‘Significant changes’ for 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Caucuses

Iowa Democrats plan to hold six “virtual” meetings next year for Democrats who cannot attend the precinct caucuses on the evening of February 3, 2020

DES MOINES — Democrats will still calculate the winner based on how many convention delegates each presidential candidate secures, but for the first time, the raw vote totals each candidate gets will be tallied and released.

“The most significant changes to the Iowa Democratic Party Caucuses since their inception in 1972,” Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price said Monday afternoon.

Price described the plan as an “Iowa solution” that preserves the fundamentals of the caucuses.

“This process has created presidents,” Price said. “It has allowed candidates and campaigns to build organizations that can win.”

The raw vote totals will be kept, in case the race for delegates is close enough a candidate could request a recount. The “virtual” caucuses are scheduled to begin in late January, at different start times to accommodate shift workers, single mothers, disabled Iowans and others with Caucus night conflicts. Participants will use an electronic device, like a smart phone, to rank their top five candidate choices.

“We know that we are stronger as a party, we are strong as a state and we are stronger as a nation if everyone can participate in our political process,” Price said.

Price told reporters the vendor chosen to manage Caucus results will be asked for devise a cross-check to ensure people who participate in the “virtual” caucuses don’t go to a precinct and vote on Caucus night as well.

Iowa Republicans will hold Caucuses on February 3, 2020 as well. The Iowa GOP, however, has always conducted what amounts to a statewide straw poll to determine the presidential candidate who wins the Caucuses rather than the delegate math angle Iowa Democrats use.