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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in the U.S. state of Iowa. Unlike primary elections in most other U.S. states where registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots, Iowans instead gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates. During both the presidential and midterm election seasons, registered Iowan voters vote in a per-precinct caucus for the party they are registered as a member.[1] The caucuses are also held to select delegates to county conventions and party committees, among other party activities.[2]

The Iowa caucuses are noteworthy as the first major contest of the United States presidential primary season.[3] Though the demographics of Iowa are not representative of the rest of the country, the caucuses are still seen as a strong indicator for how a presidential candidate will do in later contests. It can provide candidates with momentum going into the following contests. Candidates who do poorly in their caucus are likely to drop out in the following days.[4]

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  • ✪ First in the Nation: The Iowa Caucuses

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>> Announcer: THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM IS A SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF THE BIG TEN NETWORK, PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> WELL, ON CAUCUS NIGHT, PEOPLE GET UP OUT OF THEIR LIVING ROOMS. THEY DRIVE DOWN TO THE LOCAL SCHOOL OR TO A PUBLIC BUILDING OF SOME TYPE, WALK IN, AND, AT LEAST THIS TIME AROUND, WHAT THEY PROBABLY ENCOUNTERED WERE HUGE LINES... >> I JUST NEED TO CHANGE MY PARTY. >> ...BECAUSE THEY HAD TO SIGN IN, AND TWICE AS MANY DEMOCRATS SHOWED UP AS WERE PREDICTED OR AT LEAST AS SHOWED UP LAST TIME, AND THE REPUBLICANS ALSO HAD A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN TURNOUT. >> PERFECT? >> PERFECT. [ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ] >> I'M GONNA HAVE YOU THROW ONE OUT. >> I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE... >> THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS DO IT A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY. THE REPUBLICANS' CAUCUS IS A LITTLE BIT MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD. YOU GET IN, YOU TAKE CARE OF A LITTLE BIT OF PARTY BUSINESS RIGHT AT THE FRONT, AND THEN PEOPLE STAND UP AND TALK ON BEHALF OF THEIR CANDIDATES, AND THEN THEY HAVE A VOTE. >> I GUESS THE STRONGEST THING WITH JOHN McCAIN IS PROBABLY HIS DEFENSE. HE KNOWS OUR COUNTRY. HE KNOWS THE WAR ON TERROR. HE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO COME OUT AND CALL THEM ISLAMIST TERRORISTS, I GUESS, OR ISLAMIST... I THINK, EXTREMISTS. OUR PRESIDENT STILL DOESN'T CALL THEM THAT. >> AND IT'S, IN THAT SENSE, PRETTY MUCH LIKE A REGULAR VOTE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE IN A PRIMARY, ALTHOUGH WE WRITE A PERSON'S NAME ON A BALLOT. SOMETIMES, IF IT'S A SMALLER PRECINCT OR IF THE PRECINCT CHAIRMAN IS A LITTLE MORE ORGANIZED, YOU MIGHT HAVE A PRINTED BALLOT, BUT NORMALLY YOU JUST VOTE, YOU COUNT THEM UP, AND THEN THAT'S IT. YOU GO ON TO OTHER PARTY BUSINESS. >> MIKE HUCKABEE. RON PAUL. JOHN McCAIN. >> I THINK IT WAS IN '96 WAS MY FIRST ONE, WHERE IT TOOK US THREE HOURS TO FINISH ALL OF OUR BUSINESS. AFTER WE HAD THE PRESIDENTIAL-PREFERENCE POLL, WE WENT ON TO THE DELEGATES AND SELECTING MEMBERS FOR THE COUNTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE AND THEN PLATFORM PLANKS, AND THAT WAS THE ONE THAT USUALLY TAKES A LONG TIME, BECAUSE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THEN WANT TO SUBMIT THINGS, AND PEOPLE WANT TO DISCUSS THEM. YOU HAVE A VOTE. YOU MAY HAVE TO TINKER WITH THE LANGUAGE A LITTLE BIT TO GET IT TO A POINT WHERE AT LEAST THE MAJORITY AGREES WITH IT. AND WE WENT THROUGH THAT THIS YEAR VERY, VERY QUICKLY, AND SO I WAS AMAZED THAT WITH THE LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT WE HAD, WE STILL GOT THROUGH VERY, VERY FAST. >> ROMNEY GOT 7. RON PAUL -- 10. JOHN McCAIN -- 8. MIKE HUCKABEE -- 8. NO VOTES FOR ANY OTHER CANDIDATES. >> CAUCUSES ARE A VERY LONG AND COMPLICATED PROCESS WHERE YOU'RE GONNA SPEND AN HOUR OR TWO ON ONE EVENING, AND THERE'S NO ABSENTEE BALLOTING. THERE'S NO WAY TO RECORD A PREFERENCE EXCEPT BY COMING TO THE CAUCUS MEETING ON THAT NIGHT AT THAT TIME, AND IF YOU'RE NOT THERE WHEN YOU HAVE TO BE THERE, THEN YOU DON'T GET TO PARTICIPATE. SO CAUCUSES ARE A MUCH MORE DEMANDING METHOD OF EXPRESSING A PREFERENCE THAN A PRIMARY. THAT'S WHY MOST STATES HAVE PRIMARIES. >> A PRIMARY -- THE DIFFERENCE IS IT'S AN ACTUAL ELECTION, SO IT'S EXACTLY LIKE A GENERAL ELECTION IN THE WAY THAT IT HAPPENS. SO YOU GO TO YOUR POLLING PLACE, YOU GO INTO THE VOTING BOOTH, YOU PULL YOUR LEVER OR, YOU KNOW, PUNCH YOUR BUTTON OR WHATEVER, AND THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT, SO IT'S SECRET BALLOT. THE CAUCUS -- THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IS IT'S NOT SECRET. EVEN WHEN YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN AND YOU'RE PUTTING IN A STRAW POLL, PEOPLE CAN SEE WHAT YOU'RE PUTTING IN. AND FOR THE DEMOCRATS, IT'S EXTREMELY UNSECRET. >> DEMOCRATS HAVE A 15%-THRESHOLD RULE, WHICH MEANS IF YOUR CANDIDATE HAS LESS THAN 15%, YOU HAVE TO REORIENT YOURSELF, AND SO THEY GO THROUGH A REALIGNMENT PROCESS AND THEN COUNT, AND ACCORDING TO THE PERCENTAGE OF THE VOTE IN EACH PRECINCT, YOU GET A CERTAIN NUMBER OF DELEGATES TO THE NEXT CONVENTION. >> THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA OFFERS STUDENTS A WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION. FOR OVER 160 YEARS, WE'VE EARNED OUR PLACE AMONG AMERICA'S GREAT SCHOOLS. [ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ] >> I WAS A LITTLE APPREHENSIVE ABOUT WALKING IN FOR THE FIRST TIME TONIGHT. AND I LOOKED AROUND TO SEE IF ANYBODY I KNEW WAS WATCHING ME COME IN, BUT PEOPLE HERE HAVE BEEN SO GREAT, AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PROCESS. IT'S A DIFFERENT PROCESS THAN THE REPUBLICANS. THE REPUBLICANS ARE A LITTLE MORE SEDATE IN THEIR DELIBERATIONS. AND I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS COULD TURN A LITTLE RAUCOUS. >> PRETTY MUCH, YOU GO INTO A LARGE ROOM -- HOPEFULLY A LARGE ROOM. YOU SIT DOWN OR STAND UNDER THE SIGN OF THE CANDIDATE THAT YOU SUPPORT WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR PRECINCT AND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WHO ALSO SUPPORT THAT CANDIDATE. IF YOU'RE LUCKY, THERE MIGHT BE SOME COOKIES OR SOME COFFEE, OR IT MAY TAKE A WHILE TO GET EVERYBODY SIGNED IN. >> RIGHT NOW, I'M JUST A GREETER AND A SHEPHERD, SO RIGHT NOW I'M STANDING BY THE DOOR -- RIGHT. WELL, I HAD TO COME IN, BUT I'M STANDING BY THE DOOR AND JUST TELLING PEOPLE WHERE THEY'RE GOING. I'M TELLING EVERYBODY WHERE THEY ARE. BUT I'M TELLING THE EDWARDS PEOPLE DEFINITELY COME THIS WAY. I'M SO SORRY. >> SORRY. CAN WE SNEAK IN? >> ABSOLUTELY. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. >> NO PROBLEM. I'M GLAD WE COULD GET THEM WHERE THEY NEEDED TO GO. >> OUR ATTENDANCE NUMBER IS 719. >> THEN THE CAUCUS CHAIR CALLS IT ALL TO ORDER, AND THE FIRST THING AFTER TAKING CARE OF SOME PARTY BUSINESS, LIKE ASKING FOR MONEY, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T HAVE A CAUCUS WITHOUT ASKING FOR MONEY, YOU GO ON TO THE PRESIDENTIAL-PREFERENCE PROCESS. >> THEN AT THIS TIME, YOU NEED TO MOVE TO YOUR PREFERENCE GROUP. >> FOR THE DEMOCRATS, THE PREFERENCE PROCESS INCLUDES LITERALLY GETTING UP AND MOVING, SOMETHING VERY HARD TO DO IN THE REALLY CROWDED ROOMS SOMETIMES, BUT IT'S GETTING UP AND MOVING WHEN THE CAUCUS CHAIR SAYS TO MOVE AND SENDS PEOPLE TO DIFFERENT CORNERS OF THE ROOM OR TO OUT IN THE HALL OR TO A DIFFERENT ROOM ENTIRELY SO THAT YOU CAN BE COUNTED. >> AS I COUNT YOU, DROP YOUR HANDS, OKAY? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... >> AND THIS IS LITERALLY A MATTER OF STANDING UP TO BE COUNTED FOR YOUR CANDIDATE. AT THAT POINT, SOMEONE WILL TRY TO COUNT YOU, AND GIVEN THE NUMBERS THAT OCCURRED ALL OVER IOWA, THAT COUNTING PROCESS CAN BE A LITTLE COMPLICATED. BUT SOMEONE WILL TRY TO COUNT YOU. THEY WILL GET A FINAL COUNT. ONCE THAT COUNT IS DONE AND REPORTED, THE CAUCUS CHAIR WILL INDICATE WHICH CANDIDATES ARE VIABLE AND WHICH ARE NOT. >> EDWARDS -- 159, VIABLE. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] GRAVEL -- 1. [ LAUGHTER ] KUCINICH -- 46, NOT VIABLE. >> HOW MANY WAS IT? >> OBAMA -- 302. >> VIABILITY, OF COURSE, SIMPLY MEANS HAVING ENOUGH SUPPORTERS THERE TO REACH THE MINIMUM THRESHOLD, GENERALLY 15%, BUT IT'S ACTUALLY A LITTLE HIGHER IN SOME PRECINCTS. THE CANDIDATES WHO ARE VIABLE, LOTS OF CHEERS, LOTS OF EXCITEMENT. EVERYBODY'S THRILLED. THE CANDIDATES WHO ARE NOT VIABLE, IT'S A LITTLE MORE OF A CHALLENGE. THEY HAVE TO START THINKING ABOUT STRATEGY AT THAT POINT. >> ...HAVE A PLAN THAT WE NEED TO READDRESS AS A GROUP BEFORE ANYBODY COMES IN. >> YOU COME TALK TO US, AND THAT'S THE OFFER WE HAVE ON THE TABLE. >> HERE'S A FACT. EDWARDS, OBAMA -- THEY DON'T NEED US. THEY'VE GOT MORE PEOPLE THAN THEY NEED. >> THE NONVIABLE-CANDIDATE GROUP CAN JUST TRY TO STAY TOGETHER AND ATTRACT OTHER PEOPLE, TRY TO ATTRACT OTHER CANDIDATE GROUPS OR UNCOMMITTEDS OR EVEN PEOPLE FROM THE VIABLE GROUPS TO JOIN THEM TO MAKE THEM VIABLE. OR THEY CAN END UP SPLITTING UP, DISPERSING INDIVIDUALS JUST WANDERING OFF TO DIFFERENT CANDIDATES. OR THEY CAN GO AS A GROUP AND SAY, "LET'S JOIN ANOTHER NONVIABLE GROUP, AND WE'LL BE UNCOMMITTED TOGETHER." >> UNVIABLE GROUPS ARE AGREEING NOW, IF WE AGREE WITH THEM, TO COME TOGETHER TO BE A HUGE UNDECIDED. >> UNCOMMITTED. >> UNCOMMITTED -- I THINK IT'S CALLED "UNDECIDED." OKAY, AND SO IF WE STAND WITH THE UNDECIDEDS, WE'LL ACTUALLY HAVE DELEGATES, UNDECIDED DELEGATES. >> WE'D LOVE TO HAVE YOU COME AND JOIN THE RICHARDSON PEOPLE. >> SO, LET'S JUST DO A QUICK STRAW POLL. >> WE ALL KNEW THAT. I BET A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM KNEW THAT INVADING IRAQ WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA, AND OBAMA WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO SPOKE OUT AND SAID, AT SOME POLITICAL RISK, "THIS IS A VERY TERRIBLE IDEA. YOU CAN'T DO THIS." >> BUT THE REAL DYNAMICS, THE REAL INTERESTING PART, ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WANDERING AROUND, TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU TO CHANGE YOUR POSITION. AS YOU STAND WITH THE NONVIABLE GROUP, YOU WILL BE THE MOST POPULAR PERSON IN THE ROOM FOR A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, AS EVERYBODY COMES BY AND SAYS, "COME JOIN US. COME JOIN US. YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T WANT TO GO THERE. YOU WANT TO GO HERE." >> WE'RE UNCOMMITTED RIGHT NOW, BUT WE'RE GOING TO DECIDE IN THREE MINUTES. >> COME AND JOIN OUR GROUP. YEAH. >> THE BOTTOM LINE, THOUGH, IS IN ALL THIS STRATEGIZING, ALL THIS RUNNING AROUND, THERE'S ABOUT 30 MINUTES OF TIME IN WHICH PEOPLE ARE MILLING ABOUT, TRYING TO DECIDE WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO, EATING MORE SANDWICHES, EATING MORE COOKIES, YOU KNOW, DRINKING SOME LEMONADE OR COFFEE, AND, GENERALLY, CHAOS REIGNS FOR A WHILE. >> [ Chanting ] JOIN OBAMA! [ CLAPPING RHYTHMICALLY ] JOIN OBAMA! [ CLAPPING RHYTHMICALLY ] >> THE PRECINCT LEADERS ARE TRYING TO KEEP THEIR FOLKS TOGETHER, PARTICULARLY GROUPS THAT ARE CLOSE TO VIABILITY. >> SO, IF YOU ARE NOT INTO RANKS OF 10, YOU NEED TO GET INTO IT. >> FOR HOW LONG? >> WELL, IT'S GONNA BE A LITTLE WHILE. BEING A DEMOCRAT STINKS. >> I WATCHED IN A CAUCUS AS AN EDWARDS-PRECINCT PERSON DID EVERYTHING SHE COULD, SHORT OF TYING ROPES AROUND THE GROUP, TO KEEP THEM ALL IN ONE PLACE SO THEY WOULDN'T LOSE ANYONE. THEY WERE SHORT JUST A FEW PEOPLE OF BEING VIABLE. ULTIMATELY, THEY BECAME VIABLE WHEN THE ENTIRE BIDEN GROUP MOVED OVER TO EDWARDS. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] SO A LOT OF THIS IS GOING ON. IT TAKES ABOUT HALF AN HOUR, AT WHICH POINT THE CHAIR WILL SAY, "THE REALIGNMENT'S OVER. WHAT'S YOUR COUNT?" >> WE DON'T HAVE A NUMBER YET. >> 26%. >> I WAS TOLD THAT THEY MIGHT NEED ONE MORE, AND I WAS WILLING TO CHANGE FROM OBAMA. >> OKAY. I THINK WE'RE TEETERING ON THE EDGE, SO ONE SECOND. >> I KNOW. >> OKAY. >> WE NEED REPORTS. >> IF THERE ARE ANY NONVIABLE GROUPS LEFT AT THAT POINT, THOSE GROUPS MUST DISPERSE. IT'S OVER FOR THEM. ONLY THE VIABLE GROUPS GET TO CONTINUE. AND FOLKS FROM THOSE NONVIABLE GROUPS MIGHT GO HOME. THEY MIGHT LITERALLY JUST LEAVE, OR THEY MIGHT DISPERSE INTO OTHER GROUPS. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT YOU GET A FINAL COUNT. YOU KNOW HOW MANY ARE SUPPORTING EACH CANDIDATE. EACH REMAINING CANDIDATE IS VIABLE, AND THE CAUCUS CHAIR THEN DOES THE MATH CALCULATION, WITH PRECINCT LEADERS FOR EACH CANDIDATE LOOKING OVER HIS OR HER SHOULDER TO MAKE SURE IT'S DONE RIGHT, AND AWARDS THE DELEGATES. >> AND CLINTON -- 57. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> EDWARDS -- 169. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> OBAMA -- 177. >> CONGRATULATIONS FOR PULLING THIS OFF. DON'T LEAVE IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN RESOLUTIONS AND ELECTING DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION AND DELEGATES TO PLATFORM COMMITTEES. WE'VE GOT MORE FUN AHEAD. >> SO WE NOW HAVE THE DELEGATE NUMBERS. THE PRECINCT CHAIR CALLS IT IN. THE CAUCUS CHAIR CALLS IT IN TO THE STATE PARTY, SO THE NUMBERS GET CALLED IN WHILE THE GROUPS ACTUALLY ELECT PEOPLE TO BE THOSE DELEGATES. ONCE THAT'S DONE, MOST PEOPLE LEAVE, BUT A FEW HEARTY SOULS STICK AROUND. MAYBE 5% OF THE PEOPLE WHO WENT TO THE CAUCUS STICK AROUND TO DO A WHOLE BUNCH OF PARTY BUSINESS -- ELECTING LOCAL PARTY OFFICIALS, VOTING ON RESOLUTIONS TO BUILD THE PLATFORM AND THINGS LIKE THAT, ANOTHER HALF-HOUR OR SO OF WORK, AND THEN IT'S OVER. EVERYONE GOES HOME. THE CHAIR IS LEFT TO CLEAN UP. >> SO, IT'S NOT UNTIL 1972 WHEN ALL OF THE ENERGY IS DEVOTED TO GETTING THE VOTERS TO BE INVOLVED AND EXPRESS A POPULAR PREFERENCE RATHER THAN A PARTY PREFERENCE THAT IOWA IS DISCOVERED AS BEING THE FIRST STATE WITH A POPULAR EXPRESSION OF PREFERENCE, AND SO IOWA NOW GETS ALL THE ATTENTION. >> I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY A CAUCUS SHOULD BE FIRST, BECAUSE TRADITIONALLY, WHEN YOU THINK OF A CAUCUS, YOU THINK LOW PARTICIPATION, NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REST OF THE NATION AS TO WHO GOES TO A CAUCUS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT STATE IT'S IN. AND THEN YOU PUT IT IN IOWA, WHICH IS LILY-WHITE AND MIDWESTERN, AND YOU KNOW THAT IT JUST MAYBE WASN'T THE MOST REPRESENTATIVE -- AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT BEFORE I GOT HERE. BUT HAVING WATCHED THE PROCESS, I THINK THE PEOPLE OF IOWA TAKE IT VERY, VERY SERIOUSLY. >> IT'S PART OF A FOUR-STAGE PROCESS -- PRECINCT CAUCUSES, COUNTY CONVENTIONS, DISTRICT CONVENTIONS, AND A STATE CONVENTION, ALL OF WHICH EVENTUALLY LEAD TO ELECTING DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION. WELL, IN ORDER TO DO THAT, YOU NEED TIME IN BETWEEN EACH EVENT. AND THE PARTY RULES IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHANGED AFTER 1968 TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TIME REQUIRED. BY ACCIDENT, THAT PUSHED IOWA EARLY. >> BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN FIRST IN THE NATION FOR SO LONG, THEY'RE USED TO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO, AND THEY REALLY GO TO THE RALLIES. THEY REALLY PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S GOING ON. THEY'RE VERY INFORMED. I MEAN, IT WAS FREEZING COLD THE NIGHT OF THE CAUCUS, AND THE LINE AT MY CAUCUS WAS OUT THE DOOR AND AROUND THE CORNER. >> NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS BEEN FIRST IN THE NATION VIRTUALLY FOREVER AND GUARDED THAT ZEALOUSLY. WELL, THE IOWA CAUCUSES -- NO ONE WENT TO THEM. NO ONE CARED. IT DIDN'T MATTER. AND THEN SUDDENLY THEY WERE FIRST. AND IN BECOMING FIRST, GEORGE McGOVERN'S CAMPAIGN AND, EVEN MORE SO, JIMMY CARTER'S CAMPAIGN IN 1976 TOOK TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGE OF THAT. THE MEDIA PAID ATTENTION, AND WE BEGAN TO SNOWBALL. >> THANK YOU! [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> ...ROBOTS OF THE WORLD WANT YOU TO APOLOGIZE. >> GET OUT OF HERE! [ AUDIENCE BOOING ] >> YOU NEED TO FIND MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE WAYS TO PROTEST THAN THROWING GRAFFITI. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE CAUCUSES AND, I SUPPOSE, WHAT MAKES THEM IMPORTANT TO THE PROCESS AS A WHOLE IS IT GIVES THE CANDIDATES AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE IN WHAT WE CALL "RETAIL POLITICS," AND THAT MEANS GETTING OUT AND MEETING THE PEOPLE. >> READ IT ON THE PLANE. >> LISTEN, I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. I -- IS YOUR PHONE NUMBER ON HERE? PUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER. I'LL CALL YOU. >> IF THERE ARE SOME CANDIDATES IN A -- THIS IS TRUE PRETTY MUCH OF ALL CANDIDATES WHEN YOU GET LATER IN A CAMPAIGN -- WHERE IT'S SUCH A BIG OPERATION THAT THE BEST THEY CAN DO IS COME IN, GIVE A SPEECH TO 400, 500 PEOPLE, 1,000 PEOPLE, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE VENUE, AND THEY REALLY DON'T GET THAT OPPORTUNITY TO MEET THE PEOPLE, MEET THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE GOING TO BE CASTING THOSE VOTES OR GOING TO THOSE CAUCUSES EARLY IN THE PROCESS. AND SO THIS GIVES THEM THAT OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT AND TO FIND OUT WHAT'S ON PEOPLE'S MINDS. I MEAN, "WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT? WHAT ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU?" >> ...THAT WE HELP OUR SCIENCE AND MATH BY NOT NEGLECTING THE ARTS IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. >> YEAH, I'M PUSHING THAT BIG -- ART IN THE SCHOOLS. >> YES. >> A BIG FEDERAL EFFORT. I WILL DO THAT. >> YOU CAN HAVE THESE POLLS. YOU CAN HAVE ALL THIS THING AND ANOTHER THING, BUT YOU DON'T HEAR THOSE STORIES FROM INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE, WHETHER IT'S SOMETHING THAT WAS A TERRIBLE KIND OF STORY OR SOMETHING THAT'S INSPIRATIONAL, WHATEVER IT HAPPENS TO BE THAT YOU WANT TO HEAR THAT FROM THOSE PEOPLE. >> FOUR WEEKS LATER, I GOT THE BIRTHDAY CARD BACK IN THE MAIL MARKED "RETURN TO SENDER, CASUALTY DEPARTMENT, U.S. ARMY," YET ANOTHER REMINDER THAT HE WAS GONE. I TOOK THAT CARD AND I WENT TO THE STORE AND I BOUGHT TWO HELIUM BALLOONS. I DROVE TO HIS GRAVE. I SAT BESIDE HIM. I ATTACHED THAT CARD TO THE BALLOONS. I LET IT GO. I WATCHED IT DRIFT UP INTO THE SKY AND ON ALONG THE BREEZE. [ Voice breaking ] WE'RE GONNA BRING THEM HOME. WE'RE GONNA BRING THEM ALL HOME. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> AND I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE CANDIDATES, BECAUSE OTHERWISE, IF THEY'RE JUST SORT OF SHOWING UP AT AN EVENT, THEY SEE THIS SEA OF FACES OUT THERE, BUT THEY DON'T REALLY MAKE THAT CONNECTION TO UNDERSTAND THAT, "LOOK, I'M GOING TO BE LEADING REAL PEOPLE, NOT JUST THIS SEA OF FACES OR NOT JUST, YOU KNOW, UNKNOWN VOTES THAT ARE OUT THERE ON ELECTION DAY." >> MIKE HUCKABEE. >> ...A DOCUMENTARY ON -- >> ON THE CAUCUS? >> WE LOVE CANDIDATES WHO LOVE IOWA, SO -- >> IT'S HARD NOT TO RIGHT NOW. >> CAN YOU JUST TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN IOWA? >> I THINK THE IOWA CAUCUSES ARE VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT PEOPLE LIKE ME, WHO DON'T HAVE THE FUNDING OF SOME OF THE OTHERS, STILL CAN BE COMPETITIVE. IF WE LOSE THAT, WE DON'T JUST LOSE THE IOWA CAUCUS. WE LOSE THE POTENTIAL OF THE PRESIDENCY OF BEING A PEOPLE'S PRESIDENCY AND IT BECOMING A PLUTOCRACY. BE THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED. AND TO HAVE TO BECOME PRESIDENT, YOU SHOULD EARN IT, NOT BUY IT. AND ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PATH TO THE PRESIDENCY IS THAT IN IOWA, THEY'RE JUST NOT THAT IMPRESSED 'CAUSE YOU HAVE MONEY. THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT ARE YOUR IDEAS, AND I REALLY THINK THE COUNTRY'S INTERESTS ARE INVOLVED IN PRESERVING THE CAUCUS. >> THANK YOU. >> WHY IS IOWA IMPORTANT? IOWA'S IMPORTANT PRIMARILY BECAUSE IT'S FIRST. WHOEVER WAS FIRST WOULD HAVE THIS ATTENTION BECAUSE IT IS THE VERY FIRST TIME THAT VOTERS GET TO WEIGH IN ON THE CANDIDATES, AND IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF THE PERMANENT CAMPAIGN OF LARGE, HUGE, FRANKLY, FUNDRAISING EFFORTS OF TREMENDOUS MEDIA- AND CONSULTANT-DRIVEN CAMPAIGNS, THE MEDIA'S GOING TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE THE FIRST VOTES GET CAST, NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE. >> I CAN HEAR YOU. CAN YOU HEAR ME, AND WHY CAN'T YOU HEAR ME? IS ROMNEY SET UP OR NOT? ASK IF ROMNEY IS SET UP. >> IS ROMNEY SET? >> YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT GOING NEGATIVE IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND SAID, "PUT SOME GOOD IN THERE IF YOU HAVE TO WITH THE BAD. DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO." DID YOU SAY THAT? >> SHE'S DISCOVERING THIS NEIGHBORING STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. >> THERE WERE SO MANY FOLKS HERE, MUCH MORE MEDIA ATTENTION, AND OCCASIONALLY, THEN, AS PEOPLE WERE TALKING TO ME, THEY WOULD SAY, "WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NATIONAL MEDIA? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ALL OF THIS ATTENTION, AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT CAUSED IT?" WELL, I THINK THE THING THAT MAINLY CAUSED IT WAS THE FACT THAT WE HAD VERY INTERESTING RACES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. >> THE PROCESS OF WHO GETS ATTENTION IS REALLY AN INTERACTIVE PROCESS. I MEAN, IT STARTS WITH MEDIA BUZZ. IT STARTS WITH PUBLIC-OPINION POLLS. IT STARTS WITH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. AND OUT OF THOSE SORT OF STRAWS IN THE WIND, YOU BEGIN TO GET A SENSE OF, "WELL, WHICH CANDIDATES ARE THE SERIOUS CANDIDATES? WHICH ONES ARE NOT?" >> SENATOR, THIS WAY. >> THE ISSUES ARE GONNA MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. AND I THINK YOU GOT TO LOOK AT WHAT HAS TRANSPIRED IN THE NATIONAL DEFENSE JUST IN THE CASE OF PAKISTAN LAST WEEK. >> ...NEAR-RECORD TURNOUT HERE IN IOWA. THERE ARE LINES AROUND THE BLOCK, OVERCROWDING OF CAUCUS CENTERS, AND A LOT'S GONE INTO IT -- $50 MILLION SPENT ON TV ADS ALONE IN IOWA. >> ...THE SENATOR FROM IOWA ALSO RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. BUT THE DIFFICULTY IS... >> YES, ELECTABILITY USUALLY DOES MEAN... >> AND IF YOU CAN GET THE PRESS TO REORIENT ITSELF FROM SAYING, "OH, THIS IS SOMEBODY WHO'S RUNNING" TO "THIS IS SOMEBODY WHO COULD BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT," THEN YOU'VE REALLY TAKEN A BIG STEP TOWARDS IMPROVING YOUR CHANCES OF RUNNING. >> ...COMUNIDAD DE AQUELLOS QUE ERAN RESIDENTES A QUE SE HICIERAN LIBERANOS. >> YES, THE POLLING NUMBERS FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DROPPED OUT -- TALKING 457 VOTES -- THE POLLING NUMBERS -- I DIDN'T EITHER. LAST NIGHT, I WAS RUNNING MY MODEL. I WAS ACTUALLY PREDICTING. I'M NOT SHOWING... >> THE REASON POLLING MATTERS TO THE MEDIA IS THEY NEED A NEW STORY EVERY DAY. THEY'VE GOT -- EVEN IN THE INTERNET AGE, YOU'VE GOT -- ACTUALLY, MAYBE EVEN MORE SO IN THE INTERNET AGE, YOU GOT SPACE TO FILL. YOU GOT PEOPLE TO GET. YOU'VE GOT EYEBALLS TO ATTRACT, AND TO ATTRACT THOSE EYEBALLS, YOU GOT TO HAVE SOMETHING NEW. POLLING GIVES THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT THAT'S RELATIVELY EASY. AND THE STORY HAS A TENDENCY TO WRITE ITSELF AS LONG AS THE POLLSTER PRESENTS IT WELL. >> I DON'T KNOW. I MEAN, THE POLLS HAVEN'T BEEN PARTICULARLY ACCURATE THIS TIME AROUND, AND I DON'T KNOW THAT THEY WERE SO INACCURATE HERE IN IOWA. I MEAN, THEY WERE ACTUALLY PRETTY DEAD-ON IN THAT IT SHOWED THAT IT WAS PRETTY DEAD-ON -- I MEAN, THAT PARTICULARLY THE DEMOCRATS WERE SO TIGHT TOGETHER, IT WAS REALLY HARD TO PREDICT WHO WAS GONNA WIN, AND, IN FACT, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED. BUT THEY'VE BEEN SO BAD OTHERWISE. PARTICULARLY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, THEY WERE REALLY BAD AND IN SOME OTHER PLACES, AND I THINK THIS YEAR, THEY JUST DIDN'T ESTIMATE HOW MANY YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD COME OUT AND KIND OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE THAT WOULD COME OUT. AND SO THEIR SAMPLE WAS JUST FLAWED IN WHO THEY WERE GETTING, AND, I MEAN, IT'S REALLY HARD TO SAMPLE, AND PARTICULARLY HERE IN IOWA, IT'S HARD TO SAMPLE CAUCUSGOERS, 'CAUSE IT'S HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHO'S GONNA ACTUALLY GO, AND MOST OF THE TIME, THEY'RE DOING THE SAMPLING BASED ON WHO WENT IN THE PAST. AND SO IF PEOPLE DIDN'T PARTICIPATE IN THE PAST, YOU DON'T KNOW TO GO ASK THEM. >> AND SO THE FACT THAT THE POLLS JUMP ALL OVER THE PLACE IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES ISN'T BECAUSE THE POLLSTERS DO A BAD JOB. IT'S BECAUSE THE KEY QUESTION, "ARE YOU GOING TO CAUCUS?," IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO ANSWER BEFORE THE CAUCUSES. THEY CAN SAY THEY'RE GOING TO CAUCUS, THEY CAN SAY THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CAUCUS, BUT CAUCUS NIGHT, YOU GOT TO GET OUT AT THE SAME TIME. IT MIGHT BE COLD. IT MIGHT BE SNOWY. IT MIGHT BE WHO KNOWS WHAT. THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE. AND SO IT'S JUST REALLY HARD TO FIND FOLKS. >> I READ WHERE THE DES MOINES REGISTER CAME OUT WITH A POLL RIGHT BEFORE THE CAUCUSES, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WANTED TO DISMISS THE RESULTS. THEY SHOWED OBAMA IN THE LEAD. BUT THEIR PROFILE OF WHO WAS GONNA VOTE DIDN'T FIT PRECONCEPTIONS. THERE WAS TOO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE. THERE WERE TOO MANY INDEPENDENTS. THERE WERE TOO MANY FIRST-TIME CAUCUSGOERS. AND THIS WAS -- THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN UNUSUAL TURNOUT, AND THEREFORE, THE CONCLUSION, THE INFERENCE, WAS THIS WAS AN INCORRECT SAMPLE AND, THEREFORE, THE RESULTS AREN'T RELIABLE. WELL, AS IT TURNED OUT, THE DES MOINES REGISTER GOT IT RIGHT. THERE WAS A VERY HIGH TURNOUT OF FIRST-TIME CAUCUSGOERS. THERE WERE A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE PARTICIPATING, A LOT OF INDEPENDENTS REGISTERING AS DEMOCRATS AND AS REPUBLICANS. >> OKAY, WE HAD THE IOWA RESULTS AND THE IOWA CAUCUSES. HOW DID THAT AFFECT WHAT WAS GOING ON IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? DID, IN FACT, HUCKABEE SPIKE UP? YES, HE DID A LITTLE BIT. HOW ABOUT McCAIN? McCAIN ALSO GOT A SURGE, 'CAUSE THOSE WERE THE TWO THAT WERE SEEN AS DOING REALLY WELL IN IOWA, AND THEY GOT A BIT OF A BUMP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, EVEN THOUGH NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTERS WILL TELL YOU, "OH, NO, IOWA RESULTS DIDN'T AFFECT US AT ALL." BUT IT DOES A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE THEY GET A LITTLE BIT MORE MEDIA ATTENTION, AND SO NOW PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THOSE CANDIDATES AGAIN IF THEY HADN'T SUPPORTED THEM INITIALLY. SO, THE POLLS MAKE A BIT OF A DIFFERENCE, BUT YOU DO HAVE TO TAKE THEM WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. >> ASIDE FROM ENJOYING EVERYTHING ON A STICK AT THE IOWA FAIR, WHICH IS ALWAYS A GREAT JOY HERE, THE THING I THINK I'VE CARRIED AWAY THE MOST IS I LOVE THE INDEPENDENCE AND THE NOTION THAT IOWANS, I THINK THIS TIME AND HISTORICALLY, AS WELL, MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS. I MEAN, THEY'RE BEING TOLD ALL THE TIME BY PEOPLE WHO SPEND HERE DECIDING WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO ON A CAUCUS NIGHT, AND YOU HAVE PROVEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN YOU MAKE UP YOUR OWN MINDS, AND THAT'S A GOOD THING FOR AMERICA. >> THANK YOU. GOVERNOR? >> WELL, I'VE STUDIED THE HISTORY OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES. WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT IOWANS IS YOU LIKE UNDERDOGS. [ LAUGHTER ] >> IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A DEBATE AND YOU'RE LISTENING TO ALL THESE CANDIDATES SPEAK, THEN YOU MIGHT LISTEN TO THEM UNFILTERED, SPEAKING FOR THEMSELVES, AND GO, "GOSH, I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT'S MY GUY." I MEAN, IF YOU GO BACK TO 2000, THE FAMOUS SIGHS BY AL GORE OFFSCREEN -- HE'S NOT EVEN IN THE PICTURE -- BUT GEORGE BUSH IS ANSWERING A QUESTION, AND AL GORE'S GOING... [ SIGHS ] AND THAT REALLY HURT HIM, BECAUSE IT GAVE AN IMPRESSION OF WHO HE WAS TO THE VOTERS THAT WAS HARD TO OVERTURN. YOU CAN'T, WITH AN AD, UNDO THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU MAKE WITH THAT, AND IN THE SAME WAY, IN A DEBATE, IT'S UNCONTROLLED. >> WITH RELATIVELY LITTLE FOREIGN-POLICY EXPERIENCE OF YOUR OWN, HOW WILL YOU RELY ON SO MANY CLINTON ADVISERS AND STILL DELIVER THE KIND OF BREAK FROM THE PAST THAT YOU'RE PROMISING VOTERS? >> WELL, THE -- YOU KNOW, I AM -- >> I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT! [ LAUGHTER ] >> WELL, HILLARY, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO YOU ADVISING ME, AS WELL. [ LAUGHTER ] I'LL WANT TO GATHER UP TALENT FROM EVERYWHERE. >> TO ME, THE DEBATES DIDN'T SEEM TO BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL IT GOT DOWN TO MAYBE SIX, BUT FIVE WOULD BE BETTER, AND I KNOW THAT SOME OF THE DEBATE ORGANIZERS TOOK SOME CRITICISM FOR NOT ALLOWING SOME OF THE SECOND- OR THIRD-TIER, IF YOU WANT TO CALL THEM THAT, CANDIDATES -- IN OTHER WORDS, THE PEOPLE THAT WERE NOT POLLING VERY WELL -- IN ONE PARTY OR ANOTHER. >> CONGRESSMAN PAUL, WHAT'S THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE STANDING IN THE WAY OF IMPROVING EDUCATION? >> DO I HAVE TO RAISE MY HAND TO GET A QUESTION? I'D LIKE TO ADDRESS THAT QUESTION. >> I'M GETTING TO YOU. >> NO, YOU'RE NOT. YOU HAVEN'T IN SEVERAL GO-ROUNDS, SO I HAVE TO MAKE AN ISSUE OUT OF IT. I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION OF EDUCATION. >> GO AHEAD. >> I DON'T WISH IT TO PASS ON. >> PLEASE, YOU HAVE 30 SECONDS. >> THEY HAD A MINUTE. WHY DO I GET 30 SECONDS? SEE, YOUR UNFAIRNESS IS NOW BECOMING SO APPARENT THAT THE VOTERS IN IOWA MUST UNDERSTAND THERE'S A REASON FOR IT. AND THE REASON FOR IT IS WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY. >> SOMETIMES IT'S A MATTER OF FORMAT, IF YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A VERY SMALL LOCATION OR THE TYPE OF SITTING-AROUND-THE-TABLE, TALKING KIND OF A THING. BUT JUST TO HAVE NINE -- EIGHT, NINE CANDIDATES ONSTAGE ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THEN NOBODY'S REALLY DOING A GREAT JOB, AND IT MAKES THE PROCESS NOT AS EFFECTIVE AND NOT AS USEFUL TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE DECIDING -- ULTIMATELY, THE VOTERS. >> ARE YOU READY TO CAUCUS? 'CAUSE HILLARY'S READY TO LEAD LET'S HEAR IT FOR OUR NOMINEE H.R.C. >> NO, HE'S JUST OUR FAMILY PET. >> ANOTHER PARROT FOR PEACE. >> IS HE GOING TO THE CAUCUS? >> HE'LL CAUCUS WHEN WE DO. YEAH. >> THERE'S MORE COMING. A BLOODY AMERICA. I SPIT ON YOU. >> THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. MAN, WE COULDN'T GET -- WE COULDN'T GET ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IN HERE WITH A SHOEHORN. [ LAUGHTER ] THANK YOU FOR COMING, ALL OF YOU. AND I ALSO WANT TO SAY, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN'T LOOKED, IT'S AMAZING. WE GOT ALL THESE PEOPLE LOOKING IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS. >> THE ORGANIZATION IS YOU HAVE A PRECINCT CAPTAIN IN EVERY PRECINCT. THAT'S A VOLUNTEER OPERATION. YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE JAZZED ENOUGH TO GET OUT ON COLD DAYS AND KNOCK ON DOORS AND MAKE THEIR PHONE CALLS EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE HANG UP ON THEM AND GET OUT AND DO STUFF. AND IN THIS WAY, THE GRASSROOTS NATURE OF IOWA IS SOMETHING THAT USED TO BE STANDARD FOR POLITICS. BUT PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS GOT AWAY FROM THEM WHEN THEY WENT TO SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY ON TELEVISION. ALL THE MONEY WENT TO TELEVISION. IT DIDN'T GO TO BUILDING ORGANIZATION AND VOLUNTEERS. AND, NATIONALLY, THAT'S STILL TRUE. EVEN IN IOWA, PEOPLE WERE SPECULATING THAT MEDIA WAS GOING TO MATTER A LOT MORE THAN ORGANIZATION. IN THE END, YOU CAN'T FIGHT A REALLY COMMITTED CORPS OF VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE IOWANS. HOWARD DEAN TRIED TO BUILD THIS, BUT HE BROUGHT A LOT -- HE BROUGHT 4,000 PEOPLE IN FROM OUT OF STATE TO KNOCK ON THE DOORS. MIKE HUCKABEE DIDN'T DO THAT. MIKE HUCKABEE HAD REAL IOWANS DOING WHATEVER THEY DID TO GET VOTES OUT. [ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ] >> IT'S THE WAY THAT WE KEEP TRACK OF THE PEOPLE WE CALL. WE HAVE A STATUS SHEET WHERE IT'S COMPLETE CALLS, BAD NUMBERS, AND THEN OUR QUESTION ONE IS "WHO'S YOUR FIRST CHOICE FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION?" QUESTION TWO IS "WHO IS YOUR SECOND CHOICE?" AND THEN OUR THIRD QUESTION IS IF YOU'LL BE GOING TO THE IOWA CAUCUS OR NOT. AND THEN EACH CANDIDATE IS ASSIGNED A CERTAIN LETTER. SO IT MAKES IT VERY EASY. WE SCAN THEM THROUGH A MACHINE. AND WE KEEP TRACK OF WHO'S SUPPORTING WHO, AND THEN RIGHT BEFORE THE IOWA CAUCUS, WE CALL ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS, MAKE SURE THEY GO CAUCUS FOR RUDY. >> I'LL HAVE TO GET SOME MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THAT, BUT I KNOW FOR SURE THAT THERE'S GREAT CHILDCARE PROVIDERS FOR THAT EVENING. SO THERE'S NO REASON WHY YOU CAN'T PARTICIPATE. >> HEY, IS THIS DANIEL? >> FACEBOOK HAS BECOME SO POLITICALLY AWARE THAT THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS ABOUT U.S. POLITICS, OR YOU CAN GO ON RECORD AND SAY, YOU KNOW, "THIS IS WHO I'M PLANNING ON VOTING FOR." AND YOU CAN DEBATE CERTAIN ISSUES AND TAKE A STANCE. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN SEE HOW YOU'RE INDIRECTLY AFFECTING OTHER PEOPLE. >> ...AND ONE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS. AND THEY'LL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ONE ANOTHER. I AM ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, AND WE'RE JUST EDUCATING PEOPLE ON THE CAUCUS PROCESS ON A BIPARTISAN LEVEL ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN CAUCUSES. I DO THEM ALL OVER THE STATE, ABOUT ONE A DAY -- SOMETIMES TWO A DAY. I HAVE TWO TOMORROW. I LOVE THIS PROCESS, AND I WANT IOWA TO BE FIRST, AND I WANT PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE. >> AND THEN IT WAS IN '03 THAT WE CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF HAVING A COFFEE-BEAN CAUCUS WITH THE IOWA CAUCUSES. WE DECIDED TO HAVE ONE BEAN, ONE VOTE AND HAD MASON JARS FOR EACH CANDIDATE. AS YOU GET CLOSER TO THE CAUCUS, YOU START TO SEE MORE OF -- A LOT OF THE STAFF COMING IN TO EAT, TOO, AND THEN RIGHT AFTER THE CAUCUS, WE'LL HAVE QUITE A BIT OF THE POLITICAL STAFF COMING IN, YOU KNOW, BEFORE THEY MOVE ON TO THE NEXT THING. >> IOWANS LIKE PEOPLE WHO ARE REASONABLY NICE, THAT CAN GET ALONG WITH PEOPLE, AND CARE A LOT MORE ABOUT ACCOMPLISHING THINGS AND RUNNING OUR GOVERNMENT EFFICIENTLY THAN, YOU KNOW, JUST WINNING. >> SEE THIS HANDY-DANDY LIST HERE. OKAY, SO, LET'S SEE. YEAH, I'VE SEEN BIDEN. I'VE SEEN HILLARY A COUPLE OF TIMES. I'VE SEEN DODD. SEEN EDWARDS AND HIS WIFE. I'VE SEEN GIULIANI AND HUCKABEE AND DUNCAN HUNTER. I HAVEN'T SEEN KUCINICH, AND I HAVEN'T SEEN RICHARDSON. I'VE SEEN RON PAUL AND OBAMA -- RODE AN ELEVATOR WITH HIM. SEEN McCAIN. SEEN ROMNEY. SEEN TANCREDO AND THOMPSON, TOO. >> WHAT'S THAT THERE? >> OH, THIS IS A SUMMARY. >> OH. >> IT'S PUT OUT BY THE IOWA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE. I'M AN AGNOSTIC MYSELF, BUT THEY PUT TOGETHER A NICE SUMMARY THING. YOU CAN HAVE THAT IF YOU WANT. >> WHEN WE WERE AT A MITT ROMNEY EVENT AT KIRKWOOD, WE ACTUALLY WALKED OUT WITH THE SNOWMAN RIGHT WHEN MITT WAS ONSTAGE WITH THE GENTLEMAN WHO WAS INTRODUCING HIM, SO THAT GOT A BIG NOTICE. >> AND WE GOT THROWN OUT. >> YEAH, WE DID. WE GOT THROWN OUT. YEAH. >> AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CAMPAIGN, THEY WERE JUST SAYING, "GLOBAL WARMING'S A PROBLEM, AND WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT." WELL, BY US ASKING SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, THEY REALIZED THAT THEY HAVE TO ANSWER -- BE ABLE TO ANSWER THOSE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, AND I THINK THAT'S HELPED FORMULATE THEIR POLICY. >> AND AS A RETIRED FEDERAL EMPLOYEE, I AM REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT I'M BEING PENALIZED AND MY SOCIAL SECURITY IS REDUCED BECAUSE I AM A CIVIL-SERVICE ANNUITANT, AND I DID WORK FOR 10 YEARS UNDER SOCIAL SECURITY, AND I GET $100 A MONTH FOR THAT, WHICH IS A REAL PITTANCE, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. I THINK THAT LAW IS TOTALLY UNFAIR, AND IT PARTICULARLY AFFECTS WOMEN WHO HAVE SPENT THE EARLY PART OF THEIR CAREER TRYING TO MAKE SURE THEIR CHILDREN WERE TAKEN WELL CARE OF. THEY DIDN'T PERHAPS START THEIR CAREER WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AT AN EARLY AGE. >> I'M LEARNING AS I'M GOING. I'VE BEEN LOOKING ON THE INTERNET, AND I GUESS PART OF WHAT I'VE LEARNED HAS BEEN CORRECT, BUT I ALSO -- THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION BECAUSE I FOUND MORE ABOUT DEMOCRATIC STUFF, NOT REALIZING THAT IT'S DONE A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. I ACTUALLY PREFER THIS WAY FROM WHAT I'VE HEARD. I WAS KIND OF WORRIED ABOUT IT. I DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO GO STAND IN GROUPS. >> IN BANGLADESH, WE HAVE TWO PRIME MINISTERS IN THE LAST 15 YEARS WERE ALL WOMEN. AND IN MUSLIM COUNTRY, YOU KNOW, WE COULD BRING THE WOMAN AS THE HEAD OF THE COUNTRY, SO I DECIDED WE CAN BRING WOMAN PRESIDENT, THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT. >> OH, I HAVE A STRATEGY THAT I DON'T WANT TO REVEAL AT THIS TIME. YOU KNOW, AS AN INDEPENDENT, WE LIKE TO MAKE TROUBLE. >> I DON'T LIKE POLITICS. I JUST LIKE PEOPLE WITH VISION. >> YEAH, I SAW HIM IN MUSCATINE EARLIER TODAY AT NOON, AND THEN 3:00, I WAS BACK HERE, GETTING MY PICTURE PRINTED OFF, GETTING IT SIGNED. >> WELL, WE HAVE CALLER I.D., AND IF IT'S A POLL, WE ANSWER, 'CAUSE WE'RE FROM IOWA, AND PEOPLE CARE. [ LAUGHTER ] >> YOU GO TO A BASKETBALL GAME, YOU CAN FEEL THE ENERGY IN LIEU OF SITTING IN YOUR CHAIR AND WATCHING IT ON TV. HOPEFULLY ALL THE PEOPLE ARE GETTING OUT -- PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE, YOU KNOW, PEEKING THROUGH WINDOWS. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN. YOU CAN FEEL IT. AND HOPEFULLY THAT TRANSLATES OVER INTO TOMORROW'S CAUCUSES AND EVERYBODY GETS OUT AND DOES THEIR THING AND TAKES -- YOU KNOW, TAKES IT BACK, YOU KNOW. CHANGE IS A GOOD THING. >> AND THE EASIEST WAY TO NOT GET ELECTED IN IOWA IS TO SAY SOMETHING MEAN. YOU KNOW, WE WOULD RATHER ELECT THE WRONG GUY THAT'S NICE THAN THE RIGHT GUY THAT'S A JERK. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S JUST IOWA. >> AY, ARRIBA Y ARRIBA AY, ARRIBA YO NO SOY MARINERO YO NO SOY MARINERO SOY CAPITáN >> I WANTED THIS. I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF THIS COMMUNITY, AND I WANT TO GO HOUSE-BY-HOUSE WITH THE PEOPLE I KNOW AND TALKING ABOUT BILL RICHARDSON AND TELLING THE PEOPLE WHY I LIKE HIM. THIS IS WHAT I'M DOING. THIS IS WHAT I DO, AND I THINK IT'S WORKING. NOW, TODAY, THE PEOPLE CAME. LATINOS CAME. >> AND IT LOOKED THE OLD-TIMERS ARE HERE EARLY, BECAUSE THEY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND OUT IN THE HALLWAY THERE, THERE'S PROBABLY ANOTHER COUPLE THOUSAND PEOPLE TRYING TO GET IN HERE. AND THE THING THAT IMPRESSES ME IS THAT IT'S LIKE I WANT TO SEE THE MEDIA TAKE A LOOK AT THIS SORT OF THING, 'CAUSE LATELY THERE'S BEEN CRITICISM ABOUT, OH, A SMALL STATE, UNREPRESENTATIVE, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. MAKES YOU SICK. INSTEAD, IT'S A SENSE OF "THIS IS PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY." IT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. THIS IS WHAT THE CANDIDATES HAVE TO FACE. THEY HAVE TO RUN THROUGH THIS OBSTACLE COURSE THAT IS IOWA, AND THEY HAVE TO MEET THE PEOPLE FACE-TO-FACE, SHAKE THEIR HAND, LOOK THEM IN THE EYE, TELL THEM WHERE THEY STAND ON THINGS, AND TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES. >> SO, ACTUALLY, THIS IS MY FIRST CAUCUS, AND I THINK THAT LEARNING ABOUT IT, BEING PART OF GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS AND EVERYTHING IN NEW YORK, IT JUST BOGGLED MY MIND HOW THE WHOLE PROCESS WORKS, AND I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING, BECAUSE IN NEW YORK AND OTHER PLACES, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU HAVE, LIKE, A REGULAR ELECTION, IT'S PRIVATE. >> SO, I JUMPED IN MY CAR, AND I LEFT 80-DEGREE WEATHER BACK THERE IN MISSISSIPPI, AND I DROVE HERE IN THE ICE AND THE STORM. I HAD TO HANG OVER IN ST. LOUIS, AND I GOT HERE. BUT MY WHOLE PROBLEM -- MY REASONING FOR COMING IS BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN HILLARY. SO AS I WAS IN MISSISSIPPI AND WATCHING THE POLLS IN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SOUTH CAROLINA, I WAS A LITTLE COMFORTABLE WITH HER LEAD, BUT WHEN BARACK OBAMA PULLED OUT THE BIG DOG, OR THE BIG -- WHAT DO YOU CALL IT? -- THE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION, I LOOKED AND SCREAMED, "OH, NO! IT'S OPRAH, THE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! I GOT GO TO IOWA AND HELP HILLARY!" [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] >> WHOO! WHOA! ALL RIGHT! WHOO! [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] FIRED UP! WE'RE FIRED UP! OH, YES, WE ARE, IOWA. WE NEED SOME FIRE IN IOWA TONIGHT. >> THERE'S REALLY NOT A LOT OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATE IN A CAUCUS AND MEN WHO PARTICIPATE IN A CAUCUS, WHICH IS REALLY UNUSUAL, BECAUSE IF YOU TAKE THE MASS THAT COULD PARTICIPATE IN ANY ELECTION, WOMEN VOTE AT THE SAME RATE, BUT THEY TEND TO DO THINGS LIKE WEAR BUTTONS OR PUT BUMPER STICKERS ON THEIR CAR OR KIND OF PROSELYTIZE THE OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT CANDIDATES AT DIFFERENT RATES, AT KIND OF LESSER RATES. >> MICHAEL MOORE AND PAUL KRUGMAN ALSO ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENDORSE A PARTICULAR CANDIDATE. THEY'VE ALSO CONSISTENTLY GONE FOR EDWARDS, SO... >> MICHAEL MOORE'S NOT ALLOWED TO ENDORSE A CANDIDATE? >> IN HIS LETTER TODAY, HE SAID, "I'M NOT ENDORSING A CANDIDATE." >> OH, HE'S ALLOWED TO. HE JUST DIDN'T ENDORSE A CANDIDATE. >> WELL, THEN HE FAIRLY CLEARLY ENDORSED EDWARDS IN HIS LETTER TODAY. >> WELL, WHY DIDN'T HE ENDORSE EDWARDS? >> THE SAME REASON AS KRUGMAN. >> NO, KRUGMAN WORKS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES. MICHAEL MOORE WORKS FOR MICHAEL MOORE. >> OKAY. WELL, THEN, THEY'RE BOTH ENDORSING EDWARDS, FOR GOD'S SAKE. >> I WANT TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT OBAMA AND HEALTHCARE. OBAMA AND EDWARDS HAVE VERY SIMILAR PLANS, AND THE THING ABOUT OBAMA IS THAT HIS IS NOT MANDATORY. THE REASON IT IS NOT MANDATORY IS SO THAT PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD IT WILL NOT BE FORCED TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT THEY CANNOT AFFORD. THAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE. NO. >> THAT'S WHY WE LIKE KUCINICH. >> YEAH. [ INDISTINCT TALKING ] >> ...OUT OF THE PLAN AND INCREASE THE PRICE FOR ALL THE REST OF US IN IT. YOU DO THE RIGHT THING AND PAY FOR IT. >> I ACTUALLY WAS GOING TO LEAVE. I WAS GONNA GO TO SPAIN. BUT I CHANGED MY TICKET SO I COULD STAY AND CAUCUS. IT'S JUST TREMENDOUSLY IMPORTANT, AND MY VOTE HERE IS WORTH, I DON'T KNOW, 200 IN ANY OTHER STATE OR -- I LIVED IN BOSTON FOR A WHILE, WHERE, AS A DEMOCRAT, MY VOTE MEANT NOTHING, REALLY. SO, IT'S NICE TO HAVE SOME SERIOUS INFLUENCE. >> I THINK IN THE END, THE IOWA CAUCUSES MEAN WHATEVER WE WANT THEM TO MEAN IN ANY GIVEN CYCLE. THEY ARE, IN FACT, THE FIRST TEST OF CANDIDATES. BUT FOR THE MOST PART, POLITICAL SCIENTISTS HAVE A HARD TIME PROVING, STATISTICALLY, THAT IOWA MATTERS. NOW, THE REALITY IS I THINK THE POLITICAL SCIENTISTS ARE JUST WRONG. I THINK THE MODELS THAT POLITICAL SCIENTISTS BUILD DON'T REALLY TAKE INTO ACCOUNT VERY WELL THE UNIQUE FACTORS THAT ARE IOWA. IN IOWA, THEY HAD LOTS OF TELEVISION COMMERCIALS, EVEN MORE STUFF IN THEIR MAILBOXES, MORE PEOPLE KNOCKING ON THEIR DOORS, CANDIDATES TALKING TO THEM PERSONALLY, AND SO THEY HAVE A HUGE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION TO WORK FROM. THE RESULT IS THEY HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT VIEW ON THE CAMPAIGN THAN NATIONAL VOTERS WHO HAVEN'T YET HAD A CAMPAIGN TO RESPOND TO. SO IT ISN'T THAT IOWANS ARE BRILLIANT IN SOME WAYS, ALTHOUGH MAYBE THEY ARE. WHAT IT REALLY IS IS THAT IOWANS HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY, AND THROUGH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, THEY TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY. >> OKAY, THESE ARE THE NUMBERS. OBAMA -- 384. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] EDWARDS -- 169. >> MITT ROMNEY -- 7. MIKE HUCKABEE -- 8. DUNCAN HUNTER -- 0. JOHN McCAIN -- 8. >> ...IN POLITICS, JUST LIKE A NEW DAY IS NEEDED IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. AND TONIGHT, IT STARTS HERE IN IOWA. BUT IT DOESN'T END HERE. IT GOES ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE OTHER STATES AND ENDS AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE ONE YEAR FROM NOW. >> IT HAS BEEN JUST A PLEASURE TO CAMPAIGN HERE, ALTHOUGH, YOU KNOW, THE WEATHER'S KIND OF LIKE CHICAGO. [ LAUGHTER ] BUT I LOVE IOWA. AND I'M GRATEFUL TO IOWA, AND BECAUSE OF IOWA, WE MIGHT JUST WIN THIS THING! [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WE MIGHT JUST WIN! >> AND THE RIVER'S STILL FLOWING BUT I DON'T KNOW, DON'T KNOW WHICH WAY IT'S FLOWING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD THINK ABOUT ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD THINK ABOUT ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD >> WHAT I BELIEVE IS HAND-TO-HAND GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY. -- Captions by VITAC -- www.vitac.com >> Announcer: THE PRECEDING PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BIG TEN NETWORK.

Contents

Background

Political parties in Iowa have used caucuses to select party leaders and candidates for office since the 1800s.[5] Before 1907, parties selected all candidates for political office through the caucus system.[5] Iowa held a presidential primary in 1916, but returned to the caucus system in 1917 due to high costs and low participation.[5]

After the 1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity, the Democratic Party decided to make changes to their presidential nominating process by spreading out the schedule in each state. Since Iowa had a complex process of precinct caucuses, county conventions, district conventions, and a state convention, they chose to start early. In 1972, Iowa was the first state to hold their Democratic caucus, and had the first Republican caucus four years later.[6]

Under Iowa law, political parties are required to hold caucuses every two years to select delegates to county conventions and party committees.[2]

Process

A 2008 Democratic caucus meeting in Iowa City, Iowa
A 2008 Democratic caucus meeting in Iowa City, Iowa

The Iowa Caucuses operates very differently from the more common primary election used by most other states (see U.S. presidential primary). The caucuses are generally defined as "gatherings of neighbors." Rather than going to polls and casting ballots, Iowans gather at a set location in each of Iowa's 1,681 precincts. Typically, these meetings occur in schools, churches, public libraries and even individuals' houses. Caucuses are held every two years, during both the presidential and midterm election seasons, but the ones that receive national attention are the presidential preference caucuses held every four years. The rules of the caucus process to determine delegates to national conventions are determined entirely by the party, and differ substantially between the Democratic and Republican parties.

In addition to the voting and the presidential preference choices, caucus-goers begin the process of writing their parties' platforms by introducing resolutions.[7]

Democratic Party process

Each precinct divides its delegate seats among the candidates in proportion to caucus goers' votes. Participants indicate their support for a particular candidate by standing in a designated area of the caucus site (forming a preference group). An area may also be designated for undecided participants. Then, for roughly 30 minutes, participants try to convince their neighbors to support their candidates. Each preference group might informally deputize a few members to recruit supporters from the other groups and, in particular, from among those undecided. Undecided participants might visit each preference group to ask its members about their candidate.

After 30 minutes, the electioneering is temporarily halted and the supporters for each candidate are counted. At this point, the caucus officials determine which candidates are viable. Depending on the number of county delegates to be elected, the viability threshold is 15% of attendees. For a candidate to receive any delegates from a particular precinct, he or she must have the support of at least the percentage of participants required by the viability threshold. Once viability is determined, participants have roughly another 30 minutes to realign: the supporters of inviable candidates may find a viable candidate to support, join together with supporters of another inviable candidate to secure a delegate for one of the two, or choose to abstain. This realignment is a crucial distinction of caucuses in that (unlike a primary) being a voter's second candidate of choice can help a candidate.

When the voting is closed, a final head count is conducted, and each precinct apportions delegates to the county convention. These numbers are reported to the state party, which counts the total number of delegates for each candidate and reports the results to the media. Most of the participants go home, leaving a few to finish the business of the caucus: each preference group elects its delegates, and then the groups reconvene to elect local party officers and discuss the platform. The delegates chosen by the precinct then go to a later caucus, the county convention, to choose delegates to the district convention and state convention. Most of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention are selected at the district convention, with the remaining ones selected at the state convention. Delegates to each level of convention are initially bound to support their chosen candidate but can later switch in a process very similar to what goes on at the precinct level; however, as major shifts in delegate support are rare, the media declares the candidate with the most delegates on the precinct caucus night the winner, and relatively little attention is paid to the later caucuses.

In 2014, the Iowa Democratic Party announced changes to the caucus system that will allow members of the military to participate in a statewide caucus and establish satellite caucuses for the disabled and others who have trouble making it to the physical location of the caucuses. They will also work for the passage of a new law that requires employers to allow employees to take time off for the caucuses.[8]

In 2016, the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) held a Tele-Caucus for military members serving out-of-state and Iowans living abroad. In addition, the IDP held Satellite Caucuses in 2016, in an attempt to improve accessibility and participation in the Iowa Caucuses.[citation needed] Starting in 2020, 10% of state convention delegates will be assigned through tele-caucuses.[9]

Republican Party process

For the Republicans, the Iowa caucus previously followed (but should not be confused with) the Iowa Straw Poll in August of the preceding year. The winner of the Straw Poll has failed to win the Iowa caucuses in 1986, 2006, and 2010. In June 2014, the party announced that the Straw Poll would no longer take place.

The process of selecting Iowa delegates to the Republican National Convention prior to the 2016 election cycle started with selection of delegates to the county conventions, which in turn affected the delegates elected to district conventions who also served as delegates to the state convention where delegates were chosen for the national convention.

This process rewarded candidate organizers who not only got supporters to the caucus sites but also got supporters willing to serve as delegates to county conventions and willing to vote for other delegates who supported a specific candidate. In 2012, this process resulted in Ron Paul supporters dominating the Iowa delegation to the Republican National Convention, having 22 of the 28 Iowa delegates, with Mitt Romney getting the other six delegates.

Because the delegates elected at the caucuses are not required to declare a candidate preference, the media does not always have a purely objective way to determine the success of individual candidates at the caucuses. The media focused on the secret ballot polling conducted at the caucus sites and have generally referred to this non-binding poll as the caucus. There were irregularities in the 2012 caucus site polling results, including the fact that eight precinct results went missing and were never counted.

Because of the irregularities in the process and the fact that the totals reported to the media were unrelated to the delegate selection process, there have been changes in both how the caucus site secret ballot polling is sent to state party headquarters and in how Iowa delegates to the national convention are required to vote.

Beginning with the 2012 Presidential election, Iowa switched from the old winner-take-all allocation to proportional allocation. The change was made to prolong the race, giving lesser known candidates a chance and making it harder for a frontrunner to secure the majority early. It was also hoped that this change in the election system would energize the base of the party.[10][11]

Starting in 2016, caucus results have become binding when selecting delegates.[12] Acting in accordance with a mandate from the Republican National Committee, the delegates are bound on the first ballot to vote for candidates in proportion to the votes cast for each candidate at the caucus sites.[13]

Per-year information

Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have had a 43% success rate at predicting which Democrat, and a 50% success rate at predicting which Republican will go on to win the nomination of their political party for president at that party's national convention.[14][15][16]

2004 process

Since Republican President George W. Bush did not face any opposition in 2004, only Democratic caucuses were held. The meetings ran from 6:30 p.m. until approximately 7:00 p.m. on January 19, 2004, with a turnout of about 124,000 caucus-goers.[17] The county convention occurred on March 13, the district convention on April 24, and the state convention on June 26. Delegates could and did change their votes based on further developments in the race; for instance, in 2004 the delegates pledged to Dick Gephardt, who left the race after the precinct caucuses, chose a different candidate to support at the county, district, and state level.

The number of delegates each candidate receives eventually determines how many state delegates from Iowa that candidate will have at the Democratic National Convention. Iowa sends 56 delegates to the DNC out of a total 4,366.

Of the 45 delegates that were chosen through the caucus system, 29 were chosen at the district level. Ten delegates were at-large delegates, and six were "party leader and elected official" (PLEO) delegates; these were assigned at the state convention. There were also 11 other delegates, eight of whom were appointed from local Democratic National Committee members; two were PLEO delegates and one was elected at the state Democratic convention. John Kerry won the Iowa caucuses with 37.64% of the vote, John Edwards coming second.

2008 process

The 2008 Iowa Democratic caucuses and 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses took place January 3 at 7 p.m. CT.[18] Candidates spent tens of millions of dollars on local television advertisements[19] and hundreds of paid staff[20] in dozens of field offices.[21] Barack Obama (D) and Mike Huckabee (R) were the eventual winners.

2012 process

The 2012 Iowa caucuses took place on Tuesday, January 3, starting at 7 p.m. CST. Incumbent president Barack Obama only faced minor opposition in the Democratic caucus and received 98% of the vote,[22] but the Republican caucus was heavily contested between several challengers. Initial results reported that Mitt Romney beat out Rick Santorum by just 8 votes,[23] but when the final results came out two weeks later Rick Santorum secured the victory over Romney by a margin of 34 votes with Ron Paul in a strong 3rd. Results were certified by the Caucus, but not by the Republican party, who declared it a split decision due to missing reports from 8 precincts,[24] but who later certified the caucus as a win for Santorum.[25] The caucus winner changed yet again when the Iowa delegate totals were finally determined giving Ron Paul the win along with several other states that same weekend.[26]

2016 process

Democratic precinct 61, 2016
Democratic precinct 61, 2016

The 2016 Iowa caucuses took place on Monday, February 1. The counting started at 7 p.m. CST and lasted one hour, after the caucus discussions.[27] For the first time, results were electronically sent to both Democratic and Republican headquarters.[28]

In the Democratic caucus, Hillary Clinton received 49.84% of the vote and 23 pledged delegates, narrowly defeating Bernie Sanders with 49.59% and 21 delegates.[29] The Republican caucus awarded delegates to nine candidates: 8 to Ted Cruz, with 27.6% of the vote; 7 each to Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, with 24.3% and 23.1% respectively; 3 to Ben Carson, with 9.3%; and 1 delegate each to five other candidates.[30]

2020 process

The 2020 Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Monday, February 3.[31]

Past winners

Note: Candidates in bold eventually won their party's nomination. Candidates also in italics subsequently won the general election.

[32]

Democrats

Republicans

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wednesday, November 5, 2008, Page 1". Newspaperarchive.com. November 5, 2008. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Redlawsk, David (2011). Why Iowa? : how caucuses and sequential elections improve the presidential nominating process. Tolbert, Caroline J., Donovan, Todd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 48. ISBN 9780226706955. OCLC 606053997.
  3. ^ Malone, Clare (January 29, 2016). "Ann Selzer Is The Best Pollster In Politics". FiveThirtyEight.com. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Why Iowa is so important in the presidential election". The Economist. January 31, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Winebrenner, Hugh (January 23, 2015). "The Evolution of the Iowa Precinct Caucuses". The Annals of Iowa. 46 (8): 618–635. doi:10.17077/0003-4827.8941.
  6. ^ Sanders, Sam (January 30, 2016). "Why Does Iowa Vote First, Anyway?". NPR. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Iowa Caucus: Iowa Caucus History, Candidate Profiles, Campaign Events and Caucus News". iowacaucus.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Wilson, Reid (August 1, 2014). "Iowa Democrats propose changes to caucus system". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Rynard, Pat (February 12, 2019). "How Iowa's Caucus Reform Will Change Campaign Strategies". Iowa Starting Line. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (March 5, 2012). "GOP, be careful what you wish for". USA Today.
  11. ^ George, Cameron (February 24, 2012). "Long, damaging presidential..." The Hill.
  12. ^ "Iowa GOP's tricky task: Set convention voting rules". Des Moines Register. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  13. ^ "The Green Papers Republican Detailed Delegate Allocation - 2016". Green Papers. February 1, 2016.
  14. ^ Monika McDermott, Iowa's bad track record for picking GOP winners, CBS News, January 5, 2012
  15. ^ McDermott, Monika (January 5, 2012). "Iowa's bad track record for picking GOP winners". www.cbsnews.com. CBS News. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  16. ^ Story Hinckley, How the Iowa caucus predicts presidential losers, not winners, The Christian Science Monitor January 26, 2016
  17. ^ "Iowa Caucuses a Challenge For Pollsters, Poll Positions: Low Turnout, Chance To Vote for Second Choice Make Contest Difficult To Forecast". CBS News. November 28, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  18. ^ "Iowa Caucuses 101: Arcane Rules Have Huge Impact on Outcome". CNN. January 3, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
  19. ^ Healy, Patrick (December 28, 2007). "Iowa Saturated by Political Ads". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Clinton, Obama, Edwards Wage Door-to-Door Fight for Iowa Voters". Bloomberg. December 26, 2007.
  21. ^ "Where the Iowa Field Offices Are". MyDD. December 27, 2007. Archived from the original on March 6, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ a b [1]
  23. ^ "2012 Iowa Caucuses". Fox News Network. January 4, 2012. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  24. ^ a b "Iowa GOP declares caucuses 'split decision'". Fox News Network. January 19, 2012.
  25. ^ "Iowa GOP Now Says Santorum Won Iowa Caucuses". KCCI. January 22, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Grace Wyler (June 16, 2012). "Ron Paul Wins The Iowa Caucuses At Last - Business Insider". Business Insider.
  27. ^ Schultheis, Emily (August 25, 2014). "The Date of the 2016 Iowa Caucus Is Set. For Now". National Journal. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  28. ^ "Microsoft on the hot seat in Iowa". The Hill. January 31, 2016.
  29. ^ "Iowa Democratic Delegation 2016". The Green Papers. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  30. ^ "Iowa Caucus Results - 2016 Election". CNN. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Pfannenstiel, Brianne (August 25, 2018). "Countdown begins to 2020: Date of Iowa Democratic caucuses set for Feb. 3". Des Moines Register. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  32. ^ https://data.desmoinesregister.com/iowa-caucus/history/
  33. ^ "Election Center 2008 Primaries and Caucuses". CNN. January 4, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  34. ^ "Democratic Iowa Caucus 2016 Results". idpcaucuses.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  35. ^ a b 2016 Election Central. "2016 Iowa Caucus Results – Open Thread". 2016 Election Central. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  36. ^ Iowa Caucus Results, The New York Times. February 2, 2016.

Further reading

  • Hull, Christopher C. 2007. Grassroots Rules: How The Iowa Caucus Helps Elect American Presidents. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press
  • Redlawsk, David P., Caroline J. Tolbert, and Todd Donovan, 2011. Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, www.whyiowa.org
  • Skipper, John C., 2009. "The Iowa Caucuses: First Test of Presidential Aspirations, 1972-2008. McFarland Publishing, Jefferson, N.C., www.mcfarlandpub.com
  • Squire, Peverill, ed. 1989. The Iowa Caucuses and the Presidential Nominating Process. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
  • Winebrenner, Hugh. 1998. The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: The Making of a Media Event. 2nd ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press.

External links

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