in Contoocook NH. The idea was to get conservatives in NH to unite behind a single candidate via a caucus.
Ted Cruz has won, Ben Carson came in 2nd Carly Fiorina 3rd. Donald Trump failed to make the first cut not managing 25 votes, Jeb bush didn’t manage a single vote.
Under the rules if the winner of the 603 alliance caucus drops out of the presidential race the people pledge to support the 2nd place finisher and so forth.
I arrived at the event at 10:30 AM one hour before registration was to end. The person directing me to park commented on the number of people who had showed up and expressed worry about finding places for all of them.
Any voter who was in line at 11:30 would be checked in as long as they met the following requirements
1. They were a Registered republican voter in NH.
2. They were a registered unenrolled NH voter who pledged that they had not taken a democrat ballot
3. They had a photo ID.
Ted Cruz showed up in person to greet people before the start of the event
It was very apparent that his people were there in force and read and raring to go. Ben Carson’s people were also well represented:
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) October 17, 2015
I hand counted 718 people. at my arrival and it was very clear that some candidates took this very seriously and others did not.
and the vote would come down to who bothered to show
Under the rules of the Caucus any candidate who failed to get at least 25 votes in the first round would be eliminated. From the looks of things early it seemed it would be a Cruz vs Carson race
Ted Cruz showed up in person to make his case, speakers showed up to speak for Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Carly fiorina. Oddly enough while Rand Paul had two events in the area his people did not show up for the caucus.
Expect another update
Here are some random images from the event
Here are the speeches from the event for the various candidates & their reps before the vote:
Ted cruz spoke in person:
However there were representatives for other candidates Marco Rubio:
But the most eloquent speech for a candidate not there came from Rep Baldarsio for Donald Trump:
Based on this speech representative Baldarsio’s candidate deserved a better fate after the first round of Voting Donald Trump was eliminated for not drawing the 25 votes necessary to advance.
But even so Trump did infinitely better than Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore combined who despite a ton of time spent in the state by some and millions in superpac money belonging to others didn’t garner a single vote between them
In addition to trump Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and John Kasich all failed to get 25 votes (but at least weren’t shut out like Bush Christie & co.
Trump had not missed the first cut by much and once he was out the other candidates scrambled for his votes. When the 2nd round was done however Fiorina had not been able to catch up with Carson and was out. It was down to Cruz and Carson but while the absent Carson had made a decent showing Cruz’s crew was just too large:
When it was all over I talked to Diane Vitter of the 603 alliance:
I think several candidates made a big mistake not showing up. Rand Paul was less than a mile from the location in the very same town. Lindsey Graham has spent the last week in the state, and the fact that Kasich managed to get votes when Bush was not.
As for the candidates there, if I was Carly Fiorina I’d make a big fuss about advancing when Trump did not, and if I was Ben Carson I’d point to a 2nd place showing while being on a book tour.
And Ted Cruz, well that’s tomorrow’s lead post.
Final update, some stills:
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