Let’s talk…what the heck is a caucus and why does it matter?
Feb 2, 2016
A Caucus is a meeting of a group of supporters of a specific political party gathered to select leadership e.g. Presidential Nominees. The rules per some state caucuses may vary as it relates to allocating delegates. The delegates then go on to divisional caucuses and or national conventions representing their respective state and party.
Caucuses are important for some specific states that rely solely on the caucus in determining who their nominee will be. Thus, it becomes a litmus test of sorts for the rest of the country in determining who and which candidates may move forward in securing the nomination of said political party. Caucuses are unique in that they allow participants to openly show support for candidates, unlike primaries. Typically, caucus members are registered voters, and they are limited to the caucus of the party with which they are affiliated.
The states of Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming and Iowa rely solely on the caucus, according to the Federal Election Commission. Other territories such as American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands use the caucus also.
The state of Iowa caucused recently and chose its candidates for the Presidential Nomination. What was telling- Monies raised per each candidate wasn’t necessarily reason for the vote (e.g. getting the message out) per the caucus members- if one looks at the entire schematic. However, it just so happened that the democratic winner did have the most funds raised- the #2 democratic candidate raised 46% of the of top grossing (funds) candidate. The republican candidate ranked #3 in terms of the amount of funds in his war chest which was 55% of the top ranking (funds) candidate. What was interesting, the #2 republican candidate (via the republican party) lost by single digit percentages and possessed 12% of the highest ranking funded candidate (in terms of funds raised-war chest).
Another interesting dynamic is: The top funded candidate is a well known and established politician who has held high ranking job titles throughout the federal government as well as having been a former First Lady. She has struggled to make her message clear in Radio, TV and Cable Ads and have that message connect to her likeability. Her saving grace has been a well oiled “feet on the ground” campaign where in person “get out in front of the people and sell your message” activity has reigned. Thus, to my point money doesn’t necessarily buy an election anymore, but it helps a whole lot!
I guess we can BE GRATEFUL that the candidates individual/independent messages of their constituent bases are being delivered and heard above the Super Pac’s same ole song of Quid Pro Quo.
My wish- if I were granted one…
Is to have the candidates say, “Hey Bridgette, why don’t you and your firm take the over 3/4 of a billion dollars raised in funds (742m) and reallocate to Creating JOBS and Services in underserved communities and grow the local economies” “We’d love to really grow the economies and GDP.” “We’d love to derail crime.” Right?!
Looks like the people of Iowa have spoken.
All my best,