Iowa Presidential Caucuses
Delegates to the national conventions that nominate each
party's presidential candidate are elected in a process that begins here in Iowa
at the grass-roots caucus level. Each party will conduct caucuses
in all of Iowa's precincts, at sites ranging from rooms in public facilities to
Voter Registration Statistics
Jan. 2, 2008 - day before caucus
Jan. 16, 2008 - caucus data entry completed
While other registrations were processed between Jan. 3 and Jan. 16, the
overwhelming majority were from the caucuses.
* Jan 1, 2008: first day voters could register as Green or Libertarian.
Iowa's first in the nation precinct caucuses are conducted by the political
parties, not by our office. Both parties held their caucuses on January 3,
Less well-known candidates, possible candidates, and
candidates of other parties may be found at
Past Johnson County Caucus Results (as provided by parties or reported to press)
In both parties, a caucus participant must be a resident of
the precinct and be at least 18 years old as of November 4, 2008 (born on or
before November 4, 1990).
Participants must actually attend the caucus in the precinct in which they live
- there is no absentee voting. In addition, participants
must be registered to vote with the party whose caucus they are
attending. Both parties allow participants to register, update their
registration, or change party on caucus night. The parties are then
responsible for returning the voter registration forms to our office.
Guests may attend the caucus to observe but may not
participate. Both parties have youth participation programs for persons
who will not be 18 by November 4, 2008; contact the parties for details.
Both parties discuss issues and candidates, choose party
precinct officers, and elect delegates to the party's county convention, usually
held in March. County conventions elect delegates to congressional
district and state conventions, which elect national convention delegates.
The national conventions formally nominate the party's presidential candidate.
- Democratic National Convention, August 25 - 28, Denver.
- Republican National Convention, September 1 - 4, Minneapolis.
The number of county convention delegates elected from each
precinct is determined by each party, based on how many votes the party's
candidates for governor and president received in that precinct in the 2004 and
2006 general elections.
The two parties elect their county convention delegates
elects county convention delegates by presidential preference group,
rather than by the whole caucus. At the time delegates are
elected, the caucus splits up into preference groups - supporters of
each candidate gather in different parts of the room.|
A presidential preference group must have at least 15%
(called "viability") of the
precinct's total number of caucus attendees in order to elect county convention
Participants are allowed to regroup if their candidate has too few supporters
to choose a delegate or if they decide to support another candidate.
More specific details on caucus procedure are at the
Iowa Democratic Party's caucus web site.
conducts a straw poll for President by secret ballot in years when the nomination
is contested. (No vote was held in 2004, when President Bush was unopposed
caucus then elects delegates and alternates to the county convention.
Iowa Republican Party
attend the Democratic precinct caucus. Based on previous elections, the
precinct will elect 10 county convention delegates.
Caucus attendees break
into preference groups as follows:
John F. Kennedy: 44
Franklin D. Roosevelt: 30 supporters
Harry S Truman: 14 supporters
Woodrow Wilson: 12 supporters
The Truman and Wilson
groups have less than 15% of the caucus attendees, and are not yet
entitled to any delegates.
Caucus attendees now have
the option to realign (switch their support to another candidate).
In the realignment stage,
the Truman supporters stay together and persuade five of the Wilson
supporters to join them. Two of the remaining Wilson supporters join the
Roosevelt group, and the other five join the Kennedy group. The new group
Kennedy: 49 supporters
Roosevelt: 32 supporters
Truman: 19 supporters
This alignment produces
the following allocation of delegates:
Kennedy: 5 delegates
Roosevelt: 3 delegates
Truman: 2 delegates
are then reported to party headquarters: "Kennedy 5 delegates,
Roosevelt 3 delegates, Truman 2 delegates." No group totals from
either the first alignment or the final alignment are reported.
At this point the
delegate allocation to candidates is final and persons who do not want
to participate in other business may leave.
in the three remaining
presidential preference groups each elect their own delegates to the
county convention. When that is completed, the presidential
preference groups come back together. All persons still in
attendance then proceed to elect party officers and discuss the
attend the Republican precinct caucus. Based on previous elections, the
precinct will elect 10 county convention delegates.
Caucus attendees cast
secret ballots. (No names are printed on the ballots, so all votes are
write-ins.) The votes are counted with these results:
Abraham Lincoln: 44
Ronald Reagan: 30
Teddy Roosevelt: 14
Dwight D. Eisenhower: 12
These results are then
reported to party headquarters: "Abraham Lincoln 44 votes, Ronald Reagan
30 votes, Teddy Roosevelt 14 votes, Dwight D. Eisenhower 12 votes."
At this point the result
is final and persons who do not want to participate in other business
All persons still in
attendance elect 10 county convention
delegates and then proceed to elect party officers and discuss the