The Importance of the Iowa Caucus
Iowa has an incredibly important role to play in a week. We have the
chance to set the tone for the 2016 presidential campaign season.
Which candidates deserve serious attention? What issues matter most? What
type of campaign resonates with voters?
Attending the Iowa caucuses is very different than voting in the general
election. The caucuses are much more than walking into a voting booth and
pushing a button. It’s a chance for Iowans to get actively involved in
democracy, discuss issues and debate the merits of candidates.
At the Democratic caucus, you publicly support your candidate and
publicly vote on planks of the party platform. It’s an important process
for determining where we want our country to go, and it’s also a lot of
The more people who attend the caucus the more representative the results
will be. If you don’t participate, your voice won’t be heard. If you are
passionate about an issue or feel strongly for or against certain
candidates, attend your precinct caucus. If you are undecided, that
matters too. Attend your precinct caucus and talk things over with your
The only must for participating in the caucuses is party registration.
You must be registered to vote as a Democrat or as a Republican to
caucus. If you consider yourself an Independent, you can register
temporarily with one of the parties on caucus night and take part in the
event. You must choose though; caucus goers can only attend their
precinct’s Democratic caucus or Republican caucus, not both.
My most memorable caucus was in 2008. I was head wrestling coach at
Maquoketa, and we had a home double dual on caucus night. We won our
first meet, and then I went down to the band room to caucus where my
chosen candidate had a two-to-one advantage over four other serious
contenders. I was elected to be a precinct delegate and quickly headed
back up to the gym, where we won our second meet. A trifecta!
I have had an opportunity to see all the Democratic candidates and many
of the Republican candidates without leaving my small home town of
Maquoketa (population 6,000). That’s one of the things that makes living
in Iowa so great.
Iowans are given a special privilege in our country’s political process.
With it comes a responsibility to weigh the options and choose the best
possible candidates for President of the United States of America.
Best wishes Iowa caucus goers! The annoying phone calls will soon end.