Moderate Democrats took the lead in Palm Springs on Monday as more than 100 Iowans converged in the desert town for one of the largest satellite caucuses outside of Iowa.
For the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party held satellite caucuses across the United States and abroad on Monday in a bid to make voting more accessible for Iowans living temporarily in other places. After an hour and 15 minutes of polite negotiating among the different Democratic camps in Palm Springs, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar won with 49 votes, with Joe Biden trailing behind with 29 and Pete Buttigieg with 21. None of the remaining Democratic candidates received enough votes to be deemed “viable.”
Iowa caucus rules require voters to form groups organized by candidate. To be declared viable and move to the second alignment, a candidate must secure at least 15% of the vote. In the first round of voting in Palm Springs, Klobuchar led with 41 votes, prompting supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to try to unite the left flank of the party around one candidate in an unsuccessful bid for viability.
Mark Bennett, 69, a retired federal district judge from Des Moines who has visited Palm Springs each winter for the last five years, proudly donned an “Amy” sticker as he helped propel her to victory in the caucus.
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