How the Iowa caucuses work

How the Iowa caucuses work

February 9, 2020 0 By Sebastian Fry


So the Iowa caucuses are not chess, but they are a bit complicated and they are about choosing a champion. So think of four contenders in their corners and all the pawns int he centre as the registered Democratic voters. So the voting is all out in the open, there
are no secrets here. And picking your candidate means physically moving to your candidate. In round one of voting, let’s say two of the contenders get a pretty healthy proportion of the votes. The other two don’t seem to get enough. What’s enough? In Iowa, candidates need 15% of the vote to be considered viable. And what if they don’t get it? That’s why there is a round two. So the two main candidates are sitting pretty. Their voters are locked in. They cannot change their minds. But all the others now have to choose. So they could pick no one and just go home or they could join up and make one of their own candidates viable or they could just go to one of the big two. [man] Yay, Hillary! [Adrienne] This is where Iowa gets beautifully messy. If you look at the pictures of caucuses past you’ll see that across 1,600 precincts in
the state in churches, schools and gyms. [Woman] Richard, look at this room. [Man] They should get behind him too. [Adrienne] People are shouting and wooing and cajoling each other to come over to their candidate’s side. A new twist this year, there are only two
rounds of voting. That’s it. And what votes the candidates get here will translate into votes they get at the big national convention this summer. The fact is though, Iowa does not choose the ultimate Democratic nominee but it’s where the momentum begins. And sometimes there is a very big surprise.