What’s Up with the Iowa Caucases

Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock, you probably know that 2016 is a presidential election year. You may also have recently heard the funny word “caucus” thrown around a lot lately. The Iowa caucuses for the 2016 presidential season recently took place on February 1st.

The Iowa caucuses are important because they are first official indicator of voter’s presidential preference.

A Brief Explanation of the Caucus:

A caucus is a system for selecting delegates that is used in very few states.

The Democrats and Republicans run their caucus’s very differently.

This is how The Guardian explains the Iowa Caucus system:

  • “Republicans have a relatively straightforward process, in which they cast secret ballots in their precinct caucuses – church halls, school buildings.
  • By contrast, Democrats vote publicly in a two-stage election where candidates must get support of 15% of caucus-goers in each individual precinct to be viable. If they fall below that threshold, their voters need to choose another candidate or go home. After that redistribution, votes are counted and from those totals, delegates are assigned.”

What were the results?

Ted Cruz edged out on top for the Republicans with 28% of the votes with Donald Trump in 2nd with 24% of the votes. Things were closer for the Democrats with Hillary Clinton edging out on top with what was basically a 50/50 race.

Even though we are very early in the election process and the Iowa caucus’s typically have a lower turnout, they are still a turning point in the political process. We have learned that most likely a majority of American citizens will not actually vote for Donald Trump. It also seems as though the Democratic campaign may prove to be closer than initially thought with no real forerunner Monday night.

Another major event in the presidential election will be the first primary election held on February 9th in New Hampshire. The Wisconsin Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on April 5th. Most delegates are chosen via the primary system. The Republicans and Democrats use a slightly different system but basically delegates that attend each parties National Convention are allocated to each candidate based off of the number of votes each candidate gets during the primary season to say it very simply.

Hopefully you learned a bit more about America’s crazy political system; this isn’t even the wierdest of it.

 

**Side Note: I highly endorse Mrs. Kahler’s AP Government for an extra challenge to become more informed about the American political system and current events.

 

Sources:

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/02/heres_when_the_primaries_and_caucuses_will_be_held.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/iowa-caucuses-results-trump-presidential-race/story?id=36668713

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