portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

government | political theory

Report from Vancouver Caucus

I observed Vancouver's caucus yesterday - progressives were a no show!
Howard Dean's ability to raise money using the internet completely failed to bring those who wrote checks to the polls in Vancouver, Washington yesterday. I spent two hours in the Laborer's Hall on Andreson, wandering, listening and watching.

The average age of voters was 50. About 2% minorities. These are not the representative demographics of the community. Dean pulled maybe 5% in most precincts, but as the voting rolled out many quickly shifted to Kerry. From all appearances, Kerry's supporters were more affluent, more established, smarter, and better able to wrangle loose votes in the room.

I met and observed four or five smart operatives, each working for Kerry, who basically delivered their precincts by attending the democrat planning meetings, and making 100 phone calls within their district. No one doing this for Dean. No one for Kucinich.

Aside from a mother and son waving flags inside for Kucinich, he has no supporters in Vancouver. It looked like from TV that both Dean and Kucinich had better support in King County and surrounds.

But Vancouver, for all its banality, is the heartland of America. They want a winner. They want someone who can beat the Bush.

No wave, no movement, no transformation, no commitment to change and no suit up and show up from progressives. All talk and no walk.
interesting 08.Feb.2004 08:43


Very interesting analysis. What are the demographics of Vancouver? It is White, Middle Class?

Just a damn minute... 08.Feb.2004 11:59

Catalina Eddie

I met a Kucinich volunteer yesterday who delivered three of her caucus' eight delagates to Dennis. She did this almost single handedly by phone calls and organizing. She has never been active in politics before. I was thrilled. I didn't participate because I thought I had to be registered Democrat to do so, but you can bet I will next time.

And, if you please, Vancouver is neither banal, nor overly white middle class. It is a nice place to live, and oh so close to Portland


5% isn't that missing an extra '0'? 08.Feb.2004 16:33


I suspect you may live in the area of Vancouver where the walking dead reside. I was there, and support for Dean was strong, with 21 out of 40 in my precinct gunning for Dean.

Gazing over at the Kerry crowd, I noticed a broad generation gap, most were of the WWII era. I can't help feel the most outspoken critics of Dean were most by far in denial that we are now living in a military dictatorship. Skull&Bones for Pres! now we get to choose the VP, Busch or Kerry?

I did my time in the service, and feel it was a job well done. Now the baby boomers who skipped out on Nam feel the Gulf War is a Righteous War of Retribution and the United States Army is a vehicle of the Divine. Suckers!

Why don't all you middle age twerps go join the Army and prove me wrong? Examine yourself, young men are dying for your 'right' to eat meat and drive an SUV 75mph down the interstate. Turn down your thermostat, cause it will be hot in Hell!

Dang, missed it 08.Feb.2004 17:16

Major W

I missed this election primary, but when does the next one come to town?

There are questions here about what Vancouver and it's people are like. That's a good question. I've lived here for 13 years.

I can tell you that on Mill Plain Blvd. there was a Taco Bell that was torn down and in it's place was built another Taco Bell, but they moved it about 25 feet to the east. That kind of sums up what it's like up here.

Downtown there's a lot of construction of different retirement center-looking buildings, and it proves the old adage: If you build it, they will go away.

Planning Not To Join 09.Feb.2004 08:38



When I am old enough I am planning on not joining the US military. Or working at that Taco Bell on Mill Plain. Until then, I report the facts as I see them on Indymedia.

You were at a different caucus than I was. No precinct in our hall had 30 people, much less 40. No precinct polled 10 votes for Dean, less 21. Where were you? I didn't hear anyone critical of Dean - most were sympathetic with all his positions, especially expanding health care. Most wanted someone who can win.

I've been told being an adult is about making compromises.

There was a Deanie handing out chocolate chip cookies. I got four.

Vancouver 09.Feb.2004 23:23

George BEnder

I lived in Vancouver for 9 wasted years, only because I had family there, then moved to Portland. Vancouver is a living dead middle class suburb where nothing much ever happens. The left there is so lame I couldn't stand it. They didn't have enough energy to hold any kind of a group together, and seemed to be afraid of offending. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of that going around. The Greens are disappearing in Oregon. Truman said about politics, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Looks like everyone is getting out of the kitchen. But I digress....