Following are the statewide straw poll results.
With 100 percent of the precincts in Iowa reporting.
Donald J. Trump, 31,422 votes, 97.15%
Joe Walsh, 348, 1.08%
William Weld, 424, 1.31%
Other, 151, 0.47%
Following are the Crawford County straw poll results.
All votes in Crawford County were for Donald Trump except for one in Denison Ward 3/Goodrich Township.
Charter Oak: 10
Denison Ward 1: 20
Denison Ward 2/Denison Township: 10
Denison Ward 3/Goodrich Township: 22 for Trump, 1 for Joe Walsh
At the Denison Middle School library, where all but two of the county’s precincts met, chairs around the tables and chairs set up for overflow were filled, and people stood among the rows of bookshelves, using the tops as armrests.
Darin Johnson, with the Crawford County Republican Party, said at one time party officials thought that everyone could stay in the library and gather around the tables.
“That’s not going to work out well,” he added before giving instructions to keep two precincts in the library and send the others to various classrooms and the middle school commons.
With Trump as the incumbent and the party leader, and not being seriously challenged by Republicans Joe Walsh and William Weld, a number of individuals at the caucuses commented on the attendance.
“We weren’t concerned because in past years when we haven’t had a contested primary, it has been a small turn
out, but I am thrilled by this because to me it shows how much enthusiasm there is for the Republican cause this year,” said Arlen Ecklund, of Denison, a cochair of the Crawford County Republican Party along with Maura Sailer, of Schleswig.
“To me it just really points to the fact that it’s going to be a great year.”
As far as platform planks, Ecklund said in Crawford County many people are concerned about defending the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms).
“I think a lot of people are very much interested in prolife issues. A lot of people are concerned about keeping taxation under control,” he added. “I think these all three key things that the great majority of Republicans are interested in.”
Speaking on behalf of Trump were Dr. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University in Virginia, and District 18 Iowa Rep. Steve Holt, of Denison.
Falwell, who first gave his support to Trump the 2016 caucuses, said he continues to lend his support because Trump keeps his promises.
“None of the Republicans that my father (evangelist Jerry Falwell Sr.) and I supported for years and trusted really kept their word,” he said. “A lot of them abandoned us and didn’t keep their promises.
“It’s really a novel thing for a politician to actually keep his promises. For the first time we’re seeing how president Trump – yes, he’s a little rough around the edges and yes I got a lot of grief when I decided to support him.”
Falwell explained people would ask him how he, as an evangelical, could support Trump.
“My father got the same kind of grief for supporting Ronald Reagan because he had been married before,” he said.
Falwell said those same people no longer question his support.
The Republican caucuses were also a time for candidates for local, state and federal offices to be heard, either in person or through letters that were read.
Holt, who is seeking reelection in November, said Republicans in the Iowa House have targets on their backs.
He claimed that across the country, Democrats are targeting one house of the legislature they believe is the weakest.
Ty Rosberg, candidate for the county board of supervisors, and Ray Ohl, candidate for sheriff, addressed the crowd.
The following candidates had letters read for them.
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst
Craig Williams and Heath Hansen, who are running for State Sen. Mark Segebart’s seat (he is not running for reelection)
4th District candidates Jeremy Taylor, Bret Richards, Randy Feenstra, Steve Reeder and incumbent Steve King