Iowa Caucus at Penn a Philly first; Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg win delegates

Andrew Kramer
February 04, 2020 - 7:20 am
2020 Iowa Caucus satellite location at Houston Hall on Penn’s campus

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Registered Iowa voters didn't have to be in the Hawkeye State to take part in the first caucus of the Democratic primary election. One of the satellite locations was right here in Philadelphia, at Houston Hall, on the University of Pennsylvania campus, where 14 people came to debate and endorse.

In the beginning, the alliances were varied.

"I am supporting Amy Klobachar."

"I'm voting for Bernie."

"I'd be open to voting for Biden or Yang."

"I'm looking for someone whose economic policy I agree with."

"Foreign policy. The economy. Immigration, I really care about."

"The most important thing for me is beating Donald Trump."

In the end, Bernie Sanders got two delegates, and Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg got one apiece.

It was the first time Philadelphia hosted a satellite location for the Iowa Caucus. 

Alejandro Rubinstein-Nadau said he thought it went well.

"It's nice to see people energized by a very direct democratic practice and participating, even though they're not in Iowa," he said.

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Rubinstein-Nadau just happens to be in Philly for work. It was mostly college students, like Lauren Haack from Drexel, participating.

Going home for the night wasn't an option for Haack, so said she's glad the caucus came to her.

"This is pretty awesome. I've never done it before, so I think it's cool to see how the whole thing works, especially on a smaller scale," she said.

Haack backed Bernie Sanders from start to finish.

"I'm a pre-med student, so I'm really into the healthcare for all."

Penn sophmore Matthew Current was one of the only Buttigieg supporters before as the caucus started.

"I don't think I'm going to get swayed first choice, but anything can happen," he said. "If I'm alone, I'll be forced to reallign."

But that didn't happen. In fact, after the first round, he helped get more voters on board with Mayor Pete.

"Me and the other woman who were Pete supporters, we stuck around, and we talked to the guy who was for Biden in the first round, and he had expressed interest in joining the Pete group. So, we got him to join. And then we got one of the two Yang supporters. That group wasn't viable, so they split up afterward."

He said it was more of a causal conversation than a debate. There were no noticably heated arguments. 

Swarthmore sophmore Patrick Weiss was impressed with how it all went down.

"I think more voices is always better. It gets us closer to the true consensus of the whole nation," he said.

And he, too, says without this satellite caucus, he wouldn't have been able to particpate.

"It's great to have this opportunity. I'm really appreciative of it."