A Look At The Van Meter, Iowa, Caucus Site

Jan 3, 2012
Originally published on January 3, 2012 7:19 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The doors have just opened for tonight's Republican caucus in Van Meter, Iowa. That's 20 miles west of Des Moines, and we've sent NPR's Sonari Glinton to the lunchroom of Van Meter High where the caucus is set to begin in about an hour. You've got a chance to talk with several voters who'll be caucusing tonight, Sonari. What did you hear from them?

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Well, most of the people that I talked to say they're not really in love with any one candidate. They like them all. But this is mainly about anybody but the president. So about a half dozen people have shown up so far, and they're sort of split between Rick Santorum, Gingrich and Mitt Romney. And they say that this election is when social networking came to the caucuses.

All the people I've talked to were registered Republicans, say they can't - you can't imagine the sheer number of robocalls that they've been getting. And normally, they feel an intense, you know, they really get involved in the election. But because of social media, they say they feel more directly related to the campaign.

SIEGEL: Sonari, have you gotten a sense of what it means to be a Republican in Van Meter?

GLINTON: Well, you know, there's not really one type of Van Meter Republican. You know, there's the country club types, there are the Chamber of Commerce types, there are the Value Voters. There seems to be a split between two people - two groups of people. There's people who really genuinely concerned with the economy, and those people are tending to be along with Gingrich and Romney, and then the Value Voters that are split between, you know, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. And, you know...

SIEGEL: And, Sonari...

GLINTON: ...it's - and it's - I was going to say, Van Meter High School is not the only - the presidential race isn't the only caucus that's going on. The Van Meter Bulldogs wrestling team has got a match down the road.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: I see. OK. Thank you, Sonari. That's NPR's Sonari Glinton who is in Van Meter, Iowa, where he'll be watching a caucus. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.