Iowa caucuses for both the Republican and Democratic parties will be held on Monday, February 1st. What makes the Iowa caucus unique is the way the delegates are selected. Republicans in Iowa caucus for their candidates much like they do in every other state, by ballot casting. However, Democrats in Iowa caucus in groups.
Picture this. The Democratic candidates’ local leaders stand in corners of the caucus room, which could be a garage or barn because Iowa is so rural. The community members come to the meeting and then begin to stand in their favorite Democratic representative’s corner of the room. A tally is taken. Those undecided voters are then persuaded to join a corner of the room by their fellow citizens. The process goes on in fluid fashion until a consensus is reached and a precinct selects their candidate for president.
According to Hannah Wise of The Dallas Morning News, “The weather is a factor. While Iowans are used to cold weather and terrible road conditions, if there is a higher-than-normal snowfall, older caucusgoers and more rural residents may be less motivated to turn out.”
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And weather is changing. The latest weather reports from AccuWeather.com report a snowstorm is predicted to hit Iowa and may influence voter turnout. AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said, “Enough snow and a wintry mix can occur to make roads slippery in the southern third of Iowa as people are heading home from the Caucuses … The worst of the storm will overspread the state on Tuesday, when conditions are likely to range from blizzard conditions in the northwest to a wind-driven wintry mix in the southeast with the risk of sporadic power outages.”