Iowa Democrats Back Klobuchar At St. Petersburg Caucus
106 Iowa Democrats filled a St. Petersburg church Monday night to help pick their party's presidential candidate. It’s the first time the Iowa caucuses were held outside the Hawkeye State.
The parking lot at Saint Andrew Episcopal Church filled up with cars sporting Iowa tags. Eloise Monk and her husband spend winters in the Orlando area.
"We have wintered away from Iowa for, like, 15 years so I haven't been to one for that long," she said. "Before that, we were regular. Because the have the satellites this year we're back at it again."
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Monk and her husband caucused for Amy Klobuchar.
The Minnesota Senator came out on top in St. Pete (47 caucus-goers backed her), followed by South Bend Indiana mayor Pete Buttigeig (21), Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (18), and former Vice President Joe Biden (17).
Warren and Biden both reached viability (attaining enough support of caucus attendees to receive delegates) after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and businessman Andrew Yang failed to gain support in the first round. Yang and Sanders supporters were then free to caucus for another candidate.
Local Democrats, including a large number of Sanders supporters from Pinellas County, showed up to the St. Petersburg event. While they waved signs in front of the church, party rules prevented them from being in the caucus room.
Iowans also gathered for caucuses in Port Charlotte and the Panhandle town of Gulf Breeze.