Republicans call UNI-Dome "super-site" a success - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Republicans call UNI-Dome "super-site" a success


Tuesday night, 3,560 people showed up at the UNI-Dome to cast their vote for the Republican presidential nominee. That made Black Hawk County the largest single caucus site in the state.

After a trouble-filled caucus in 2008, Republicans tried to plan for anything and everything this year. It seemed to have worked.

"I would grade it an A-, I think there are things we could improve upon." said Black Hawk County GOP Chairman Mac McDonald.

Every caucus-goer received a map of the UNI-Dome, with each precinct clearly labeled for Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and surrounding townships.

"This is working out great!" commented Jared Bartlett. His wife, Shirley, agreed "yes, compared to last year!"

"I thought it would be a lot more crazy. This is really well organized," Barb Sharp said.

First-time caucuser Dylan Jacobson said he wasn't sure what to expect, but he's pleased with how simple voting turned out to be.

"It took just a few minutes to get registered, when I found my way it was an easy process," said Jacobson.

The caucus-goers who came early had the chance to hear one final plea for support from Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann.

"We're very excited about the opportunity to be here. As you can see, people are pretty interested. It's fun," said Gingrich.

"I want people to know that of all the candidates in the race, I have had the most proven demonstratable record as a core, consistent conservative," Bachmann told KWWL.

Most people had a good idea of who they were supporting before they walked in the door, and the organization worked out. Within an hour, the votes were cast. Ron Paul came out on top with 24 percent voter support.

"I like what he stands for, and I like his character. I think character matters a lot," said Sharp.

Like the rest of the state, Romney and Santorum were close behind.

"We've been tired of the bickering going back and forth, and I think Santorum, he has our values," Jared Bartlett explained.

Overall, many Republicans said they care more about the big picture: winning the White House in a few months, hopefully with an Iowa-approved candidate.

"I think there are some major issues that our country as a whole needs to take a stance on," Jacobson said.

The Black Hawk County Republicans are pleased with how Tuesday night went. They're hoping to make the UNI-Dome a regular site for future presidential caucuses.

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