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DES MOINES — Iowa’s caucus-reporting meltdown was painful. But another grenade from Monday night, just beyond the line of sight, may be just as consequential.
1. In other words: Democrats were counting on Barack Obama-levels of enthusiasm. They got Hillary Clinton numbers, instead
2. If that number holds, turnout will run only to about 170,000 people, well below the 240,000 who participated in the caucuses in 2008.
Entrance polls showed first-time caucus-goers down this year, to about one-third of all caucus-goers. That fell lower not only than 2008, when nearly 60 percent of caucus-goers were first-time participants, but also 2016. It was a deflating acknowledgment for a party that is desperate to register and turn out first-time voters in the fall.
"Democrats have long leaned on President Trump being a motivator for voters. Those number don’t bear that out. Should that concern Democrats?"
"Yes, but I think for a different reason than a lot of folks probably will think. Maybe I’ll be the only person to say this today. The Iowa caucus is essentially the perfect example of systemic racism. 91% of the voters in Iowa are white," Maxwell said.
"The reason why you see a drop in turnout, I’m just speculating here, it could be perhaps that white children are not in the cages. So when you’re talking about the tangible pain that black and brown people are feeling, they feel a sense of urgency because their kids are being put in cages, right? So if you have 91% white electorate, that sense of urgency may not be reflected in the turnout numbers," she continued.