Today the 603 Alliance held the first conservative caucus in the history of New Hampshire. There were over 700 Granite State grass roots activists in attendance. It was free and all Republican Presidential candidates were invited to participate, although not all chose to do so. You could feel the energy in the room as soon as you walked in and people were actually having fun. Fun is not often used to describe political events.
The event was emceed by talk radio host Jeff Chidester and featured The Bittersweet Band before and after the actual caucusing took place. The point of the caucus was to have conservatives in New Hampshire come together to vote for one candidate they could support in the primary. The reasoning was that the ‘Establishment’ candidates are often shoved upon Republicans and aren’t often very conservative.
Previous to the caucus some campaigns whined that the organizers were simply setting it up for a Ted Cruz win due to a few speakers at their first event mentioning Cruz in their speeches. Unfortunately these people didn’t quite seem to grasp the concept of the caucus. It was any candidate’s to win. It was simply a matter of bringing the most supporters and then convincing other voters to line up with the round-winning candidates as others were ‘picked off.’
The first round saw all candidates with 0 votes out first. There were several candidates with zero supporters in attendance. The biggest cheers were when Jeb Bush was announced as out with 0 votes. The next few candidates with less than 25 supporters in attendance were also cut. Those included Trump and Paul. The three campaigns that made it to the second round were Carson, Cruz and Fiorina. Fiorina was knocked out of the 2nd round which left Carson and Cruz. Cruz came out the winner.
It’s highly unlikely anyone is going to jump off of their current candidate’s campaign to join Cruz but as more candidates drop out, they’ll have an easier choice if they pick the 603 Caucus winner, which is somewhat the point. The 603 Caucus was something completely new to New Hampshire.
The beauty of the event was that it was free to participants and there weren’t a limited number of tickets as at other events. No candidate could have purchased more tickets than another to get more of their people to vote. It literally was a free-for-all for every candidate. Candidates who decided not to attend actually lost out on something pretty interesting.
Senator Cruz appeared afterwards when he was informed that he had won and spoke to his supporters and others who stayed behind to meet with him. He took the time for a quick interview with ‘Da Tech Guy’and thanked his team. Cruz also spoke about the importance of grassroots organization and how that is what will truly win the race. Supporters of Cruz were extremely excited to have won the first ever conservative caucus held in New Hampshire.