DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) – After months of anticipation, the Iowa Caucuses are finally here.
Live coverage will begin in the video player above starting at 4 p.m. Central Time.
For Republicans, many things this caucus season are still the same. Many are wondering why Republicans in Iowa are still holding a caucus when President Donald Trump is running for re-election. Michael Morain, Communications Manager in the Department of Iowa affairs says caucuses are not only about choosing a candidate but also doing the organizational work to prepare for the general election.
One of the biggest changes this year is caucus sites. Mary McAdams, chair in the Ankeny Area Democrats, said in Ankeny alone 90% of their sites from 2016 have changed.
There will also be major changes in the caucus process within the Democratic Party.
Along with changing sites and new satellite caucusing, there will now be three counts being taken. The results of the first round, the results from realignment which allocates delegates and this year precincts will also be releasing the raw total of votes at the end of the night.
With three different votes being taken into account, many are saying it will be easy for candidates to use the results that best suit them.
Sunday on The Insiders, Jerry Crawford said it will be up to the media to tell the whole story. Morain said the media has always played a bigger role in the caucuses than people think.
“The biggest take away from the caucuses are not about the technical math about who wins the exact numbers but it’s really about the media narrative that comes out on the night of the caucuses or the next day,” Morain said.
The general consensus is that the clear winners will come from the realignment round where delegates will be chosen.
If your first pick is viable, you won’t be able to realign. If you have to realign you’ll only have 15 minutes to do so.
Democrats are urging caucus-goers to come in knowing their second choice. McAdams suggested all voters do their last bit of research on these candidates. McAdams said you don’t have to love them, but make sure their message speaks to you.
“Check out your second choice candidates websites, check out their social media. Go with your gut, who is resonating with you? Who is speaking to your heart. And when they talk you say, ‘That makes sense. I can follow this person’,” McAdams said.
To find out where your nearest caucus site is and to register to vote go to, iwillvote.com.
(This story was originally published on February 3, 2020)