Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

This post is informative and maybe too serious...For a few laughs see my other blog: Answers to the Questions

Thirteen things you might want to know about the Iowa Caucuses

1. Thursday's night's caucuses in Iowa combine high-stakes politics and old-style community meetings.

2. The results will shape the GOP and Democratic campaigns and
spark some candidates to drop out from the 2008 White House race.

3.The caucuses are such a big deal in Iowa that a musical was written about them. The play centers on Iowa farmer Eldon Wise and his family, who the media has dubbed 'the typical Iowa caucus-goers.' Like other Iowans, they're bombarded with phone calls, e-mails, negative ads and personal visits -- all of which stir up debate and sometimes rifts between relatives.

Republican candidates on the ballot are: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson. Democrats: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson.

5. In each of Iowa's nearly 2,000 voting precincts, Democrats and Republicans hold separate meetings on caucus night. Anybody registered member of a party can attend that party's meeting.

6. Republicans vote in the caucuses by
secret ballots. The vote determines which delegates, representing which candidates, will attend county conventions. There, delegates are chosen for state congressional district conventions, where delegate to national convention are picked.


7. The
Republicans use a winner-take-all system. Whichever candidate wins the caucuses takes all of the delegates for the state.

8. The Democratic meeting divides into groups, each supporting a particular candidate. If a candidate doesn't have a sufficient percentage of the total number of voters attending, its members join other candidates' groups. When that redistribution finally ends with groups of sufficient size, the delegates are divided among them according to the percentage of the meetings' attendees they represent. The process then proceeds through the county and state conventions. At the national convention, the candidates receive delegates proportionately, rather than the winner taking all of the state's delegates.


9. The turnout predicted is: 120,000-150,000 Democrats; 80,000-90,000 Republicans

10. The
weather outlook for Thursday is mostly sunny, with a high of 29 degrees, a low of 22.

11. Unlike a caucus, a
primary is carried out in a virtually identical manner to a general election contest, with participants going to polling place or, depending on state election procedures, voting at home for their preferred candidates. A primary election attracts a broader swath of the electorate, in part because it requires a shorter time commitment. A caucus takes longer to conduct and tends to attract dedicated party activists.

12. Caucuses are held in a wide
variety of locations such as schools, churches, community centers, public libraries and even private homes.

13. Historical caucus results have spawned a conventional wisdom that there are
"three tickets out of Iowa." In every contested Iowa caucus since 1972, only once has a presidential candidate finished worse than third and gone on to become his party's presidential candidates.

14. BONUS: The
"Iowa Bounce" is the momentum gained by a candidate who exceeds expectations in Iowa.

Sources: AJC staff, Des Moines Register, Congressional Quarterly


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Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a bit more complicated than I thought! LOL Very informative post!

SJ Reidhead said...

I think Iowa gets way too much attention. This year the GOP votes aren't even going to count unless the RNC relents and allows it, so why bother?

Great list.

The Pink Flamingo

Dane Bramage said...

Holy Moley. That is far more complicated than I thought it would be. But if it works why knock it?

My Thursday 13 #63 is up early. It is 13 Celebrity Births in 2007 kind of the opposite of last week's post. Stop by if you get a chance.

Gattina said...

Yesterday evening was a report about the American elections on TV here in Belgium which almost said the same as you. Now all eyes are directed to Iowa, I only hope that the voters are more intelligent then the last two times, lol ! I don't like this mormon !

RW said...

Great post Teach! Hey Hillary looks like she has that smile glued on lol!

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly cumbersome, clumsy, drawn out system! But I wonder who will be history in a day or two.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post---Christopher Hitchens wrote an article in Slate lambasting the caucus as intrinsically undemocratic.

I would like to see Edwards prevail.

13 Unresolved Issues from 2007

SandyCarlson said...

It is complicated. More so since the media is essentially cutting into the list of potential candidates by determining the number of participants.

Stay tuned. Thanks for a great list, Mary.

A Free Man said...

Great post. I've been following the lead-up to Iowa pretty closely and I wasn't entirely clear on how things worked. Well explained! I think we share some partisan feelings...

Jeff B said...

The frustrating thing is, when all the dust settles, we still have a politician in the White House.

Great information Teach.

Schmoop said...

Partisan Nature? I didnt see any. ; ) Cheers Mary!!

ellen b. said...

Very interesting Maryt!

maryt/theteach said...

Thanks everybody for commenting! Yes Iowa is really very cumbersome and involved. But let's see what happens after tonight!

roger, guess ol' Hil' isn't getting your vote. :)

damozel, I will look up that article. Thanks for the suggestions.

maryt/theteach said...

Jeff, you're right but at least (I hope) I'll have one that thinks like me...:)

Matt-man, I only meant I didn't post any Republican pix! :)

Unknown said...

You know Iowa has to have some importance right? Wisconsin really has no political importance in the grand scheme it seems. Great, informative list.
Thanks for visiting the Cafe Teach and the wishes on my health.

SandyCarlson said...

I'm glad you don't apologize for the partisan nature of your post. It's nice to know a lady with gumption! God bless.

maryt/theteach said...

Thanks Lucy and Sandy!