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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Caucus Primer

The Iowa Caucus is really where the rubber meets the road for this election. For Mitt to win, we need people to actually show up on caucus night. This post is intended to teach you what you need to know to help Mitt win on January 3rd.

1 - Find out which precinct you are in
Here is the website to go to:
You put in your zip code, and select your street, and it will tell you which precinct you're in. If you are a registered voter, it will say on your voter registration card which precinct you're in.

2 - Find your caucus location
You'll see if you follow this link that it shows a map of Iowa. Click on your county, and it will list the caucus locations by precinct. Find your precinct.

3 - Show up. The caucus starts at 7:00. It is best to show up by 6:30. If you are not already registered to vote, you can REGISTER AT THE CAUCUS. Bring a picture ID, and a utility bill to prove you're a resident.

In my precinct there are several out of state students who have lived here for a couple of years but still have drivers licenses from out of state. That's okay. Bring your drivers license, and a utility bill, and register to vote. Again, it's best to show up early if you are not already registered to vote.

If you're 17 years old, but will be 18 years old by the end of October you can vote in the caucus. Again, show up early, bring your drivers license, register to vote at the caucus. Parents, if you have children who fall into this category - bribe them, or force them to participate against their will.

4 - Stay classy and support Mitt Romney!

- Not every voter who shows up on caucus night has made up his/her mind.

- Iowa Republican caucuses do not have a viability threshold. Votes in the presidential straw poll will be by secret ballot. And all votes counts will be reported to state party headquarters in Des Moines. (Thanks Hawkeye GOP for correcting my confusion on this point. I had been confusing things with the Democratic Caucus in Iowa. I like the differences.)

- Every voter who shows up at the caucus is a human being, and an American. Every voter has the right to pick someone I disagree with. I don't have the full truth about why other individual voters are supporting somebody else. The caucus is not the place to argue with other voters. The caucus is the place to celebrate democracy in action. I've watched some of these veteran Iowa political operatives sway voters over to Mitt Romney. It NEVER involves disrespect for the other person's opinion.

"Oh, you're a McCain supporter? I like John McCain. He's good on the issues. I'm supporting Mitt Romney, he's good on fiscal issues, good on immigration, not necessarily better than McCain on foreign policy, but he's solid." From there the conversation can move forward, or go nowhere.

The Caucus, it isn't the right time to make a jerk out of yourself. Other candidates have supporters no matter what you say. Your behavior at the caucus should reflect respect for your fellow Americans, and should reflect respect for the political process taking place.

In Iowa, small numbers can have a big impact. In my particular precinct the goal is to turn out 42 people to caucus for Mitt. That's a 21 homes within my precinct where both the husband and wife show up on caucus night. That's easy.

If you're a Mitt supporter, make sure you go to the caucus, but make it a goal to bring along 5 or 6 Mitt supporters who normally would not go to the caucus. That doesn't sound like it would have that big of an impact but it absolutely will have a huge impact.

It's going to be a close race to win in Iowa. Remember that your vote counts!


HawkeyeGOP said...

Uh ... not quite. Iowa Republican caucuses do not have a viability threshold. Votes in the presidential straw poll will be by secret ballot. And all votes counts will be reported to state party headquarters in Des Moines.

On the Democrat side, a candidate must have 15% of the vote to be 'viable'. Second choices will be extremely important to Democrats in their caucuses but not to Republicans.

Lisa said...

Hawkeyegop is right. For Republicans, there is no gathering into corners or figuring out percentages. You go to your caucus, vote for a precinct chairman and then they pass out a blank paper for you to write down the candidate of your choice. You can then stay for party business or leave at that point. It should only be abou 45 minutes to be done with the presidential voting.

Also, if you have young kids and can't find a babysitter, bring them along. They are welcome and you won't be there more than an hour.

Big Jay said...

I'll make the corrections. That probably will make turnout a bit easier. One guy I work with doesn't want to go tot he caucus because he anticipates a lot of arguing.

Big Jay said...

And Lisa. Thanks for the info on the children. I've got 3 under the age of 4. My wife and I were discussing how to arrange child care last night. If it really comes down to it, we'll take the kids, although I think we've got it covered.

Jeff said...

Great recap of the caucus! I'm stoked! Keep in mind that with the race as close as it is, we can swing this thing 5% or more just with organization and turnout. If each caucus nets 2-3 more votes for Mitt, that will have an enormous positive impact and may very well bring this home! Everybody do what you can to get bring your neighbors along who are supportive, but who might otherwise not take the time to come out next week!