Thursday, January 3, 2008

Blogging from the Iowa Caucuses

I'm at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa, where news media from all over the world have gathered to report the results of tonight's caucuses. The media reporting center holds about 3000 journalists, and it feels like a mini-national political party convention. Here is a picture from my work station.

It's pretty empty here because many reporters are out right now covering actual precinct caucuses. My job here is to serve as a political consultant to the CBS News Decision Desk. The decision desk is a team of pollsters, political scientists, journalists, and statisticians who analyze the returns as they come in on election night and advise the news people on what kind of predictions or calls can be made about the race either before or soon after voting ends.

Last night I attended an Obama rally, which was held in a high school near downtown Des Moines and started at 10:00 pm (on a school night!). The gymnasium was packed with about 2000 people, all of them energized about Obama's chances. Here are a few pictures from that event.

At the media reporting center right now, it is pretty quiet still - but that should change soon as the caucus doors close and the results start to come in.

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