On Monday, February 3, the Iowa Democratic Party tried a new method of counting and reporting the totals. It did not go well. As of mid-day on Tuesday, a final result had not yet been released. The next presidential contest is scheduled to take place in New Hampshire on February 11.
Every four years, voters across Iowa gather to make their preferences known in the nation’s first-quadrennial presidential caucus. Unlike a primary, a caucus involves voters assembling to state their choice. The gatherings take place in schools, libraries, auditoria, and other public spaces.
In the Democratic caucuses, voters often have the opportunity to persuade their neighbors to switch preference from one candidate to another as the two-round process progresses and some candidates are unable to get the minimum threshold of supporters in a given caucus location. (Republican caucuses use a one-step process to determine a winner.)
A candidate “wins” the caucus by securing the largest number of “votes”—which are tallied as State Delegate Equivalents. These will be used to determine how many delegates the state sends to the national convention on behalf of each candidate.
Iowa was in the spotlight for endless months as the nation rolled towards the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses to define the start of the 2020 presidential campaign. With results still not delivered and much confusion remaining, Iowa voters and the candidates’ campaign staff are directing their ire at the caucus itself.