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Video Recap: ‘History & the Horse Race’

Nobody knows for certain who will win the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 3, but the audience at a recent panel discussion at the State Historical Museum of Iowa heard some (very) educated guesses.

“This is probably the largest panel of Iowa political scientists ever assembled on one stage to talk about the caucuses,” said moderator David Yepsen, a former political columnist for the Des Moines Register and now host of “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS. “It’s good that this is happening in a state that is used to large cattle shows.”

The Jan. 5 event, called “History and the Horse Race,” started with an hour-long exploration of the origins and evolution of the Iowa Caucuses, broke for intermission and a guided tour of the museum’s “First in the Nation” exhibit, and finished with an hour of prognostication about how the 2020 cycle will turn out.

There was no shortage of speculation.

“For better or worse, the Iowa precinct caucuses have played a role in the selection of American presidents for over 50 years,” Yepsen said. “From the modern origins in 1968 to the intense campaigning of today, these events have influenced the issues and candidates for our nation’s highest office.”

C-SPAN aired the event live, and the museum staff recorded a video, too, to preserve as an educational tool and a historical resource for the future. You’ll find a rough transcript below.

A persnickety note to reporters and students: Almost all of the text below is summarized or paraphrased. For exact quotes, check the video.

Besides Yepsen, here’s the panel lineup, from left to right:

Dennis Goldford, professor of political science, Drake University; political analyst, KCCI; and co-author of “The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: The Making of a Media Event”

David Redlawsk, James R. Soles Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware, and visiting professor, University of Iowa

Donna Hoffman, professor of political science, University of Northern Iowa

Dianne Bystrom, director emerita, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics at Iowa State University

Steffen Schmidt, Lucken Endowed Professor of Political Science, Iowa State University

Kelly Winfrey, coordinator of research and outreach, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics; assistant professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication; and faculty member, Leadership Studies Program, Iowa State University

Peverill Squire, professor of political science and Hicks and Martha Griffiths Chair in American Political Institutions, University of Missouri

And away we go . . .

4:32, Yepsen: How have the caucuses shaped Iowa and national history? Have they been good or bad for American democracy?

5:01, Goldford: Iowa is not first because we’re important. Iowa is important because we’re first.

6:07, Redlawsk: The caucuses are still important because Iowans take them seriously and their choices reflect sincere rather than simply strategic preferences. Iowans choose their favorites regardless of who they think will win, and that’s a really valuable part of the process.

7:35, Hoffman: The caucuses help strengthen the political parties, which is good for democracy. Example: Ten presidential candidates recently helped campaign for a statehouse candidate in northeast Iowa, which boosted turnout.

8:59, Bystrom: This year I worry about access for all kinds of reasons — disability, work, lack of child care. … And worries me even more: The top three Democratic contenders are all white guys, which limits the choices for other states.

10:40, Schmidt: The same criticisms arise every four years. Isn’t there somebody better than the people running right now? Actually, no: The winners emerge from the process. That’s the way it works.

12:30, Winfrey: The caucuses give lesser-known candidates a chance they wouldn’t have with national primaries. … I also worry about representation.

13:30, Squire: Remember how special this is. Much of the country is blissfully unaware there’s a presidential election. … Remember, too: This process is always evolving and probably won’t last. Enjoy it while it’s here.

15:00, Yepsen: Give us a quick history of each caucus cycle since the 1960s. How did we get here?

15:07, Goldford: Background on 1968, including Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, and the disastrous Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

17:29, Squire: Background on 1972, with George McGovern and Jimmy Carter. Nobody made much of a fuss about it. … Things really took off in 1976.

18:42, Yepsen: It’s important to note that a few national reporters covered the 1972 cycle and noted that McGovern exceeded expectations. That’s where the “expectations game” really started.

19:31, Redlawsk: Background on 1976, when Carter vaulted to national attention. He ran a grassroots campaign — all the things we now take for granted — and it worked.

23:17, Schmidt: Background on 1980, with incumbent Carter and challenge Ted Kennedy. The question: Should we elect someone who is safe or move the party to the left? We see that today. …

Another parallel: A crisis in Iran shifted the focus of the campaign to foreign policy, which ultimately hurt the incumbent, Carter, who failed to win re-election.

25:55, Yepsen: Also, George H.W. Bush emerged in the 1980 caucuses and coined the phrase, “I’ve got momentum — ‘Big Mo.’” Even today, that’s what candidates look for in Iowa.

27:27, Squire: Background on 1984, when expectations “were on steroids” with Walter Mondale. Gary Hart did better than expected, while John Glenn fell flat.

29:22, Winfrey: Polling plays a big part in setting expectations. … It’s only news if it’s not what we expect, if candidates under- or over-perform.

30:11, Yepsen: Also in 1984, Iowa and New Hampshire worked out a deal in which Iowa would host the first caucuses and New Hampshire would host the first primary. That’s still important in today’s debate about access.

31:16, Hoffman: Background on 1988, with Pat Robertson and the rise of religious conservatives. Robertson placed second, above George H.W. Bush, but Iowans gave the top spot to Bob Dole from neighboring Kansas. Iowans tend to like neighbors, which could favor Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota.

32:40, Yepsen: We’re going to skim the cycles in 1992, 1996 and 2000 — mostly because the Iowa Caucuses didn’t really shift the final outcomes.

33:36, Redlawsk: Background on 2004, with John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean, whose infamous scream came to symbolize his surprising failure to meet expectations … When candidates peak in polls — not too early or too late — can matter a lot.

36:29, Bystrom: Background on 2008, with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. … “Caucus math” made a big difference. Obama supporters successfully redirected supporters of non-viable candidates to Edwards rather than Clinton, who finished third by less than one third of one percent — and failed to meet expectations.

39:14, Bystrom: With women candidates, including Clinton, the media tend to focus more on their campaign strategies than their issues. That has improved in statewide races, but there’s still a gap when women run for president or vice president.

40:20, Winfrey: Because Elizabeth Warren is “the woman with a plan,” her policies have been scrutinized more than those of her rivals. … Also, since Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump, the “electability” question has become even harder for women who have followed. Lots of Iowans like Elizabeth Warren but worry she might not fare well in a national election.

41:17, Goldford: Background on 2020, with Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and the hazards of lost-and-found votes. Caucuses, remember, are run by parties (and volunteers) rather than the government.

43:00, Hoffman: There are always counting errors. Remember, all you’re doing on caucus night is selecting delegates to go to the county convention — delegates who can change their minds in the meantime. …

With the state delegates in 2016, some of the percentages were so close between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that statistical ties were resolved with a coin toss, which became part of the narrative.

44:49, Yepsen: in 2012 and 2016, results were so close. If you don’t win the headline the day after the caucuses, you’re done. .. The 2012 and 2016 results were so close that now, in response, the Democrats plan to report both the initial “body counts” in each contest as well as the final results after realignment (after some candidates fail to reach the viability threshold at 15 percent). Whatever information reporters receive first will shape the story.

46:18, Schmidt: Hmm, were the Russians involved?

46:48, Goldford: Overview of 2016, with Donald Trump and the rise of conservative populism. … There was a lot of anger and fear at Republican events. Ted Cruz stood for idealistic conservatism, Scott Walker stood for more pragmatic moderation, and Trump represented “the middle-finger segment of the American electorate — people who were fed up with politicians and politics as usual.”

48:49, Yepsen: Does anybody recall the similarities between Sanders and Trump supporters?

49:90, Bystrom: The percentage of Clinton supporters who ultimately voted for Obama in 2008 was much higher than the percentage of Sanders supporters who ultimately voted for Clinton in 2016. …

Research shows that both Sanders and Trump fans want to “tear down the system.”

50:08, Schmidt: Many people say that Sanders is not really a Democrat, and Trump is not really a Republican. Both men were outsiders who “hijacked” the parties’ machinery and attracted people who were dissatisfied with the parties’ mainstream candidates.

51:18, Redlawsk: Sanders’ and Trump’s rhetoric was similar. Both said “the big guys are screwing you over,” even if they have different definitions of who the big guys were.

52:15, Yepsen: How have the caucuses evolved?

52:22, Squire: We still enjoy the “Carter myth” of a candidate building a grassroots organization, but that has come and gone. Money and social media now play a much bigger role in the process. … The caucuses in 1976 and 1984 are fundamentally different than those in the last eight years.

53:18, Goldford: The Republicans used to have a straw poll in Ames in the August before the caucus year, until 2011. … That year, Tim Pawlenty was in a coffee shop talking with a three or four voters — surrounded by 33 media folks. …

With regard to the counting and reporting the results, the caucuses simply weren’t built to bear the burden that the rest of the country now puts on them.

54:20, Bystrom: Social media increases in each cycle, especially now that the president uses Twitter. More people follow candidates on social media — and those who do are more likely to caucus.

55:52, Winfrey: Television news sources still outrank internet sources, but internet sources now outrank radio and newspapers. Social media allows candidates and voters to interact directly and helps campaigns encourage people to show up to events.

56:45, Schmidt: Pat Robertson’s run in 1988 has often been overlooked, but he legitimized politics for evangelical Christians. Beforehand, they had stayed away from politics because they viewed it as secular, dirty and ungodly. But they followed Robertson into the political arena and have since brought religion and scripture to bear on questions like abortion and gay rights.

57:38, Yepsen: Religion has always played an important role in Iowa politics, back to the Civil War and Prohibition. Folks talk about evangelicals and conservative Christians, but there is a religious left, too.

58:22, Redlawsk: A lot is still the same. The caucuses still reward organizing, door-knocking and person-to-person contact. Our current research shows that 90 percent of Iowa voters have been personally contacted by at least one campaign, even in the era of social media. What money buys, in addition to TV ads, is organizing capacity.

59:31, Winfrey: Iowans expect to have personal encounters with candidates. No one else in the country expects that. So those personal encounters are necessary, only because Iowans demand them.

Intermission

1:01:46, Yepsen: What do you all think about the current race? How will it shake out?

1:01:53, Squire: We really don’t know. … Survey work is very difficult these days. People don’t respond, don’t have landlines and still don’t show up to caucus in lousy weather. Bad weather in one part of the state and not another can alter the results.

1:03:19, Winfrey: I have all the answers. (Just kidding.) I’m keeping those and will tell you all on Feb. 4.

1:03:57, Winfrey: Voters’ second choices could make a big difference this year. Where will the fans of Cory Booker, Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar turn if or when their favorite candidates aren’t viable? If they all go to Warren, we could have a four-way tie. If they all go to Biden, then it’s a runaway victory. …

A little background: Candidates that don’t attract 15 percent of the voters at a caucus site are considered unviable, and their fans have to realign their support for someone else. New in 2020: There will be only one realignment instead of multiple rounds.

1:05:32, Schmidt: I think Trump will win the highly contested Republican caucus — unless something major happens in Iran. …

A famous political reporter (nodding at Yepsen) once said there are three tickets out of Iowa: first class, second class, and back of the cabin next to the toilet. But sometimes those third choices end up winning the election.

1:06:47, Schmidt: We may have a brokered convention this year, where nobody has enough delegates. That would be the greatest thing, because we could see real democracy at work.

1:07:22, Yepsen: The two things I hear every four years: 1) This will be the last time Iowa has caucuses, and 2) Maybe there will be a brokered convention.

1:07:34, Bystrom: I worry about that the Iowa caucuses diminish the choices for the other states. …

Getting back to caucus math, polls show that Sanders fans, unlike others, don’t often have a second choice. So where might they realign? Perhaps Biden, Buttigieg and Warren.

1:08:40, Hoffman: This race is incredibly fluid. Lots of voters have first, second and third choices and are willing to change their minds. …

I think a brokered convention is unlikely because it’s not in the party’s interest. Even in 2008, the Democratic Party settled the contest between Obama and Clinton before the convention.

1:09:47, Hoffman: Don’t forget that the Republicans are caucusing, too. You could learn a lot of interesting things. The diehard supporters will show up, but there also may be people who want to express dissatisfaction. It’s notable the Iowa GOP hasn’t canceled their caucuses, unlike some state GOP parties elsewhere, where party leaders want to quiet opposition. The Iowa GOP didn’t want to do that, partly to help maintain Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status. …

For both parties, caucuses also focus on building party platforms, managing party governance, electing party leaders, etc.

1:11:20, Redlawsk: I’ve been to 85 or 90 candidate events since the State Fair, and I’m no more certain about the outcome than anybody else. …

1:12:04, Redlawsk: There are key changes to the Democratic rules. New in 2020: When people come in to their caucuses and express their first preferences, they’ll be locked into that choice if that candidate is viable. For those voters, there will be no more moving around. The only people who will be allowed to move are those whose first-choice candidates didn’t get 15 percent of that site’s support. That will really change the dynamic of what happens on caucus night — and how the delegates are reported.

Democrats will report both the initial vote count and the final vote count after the realignment after the non-viable candidates are dropped. … That means a lot for a candidate like Amy Klobuchar, who may not get any of the final delegates but could have significant support among the initial counts. It’s going to be a lot more complicated.

1:14:20, Redlawsk: In our most recent data, 62 percent of Sanders voters and 56 percent of Biden voters say they’re unlikely to change their minds. But percentages for other candidates are much lower, including Buttigieg (39), Warren (33) and Klobuchar (30). A lot of movement is still possible.

1:14:43, Yepsen: As the reporter on this stage, I can tell which numbers will be reported: The ones we have first. … Will the Democratic party release everything together (initial votes AND final delegate counts) or piece by piece? … Reporters under deadline pressure will use whatever information is released first — and that shapes the narrative.

1:15:48, Redlawsk: That happened in 2012 (with Romney and Santorum) and 2016 (with Clinton and Sanders). This year the Democratic party does intend to release all the numbers at the same time, but we’ll see . . .

1:16:37, Goldford: This fall a reporter asked me, “What surprises do you expect?” And I said listen to what you just asked me: If it’s a surprise, we can’t expect it. If we expect it, it’s not a surprise. …

The Democrats still haven’t figured out who they are in a post-Reagan era. In terms of social and domestic policy, the 1992 Democratic platform (under Bill Clinton) looked like the 1968 Republican platform (Nixon), in terms of social and domestic policy. And the 1992 Republic platform (George H.W. Bush) looked like the 1968 Democratic platform (under Wallace. … Democrats are still trying to figure out who they are beyond laundry lists of policies. There’s still a debate between progressives and centrists.

1:19:29, Bystrom: What’s happening now in the Middle East could influence the election, like in 2004 with John Kerry. If there’s an international crisis, that could help Joe Biden, who is seen as the candidate with the most international experience.

1:20:42, Winfrey: A shifting focus on foreign affairs could also benefit Buttigieg, as well, because of his military experience. Also, he often speaks about America’s moral authority. …

But Americans have short attentions spans, especially when things happen outside the United States. If the situation in Iran escalates to war, that could help Biden, but short of that, I don’t think it will matter much to most voters.

1:21:35, Squire: The Democrats’ desire to get rid of Trump may lead them to support whichever candidate appears the most likely to do that. Beyond just electability, there’s sort of an existential notion that Trump has to be removed, and I think many may support Biden for that reason, even if he’s not their preferred option.

1:22:20, Goldford: Typically, voters rally around the flag with presidents in times of war. Whether that would occur in the case, I don’t know. …

There has been an assumption in Republican politics for a number of years that no Democrat can win an honest and legitimate election. The corollary is that if a Democrat appears to have won, then the election must not have been an honest and legitimate one. So if any of these people beat Trump, there will be tremendous blowback.

1:23:09, Yepsen: That will happen, no matter who wins.

1:24:36, Hoffman: The Democrats didn’t squash opposition to Obama in 2012. This year the Republicans are running up to that line. Both Joe Walsh and Bill Weld have experience and are legitimate challengers. What kind of percentages will they get in some of the precincts? It will be interesting to see where their support comes from and how strong it is. … But those date points will probably get lost.

1:25:12, Yepsen: Beyond presidential politics, the caucuses are an important organizing tool. Tom Harkin once told me he won (a Senate seat) in 1984 because the Democrats had a vigorous caucus that year and built up a lot of contacts and buzz, while the Republicans were quieter because they supported the incumbent. …

President Reagan visited Iowa on the afternoon of the caucuses, and Air Force One flew out of Des Moines a half-hour before the caucuses, which was a brilliant move. It pulled focus from the Democrats’. This year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Air Force One in Iowa on Feb. 3.

1:26:27, Redlawsk: This time around, it’s the Democrats with all the organizing energy, which may have an impact on other 2020 races down the ballot.

1:27:23, Yepsen: So who gets what tickets? We talk about three tickets out of Iowa, but I wonder if in this age of money and social media, if that old rule still works. It’s not three tickets out of Iowa; now everybody’s got their own airplane. … Now candidates have enough money to sustain their campaigns long after Iowa.

1:28:18, Bystrom: Sanders raised $34 million this past quarter — enough to finance campaign through June. Bloomberg is basically buying his way in.

1:29:30, Yepsen: Two things have changed since the Iowa caucuses started: 1) The arrival of social media as a campaign tool, and 2) Citizens United, which has popped the cork on campaign money. There’s so much more money sloshing around politics — and the ability to raise it in small amounts over the internet — that changes the premise for why candidates wanted to come to Iowa.

1:29:57, Schmidt: But it’s not all about money. If that were the case, the two billionaires in the current race should win Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and so on. It’s personality, connection, tradition, history.

1:30:56, Redlawsk: You still need delegates. If you don’t get 15 percent support in primaries, as well as the caucuses, you don’t win any delegates. So if four people are coming out of Iowa at roughly 20 percent apiece, there’s nothing left for other candidates.

1:32:06, Goldford: How have the DNC’s new rules changed the role of the Iowa Caucuses? I don’t have an answer.

1:32:41, Yepsen: I think it’s diminished the role of the caucuses. Now, the DNC’s debate rules are winnowing the field, not a bunch of people in small-town Iowa.

1:33:00, Winfrey: I agree. It’s made it difficult for some of the lower-polling candidates, who might be able to campaign well in Iowa but now have to spend their time trying to get on the debate stage. Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Kirsten Gillibrand could have done better in Iowa but were forced to do this other stuff the national party decided they should do.

1:33:34, Squire: I’m skeptical the debates have had much of an impact. Candidates who had breakout moments (Castro, Kamala Harris) are already gone. … But the fact that the national party has lined up events across the country has diminished the singular importance of the caucuses.

1:34:21, Yepsen: When other states bump up their own caucuses and primaries, the unintended consequence is making Iowa that much more important. In big states, like California, the only way you do politics is through the media. And how do you get media attention? You win Iowa. The bounce from these early states does have an impact.

1:35:47, Yepsen: In the discussions about whether Iowa should continue to be first, remember that whoever ultimately wins the election will be reluctant to change the rules of the game he or she just won. Let’s make sure we tend our fences in Iowa so we don’t get ambushed during a re-election primary. …

The other party debates why they lost, and two points always come up: 1) Should we be more moderate or extreme, and 2) Can we ditch Iowa? Who gave us this turkey? …

At the national conventions, the two nominees are focused on November. Right then, they don’t have time to worry about the changing the process in four more years.

1:38:11, Schmidt: People argue that Iowa isn’t diverse enough. OK, but how did Obama win here? If he hadn’t won here, I doubt he would have gone on to win the election. …

People argue that Iowa makes the process so complicated. But the turnout numbers aren’t that different in states with primaries. In primaries, folks can just pop in, vote and pop out instead of participating in a caucus. So Iowa doesn’t really suppress the people who are interested.

1:40:00, Winfrey: But it does suppress the people who participate. Because the people who can’t get off work to go spend two hours at a caucus or can’t get child care tend to be of lower economic status or women or people of color. So when you’re a state that is already pretty white, and your further suppressing people of color, that’s disenfranchising that group of people. …

Just because Iowa selected Obama, doesn’t mean that people in this country are well represented by Iowa caucus-goers. We have different life experiences.

1:40:49, Bystrom: Iowa is not a good place for women candidates. Until this last cycle, finally women make up more than a third of Iowa’s legislature. It’s hard to get women to run here — and run successfully. We had a lot of success in 2018, but there was success around the country. … We elected Cindy Axne, Abby Finkenauer and Kim Reynolds. So we look really good right now, but it’s a tough sell.

I can’t tell you how many people told me in 2008 that they really wanted to elect a woman president, but Hillary Clinton just wasn’t perfect enough.

1:41:52, Schmidt: The rural areas are shrinking in Iowa. Urban areas may have more influence and tend to be more progressive — more likely to elect women.

1:42:07, Hoffman: Caucuses may be good for democracy because they encourage a much broader group of people to participate in the discussion, as opposed to primaries where voters can pop in and pop out. In primary states, party decisions are made by a much smaller group of people. … Caucuses are like quintessential New England town halls — forums for civic discussions and party governance.

1:44:27, Redlawsk: No can argue that Iowas are representative of the rest of the country or that the caucuses make things difficult for some people to participate. … But Iowans who caucus, especially when there is a large turnout, like in 2008, are highly representative of Iowa Democratic voters as a whole — and Democratic voters nationally.

So in this cycle, one of the pushbacks to this criticism is that the non-white candidates who aren’t doing well in Iowa aren’t doing much better in South Carolina, where 67 percent of Democratic voters are African-American. … Race matters, but I don’t think that’s the reason to say that Iowa shouldn’t play the role it does.

1:46:29, Goldford: Iowa Democrats are slightly more dove-ish than Democrats nationally. And Iowa Republicans are moderately more pro-life than Republicans nationwide. But both parties track pretty closely with their parties in other states.

1:47:19, Yepsen: This is a big field of candidates. Who will look good when they emerge from this election cycle, even if they don’t win?

1:48:00, Squire: The obvious choice is Buttigieg. Clearly his ability to mount a national campaign as the mayor of South Bend had been impressive. … Julian Castro is another person who may be able to reformulate his approach and do better next time around.

1:49:12, Hoffman: Kamala Harris strategically decided to drop out when she did to focus on her Senate job. Beto O’Rourke still has some things to do. … Remember, with all the senators in the race, the future president’s choices for vice president and cabinet positions may depend on succession rules and who might replace those people in the Senate.

1:50:14, Bystrom: I predict there will be a woman or a person of color — or maybe both — on the Democratic ticket.

1:50:24, Winfrey: I’ll add Cory Booker as someone we’ll see more of. He could be a great VP pick, a very energetic bottom half of a ticket.

1:50:45, Yepsen: Amy Klobuchar is mentioned a lot as a good ticket-balancer.

1:50:56, Bystrom: If the nominee is from the East Coast, there is a tendency to balance the ticket with someone from the Midwest or Southwest. Stacey Abrams name has been bandied about, as well. She’s a very persuasive speaker.

1:51:30, Yepsen: No matter what happens on the Republican side, in 2024, they’ll have to find a candidate. Who might do well? Maybe Nikki Haley …

1:51:50, Goldford: Maybe Josh Hawley from Missouri, Mike Lee from Utah, Tom Cotton from Arkansas. … The big debate: Will is be Trumpism without Trump or will they take things in a new direction?

1:52:26, Schmidt: Marco Rubio has been on the news a lot, explaining things and not quite on Trump’s side. He’s a very good speaker, kind of charismatic, Latino.

1:52:50, Goldford: If you do the math, Buttigieg could participate in eight presidential cycles and still be younger then than Sander, Biden and Warren are now. Democrats still have to do that generational shift.

1:53:10, Bystrom: Nikki Haley is trying to position herself. There have been some predictions that the first woman president will be a Republican. … There are big rumors in Nebraska that Ben Sasse will run.

1:54:00, Winfrey: Republican women tend to be viewed as more moderate than Democratic women. … If you’re going to get a woman elected, you need a lot of people on board, so someone who is viewed more moderately is more likely to do that. There are some Republican women who are extremely conservative, but someone like Nikki Haley might be able to walk that line.

1:54:38, Redlawsk: Nobody thinks of Mike Pence?

1:54:45, Yepsen: I notice he did visit the same flood twice here in Iowa, so we have to include him. And he’s from Indiana, so he could be a Midwestern favorite. …

In the post-Trump era, the Republican Party is going to have a debate about what it stands for.

1:55:43, Hoffman: I wouldn’t discount Will Hurd, the only African-American in the House of Representatives. He’s retiring, because he’s in a tough district, but he’s already scheduled a visit for New Hampshire, but obviously not for this cycle. …

Republicans struggle with diversity, but an African-American or a woman could build a successful coalition. Again, what happens after Trump?

1:57:00, Yepsen: What do you think about alternatives to the Iowa Caucuses?

1:57:20, Redlawsk: A national primary is not a viable alternative. …

If Trump wins in 2020, I think the Iowa Caucuses will be in really serious trouble. The Democrats will continue to argue about whether the system works. The new rules are meant to open it up more. There will be additional pressure. I’m not sure the caucuses could survive for 2024.

If Trump loses and the incumbent Democrat who wins runs again in 2024, however the Democrats want to change the caucuses will be irrelevant, and it will be the Republicans who will drive change. But they don’t have the political and ideological position about opening up the caucuses and making them accessible. They don’t have that battle, so in that case, the caucuses will continue.

1:58:40, Bystrom: If the Democrats lose in 2020, there will be continuing pressure among Democrats to do something different. You see it on the media all the time: There seems to a lot of unhappiness about Iowa, no matter how well Iowa voters represent voters nationally.

It’s also about expanding the vote. The two states that had both a caucus and primary in 2016 were Washington and Nebraska. In both states, far more voters showed up for the primary.

2:00:00, the end.

Now, on to the race in 2024 . . .

Michael Morain, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

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