Here's something to feel a little more cheery about after hearing tonight's Kansas GOP caucus results: Of the approximately 1.7 million registered voters in Kansas, just under 30,000 showed up to tonight's caucuses. That means that only 1.7 percent of those registered to vote participated today, and only .89 percent of the voters (15,290 total) actually said "aye" to Rick Santorum.
Here's a list of things in Kansas that include about as many or more individuals than the caucuses for Rick Santorum:
- The town of Great Bend (pop. 15,345)
- The capacity of Allen Fieldhouse (~16,300)
- Number of school children who visit the Sedgwick County Zoo every year (40,000)
- Number of people who requested a Kansas Visitors Guide online in 2010 (23,396)
- One day's attendance at the State Fair (roughly 35,000 a day)
- Students at Hutchinson Community College (16,000)
- Undergraduate students at Kansas State University (19,000)
- Number of people who filed an initial claim for unemployment in Decemeber (sad but true: 23,985)
- Number of Kansans who've lost jobs from Boeing in the last 10 years (also sad but true: ~15,000).
- Number of people who work in airplane (or related) manufacturing in Wichita (44,000)
- Number of people who work in information services statewide (27,800)
- Current inmates and parolees of the Kansas Department of Corrections (15,214)
- Circulation numbers for the Lawrence Journal-World (19,000)
- Breeding pairs of ducks statewide (20,000)
- And finally, this one's fun: Number of people who caucused for Barack Obama in 2008 (27,172)
Anyway, I think it's nice to remember that a very, very, very small part of the population met today to cast their votes. (Total number of votes cast in 2008's general presidential election: 1,235,858).
To the tiny sliver of Kansans who participated in the caucuses in my home state tonight: Clearly, you're the loudest voices in the room today, and I do applaud you for showing up to vote. I'm not surprised by the caucus results, but it doesn't mean I'm not sad to again see the state listed as a given for anyone who can throw together a sentence with "values" somewhere in it.
To everyone else: Kansas really isn't this crazy all the time.