What is a caucus and how is it different than a primary?
A caucus is a political gathering for people of a shared interest, typically within the same party. A caucus is not an election
Not all states hold caucuses, as caucuses are held by political parties, not the state itself.
The Iowa caucus will include multiple meetings to conduct party business and express interest for a party’s presidential nominee. Caucus meetings can also be used to establish a political party’s goals, agenda or platform.
Party “voters” are polled for their presidential preference.
In Iowa, voters to will choose a party to register with, but a voter can publicly change party affiliation on caucus day. This is cross-party-line system is called a “Partially Open” primary election type. To learn about other state’s primary election types, CLICK HERE.
Additionally, the 40 Iowa delegates are awarded to presidential candidates based on the percentage of the poll votes a candidate received.
Caucuses can take place at a county, district or precinct level.
Unlike a caucus, a primary takes place to count delegates from a state to announce the state’s preferred candidate. Nothing more.
A primary is a state run election to select a party’s presidential nominee.
The Iowa Democratic Party will not conduct their presidential preference poll in person. Instead, ballots will be mailed out. The Iowa Democratic Party will still conduct party business in person.
The Republican Party of Iowa will conduct their presidential preference poll and party business in person, click here to find your caucus location.