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What are the Iowa Caucuses?

What are the Iowa Caucuses? Odds are that you have heard a lot about them, yet know little to nothing about what they actually are.  The basis of it is that this is the first time that the American public gets to see how their candidates fall in actual polling – and have it influence who might be the actual nominee.  It can make or break the trajectory of a candidate’s road to the White House.  Despite this anticipation, the Iowa caucuses are not always reflective of who will be the eventual nominee.  (Remember, Rick Santorum won them back in 2012…he clearly wasn’t the nominee.)

So here’s what you need to know about the Iowa Caucuses!

  1. Each party votes differently.  Republicans by secret ballot, Democrats stand in groups based on candidates.
  2. While these caucuses might not pick the nominee, it is important to see who comes out on top for both parties. After all, in Iowa it’s a close race for both Hillary/Bernie and Trump/Cruz.
  3. Results from the caucuses are typically not reflective of who will win the nomination but it gives the winner momentum as they head into New Hampshire.
  4. Despite being highly touted, only about 20% of registered voters participate in the caucuses.
  5. Independents can’t participate, which can leave a large number of voters out in the cold.
  6. The caucuses have no set time. This means that the caucuses can take as long as they need to.
  7. Having no set time can lead to problems however. In 2012, Romney was declared the winner before the late precincts closed.  In order to avoid another issue like this both parties will be working with Microsoft, as reported by USA Today, to avoid a similar situation.

 

So tonight keep an eye out for Iowa, and get ready for your own primaries!

 

photo credit: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/TNGroup/Clarksville/2014/10/29/635501804068694446-2016IowaCaucus-720×163.jpg

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