2020 Iowa Caucuses

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2020 Iowa Caucuses

Anne Rutherford, Reporter

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The Iowa caucuses are electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican Party that occur every two years. Concerning the primary elections, this process is unlike the other states, where registered voters go to polling stations to cast ballots. In the state of Iowa, citizens gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and eventually vote on the candidates. During the presidential (every four years) and the midterm (every two years) elections, voters vote in a precinct caucus for the party which they are registered to vote for. 

 

The Iowa caucuses are viewed by the public as the first major contest of the US Presidential Primary Elections. The reason for it only being viewed is due to the voters being unrepresented in the nation’s overall demographics. However, it is a strong indicator of how a candidate will favor later in the election process. 

 

The 2020 Iowa Democratic and Republican caucuses took place on February 3. The Republican caucuses resulted in our current President Donald Trump taking in a popular vote of 31,464 with a 97.1%. Following very far behind was William Weld with a popular vote of 426 and 1.3%. 

 

However, the Democratic caucus was the subject of controversy due to a delay in reporting the results. Further controversy arose from errors and inconsistencies regarding the calculation of the results. It was not until February 4 at 4:00 pm that the results were finally released; over 24 hours since it started. The final results showed Bernie Sanders with 26.5% of the popular vote, and Pete Buttigieg closely behind with 25.1%. On the flip side, Sanders finished with an SDE of 26.1% and Buttigieg finishing with a 26.2%, providing him with a major boost in the polls for the upcoming vote in New Hampshire. 

 

On the same day the Democratic caucus results were released, President Trump gave his third State of the Union address. Seated directly behind him was Vice President, Mike Pence and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Trump’s speech lasted 1 hour and 18 minutes. During the run time of his speech, VP Mike Pence frequently would stand up and clap, in sharp contrast to Pelosi who sat very still. His speech concluded with Pence grinning ear to ear and Pelosi ripping up a printed copy of his speech.