Caucuses were tossed by Iowa Democrats. They'll mail-select a 2024 nominee secretly (Part-2).

With almost 200,000 Iowans entering the 2008 sweepstakes that launched young Obama's rise to the White House, that amount is rare on both sides of the aisle. The caucuses often draw a small percentage of party registered voters, even in contested races.

Plans to make the caucuses more accessible for older, disabled, night shift, and non-childcare voters failed. On the night of the 2020 Democratic caucuses, the party's hasty changes to precinct results reporting fell down, resulting in no obvious winner.

“There was a lot of drama in the way we've done it in the past,” said Iowa Democratic Party head Rita Hart. “One person's excitement and drama is another's chaos. The Democratic Party should focus on excitement, but make it productive.” After being upset by the national party's decision, the Iowa Democratic Party is rethinking how to persuade members to attend “and then engage in the kind of conversations that strengthen us as Democrats,” Hart said

The party said that almost 6,000 Iowa Democrats attended the Jan. 15 caucus, which elected delegates to the August Democratic National Convention in Chicago. More than 19,000 presidential preference cards were requested, more than in the 2012 Democratic caucuses, the last time a Democrat incumbent ran. By Friday, over 11,000 had been returned.

Before this year, Waterloo resident Sherry Kiskunas had never voted in a caucus. In 2012, she was hired to run her precinct caucus. She said she “didn't even know about them” before.

I didn't like being vice chair because I wasn't in charge. It was terrible when I was chair, she remarked. She recounted counting and recounting people switching candidates or supports. Two precincts in one room caused confusion for one year.

People get impatient and want to leave,” Kiskunas remarked. “I want to go home, but the count must be right.” The “easy” mail-in ballot let her vote this year. Still, “the party suffers,” she remarked. No party building allowed. Kiskunas remarked you don't have the UI like we did.

Cedar Rapids attorney Sara Riley supports abandoning caucuses. She thinks a primary might increase ground engagement, not decrease it. Riley has given hundreds of hours for presidential campaigns and believes enthusiasm doesn't alter with the strategy.

Even with a new voting procedure, reverting to the early window could draw presidential candidates to the rural, Midwest state with a cheaper media market. The Iowa Democratic Party claimed it only agreed to the amendments this year if it was assured of being included in the early 2028 states.

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