It's Caucus Day

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6:30 p.m. Democratic Party staff now plan to have runners head outside to help sign in people who are waiting in line to get in. Lines still run around the block of the Grove Hotel.

6:00 p.m.

The Obama people are running out of stickers on the floor.

5:45 p.m.

Bethine Church, her endorsement of Hillary Clinton in place, is happily watching the crowds filter into the arena.

"It shows that Democrats are alive and well in Idaho," she said. "It proves that we have had some of the best presidential candidates throughout the whole season."

Bethine Church and Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise.
  • Bethine Church and Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise.

Although she's backing Clinton, and is a longtime fan of Bill Clinton, Church said "no matter what happens, it's a win-win for all of us."

"It makes me feel terrifically optimistic for 2008," she said.

Asked how she's feeling, she responded, "I have to tell you, I am a total political junkie."

"It's what makes this country work."

5:35 p.m.

They're playing "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash on the sound system.

5:30 p.m.

Ada County Democratic Party outgoing chairman Brian Cronin, walkie-talkie at the ready, is declining to give crowd projections.

"You're the 15th reporter to ask," he announces.

In 2004, he said, the party roped in about 2,000 people to participate in that year's caucus.

"We figure we'd plan on triple that turnout," he said, looking out over a mostly-empty Qwest Arena. "If we succeed that, we'll all be pleasantly suprised."

5:10 p.m.

As a camera crew pans the crowd, a few rowdy caucus-goers yell "Obamaaaa!" and gesture wildly at the camera.

"Okay now, let's try to look a bit more educated about this," Werk calls out.

"Obama," they respond, with a greater sense of gravitas.

5:05 p.m.

Lines to get into the Qwest Arena are going across the plaza and around the Wells Fargo Bank building.

caucus_crowd_line.jpg

State Sen. Elliot Werk is on hand to help wrangle people into the correct lines.

"Who needs to know what Congressional District they're in?" he calls out, periodically.

4:30 p.m. They're so excited.

And they just can't hide it.

They're about to lose control.

And I think they like it.

Thank you, Poynter Sisters.

You want analysis, bucko? We'll give you analysis.

But first, assembled media: We are so desperately tired of the "final plea" storyline that we welcome tonight's results with as much eagerness as your average Obama Mama.

We'll keep the ball rolling here all afternoon/evening. Y'all come!

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