Iowa Humanizes The Candidate

Iowa caucus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Since 1972, the Iowa caucus has been the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. ..... Alaska and Hawaii generally have their caucuses before Iowa ...... a last minute decision by Kerry to put all his remaining money in Iowa, changed things around at the last minute. Gephardt's presidential hopes were dashed and Dean's badly battered, as Kerry went on to become the second non-incumbent to win both Iowa and New Hampshire since Edmond Muskie in 1972. ...... The caucus is generally defined as a "gathering of neighbors". ...... Iowans gather at a set location in each of Iowa's approximately 1,800 precincts. Typically, these meetings occur in schools, churches, or libraries. ..... In addition to the voting, caucus attendees propose planks for their party's platform, select members of the county committees, and discuss issues important to their local organizations. ....... 17-year-olds can participate, as long as they will be 18 years of age by the date of the general election. Observers are allowed to attend, as long as they do not become actively involved in the debate and voting process. ....... Each precinct divides its delegate seats among the candidates in proportion to caucusgoers' votes. ...... Participants indicate their support for a particular candidate by standing in a designated area of the caucus site (forming a "preference group"). An area may also be designated for undecided participants. Then, for roughly 30 minutes, participants try to convince their neighbors to support their candidates. Each preference group might informally deputize a few members to recruit supporters from the other groups and, in particular, from among those undecided. Undecided participants might visit each preference group to ask its members about their candidate. ...... After 30 minutes, the electioneering is temporarily halted and the supporters for each candidate are counted. .... After 30 minutes, the electioneering is temporarily halted and the supporters for each candidate are counted. At this point, the caucus officials determine which candidates are "viable". Depending on the number of county delegates to be elected, the "viability threshold" can be anywhere from 15% to 25% of attendees. For a candidate to receive any delegates from a particular precinct, he or she must have the support of at least that many caucus participants in that precinct. Once viability is determined, participants have roughly another 30 minutes to "realign": the supporters of inviable candidates may find a viable candidate to support, join together with supporters of another inviable candidate to secure a delegate for one of the two, or choose to abstain. ....... In 2004, the meetings ran from 6:30 p.m. until approximately 8:00 p.m. on January 19, 2004. ..... Iowa sends 56 delegates to the DNC out of a total 4,366. | Politics approximately 2,500 precincts .... Iowans seem to enjoy the extensive courting, media attention and spending by candidates and reporters that come with the caucuses. ..... Iowans have the job of reducing the field of presidential candidates for the rest of the nation.





Iowa Caucus history

How does a caucus work?
Read a history of Des Moines Register debates by Blair Claflin
See a list of past caucus winners and losers

Iowa's caucuses: An introduction and history

Editor's note: David Yepsen covered the Iowa caucuses for some 25 years before becoming a full-time columnist at The Des Moines Register. Perhaps nobody knows more about the caucuses than Yepsen.

David Yepsen

In the 1988 campaign cycle, perhaps the largest caucus event in history, 13 presidential candidates in competition on caucus night spent an estimated 846 days and deployed 596 staffers in the state during the two years that preceded the February 8, 1988, caucus-night balloting. In addition, about a half dozen potential candidates also spent time in the state, driving the total "days spent" figure to nearly 1,000 days. An estimated 3,000 reporters from around the country and the world were credentialed to cover the events.
Doing well in the caucuses required candidates to build extensive organizations to get out their supporters on caucus night. To do that, candidates devoted large amounts of campaign time to the state..... To accomplish this and still hold their state convention in June, state Democratic leaders decided to hold their caucuses in late January. A young campaign manager for an obscure presidential candidate that year was Gary Hart and he decided to exploit that decision. ...... Jimmy Carter, expanded McGovern's strategy and campaigned extensively in Iowa and won. After he won the presidency, his Iowa strategy was quickly adopted by other candidates. ...... In 1980, Republican George Bush upset front runner Ronald Reagan for the nomination in Iowa. Reagan and Bush fought a long battle for the GOP nomination. After Reagan won, he turned to Bush as his running mate to heal the party. ...... a presidential candidate was a regular feature somewhere in Iowa during 1987 .... Total turnout for the GOP caucuses was an estimated 96,451. .... Since the 1972 start of the early Iowa caucuses, no candidate that has finished worse than third in Iowa has ever gone on to win a major party presidential nomination. In other words, only the top three finishers remain viable contenders after caucus night. Iowa has moved from the 1976 position as a springboard to the White House to a contest that, as Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker put it, "winnows the field" for the rest of the country. ..... One pattern that appears to be developing in the Iowa caucuses is a preference for Midwestern, or at least rural-oriented candidates. - N.H., Iowa could have company on caucus calendar - Jul ... Democrats will schedule four nominating contests before February 5, 2008, forcing the party's presidential hopefuls to expand their campaign efforts beyond the Hawkeye and Granite states. ..... the move would encourage candidates to devote too many resources at the beginning of the nomination process, and could lead to an all-but-official nominee by the first week in February. .... South Carolina's black population is about 29 percent, and Nevada's Hispanic's population is about 23 percent .... Nevada also has a heavy union population, 14 percent .... It affects Iowa less because the Iowa caucus remains the first contest on the nominating calendar.

It is not about TV ads, and campaign stops, and podium speeches. It is about meeting people one on one. It is about people meeting each other. Iowa is the ultimate grassroots democracy state. And that is good news for Barack. We are the grassroots campaign of this election cycle.

Some things to do.
  1. Travel all over the state.
  2. Are you getting into the local newspapers? And I don't mean just the state newspapers. What about the newspapers in the small towns? Each town got one or more. Are you getting on local TV?
  3. Plan on camping out in the state for a month or at least three weeks before the Caucus.
  4. Be in the state at least once a month before you finally camp out.
  5. This is the momentum state. Momentum here is everything.
  6. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois people will come in handy. But bring in too many people from far away states, especially coastal people. Don't scare the locals.
  7. Always be respectful of the locals. Go to the county fairs. Learn the detailed geography of the states. Have been to all the top destinations in the state. Know the local food.
  8. Let the local volunteers lead the out of state volunteers.
  9. Build the organization early. Visit the homes of all the top local volunteers/organizers.
  10. The national campaign matters, the national polls matter, other early states to February 5 matter.
  11. Use a helicopter in Iowa to pack as many events as possible in a single day.
  12. Shake all hands. Get your picture taken with as many locals as possible. Sign autographs like you were a movie star.
Personally I have been to all parts of Iowa, by the way. I am very familiar with the state.

One thing is for sure. We will know on February 5, 2008 who the next President of the United States will be.

Iowa is good for the candidate. You get to meet the real people - and really meet them - and these are the faces behind the abstract polling numbers, and ambitious policy proposals, and media glitzes. There is no substitute to the human flesh.

You are looking at courting about 100,000 voters. That is manageable.

In The News

Harnessing the 'Bill Clinton effect' BBC News he will overshadow Hillary and highlight what critics say is her lack of warmth. ..... Commentators point to the ex-president's powerful eulogy last year at the funeral of Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, as an example of his capacity unintentionally to outshine his wife. ... "When Bill and Hillary come into the room, if Bill isn't careful he sucks all the political oxygen out of the room and takes it away from Hillary - and for her that's a liability" ...... Iowa is also the state where Mrs Clinton has trailed Mr Obama and Mr Edwards
The Clintons Storm Iowa New York Times How long will Mr. Clinton talk in introducing Mrs. Clinton? Will he outshine her, as happened at the funeral of Coretta Scott King? Will Mr. Clinton talk about President Bush, or the other Democratic presidential candidates, or stick to talking about his wife? And will the Clintons agree to an extended Mr.-and-Mrs. press conference? ...... the widespread sense, shared by her own advisers, that she is trailing in Iowa .... Iowa is where the campaign has chosen to deploy Mr. Clinton in a big way for the first time on her behalf. ..... This is not a quick drop-by. The Clintons will spend three days together in the state. And when Mr. Clinton leaves on Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton is staying behind for another day. Her aides say they are packing her summer recess schedule with trips to Iowa. ..... Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategist, Mark Penn, who by profession is a pollster and tends to be very boosterish on all things Clinton, said that of all the early states, this is the one where Mrs. Clinton is clearly trailing. He blames it on her not having been able to spend as much time in Iowa as her rivals . ..... traditionally these voters make their final decision late ..... Mrs. Clinton does seem vulnerable in Iowa ... a campaign that these days is once again trying to present her candidacy as a juggernaut .... polls this early are notoriously unreliable, especially in states like Iowa where .... voters have a history of not making a decision until a few weeks before the caucus. ..... Edwards .. came in second in 2004, and has been working here almost constantly ever since ..... Edwards draws big enthusiastic crowds wherever he goes in Iowa; and his audience is not made up of celebrity-spotters. Mr. Edwards’s whole strategy to compete against his better-funded opponents is to win next January in Iowa, so he is not about to let up on the gas. ....... Mr. Obama appears to be doing well here as well. ...... within the Clinton campaign, the thinking is that a win there, followed by victories in two of the subsequent early states, New Hampshire and Florida, would make it very difficult for Mr. Obama or anyone else to stop her going into the national crush of primaries on Feb. 5.
Bill Clinton Stumps for Hillary ABC News the Clintons campaigning together will create a lot of excitement, which it needs. .... 'Wow. I really like that guy but do I want to go through that all again?' ..... "His popularity is based on things that happened seven or eight years ago, so people will be looking backward instead of looking forward"

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South Asian Women's Forum "It is true that this generation has trouble with speaking Hindi - even my son Abhishek finds it difficult, and that's why I ask him to try and talk to me in Hindi to improve his pronunciations and vocabulary – but he doesn't listen to me," said Amitabh. ... quality family time at work starting 4 July 2007 when filming for Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar 2 gets underway in Hyderabad.
Abhiash not hubby-wife in Sarkar 2 Times of India like every son in a business empire, he'll continue to look up to his father for guidance and support . ... It was Abhishek's idea. We decided on Sarkar 2 even before the shooting for Sarkar was over. ..... In Sarkar 2 , I'll use whatever I left behind from Godfather 2 and 3 and Good Fellas.
FIFA makes 2007 World Cup a test case; ponders whether to expand ...
USA Today
Sixteen nations - including such perennial powers as the United States, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Brazil - will head to five Chinese cities for the Sept. 10-30 tournament. ..... Right now, there is no single country in the world in which women do not play ... On the men's side, only one nation - Brazil - is in the running for the 2014 World Cup. ... "Most people think of Canada as a hockey nation, but we have more girls playing soccer in Canada than we have boys playing hockey" .... the world's most popular sport.
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Kate Middleton, 25, Prince William's former girlfriend, whose presence in the royal box, along with her sister Pippa and parents Carole and Michael, did little to dampen speculation she and the Prince may be an item again. ...... The status of Prince Harry's relationship with Chelsy Davy, 21, was far less ambiguous as they exchanged a kiss, and danced together to Nelly Furtado.

Obama reports $32.5 million in second quarter Chicago Tribune The second-quarter figure showed Obama's fundraising pace is accelerating ..... That’s the kind of movement that can change the special interest-driven politics in Washington and transform our country. And it’s just the beginning ...... 258,000 overall donors for the first six months of the year
Obama Outraises Clinton By About $11M In Primary Funds Atlantic Online imposes an obligaton on all of us who cover the race: we need to figure out why the "national" frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, isn't generating as much excitement as her chief competitor. ..... Obama's supporters tend to be a bit more upscale that Clinton's base ..... Clinton would up raising about $20M in primary funds
All-About-Me Clinton Now About 'Her' Washington Post Considered by friends to be as self-absorbed as he is brilliant, the former president checks his ego at the curb this week to fly to Iowa and take a surrogate's role ..... Her advisers privately fret that the former president will overshadow Sen. Clinton with his unparalleled campaign skills and career-long habit of drawing attention to himself. One of her confidants, still stinging from the Monica Lewinsky affair, refers to Clinton as "Mr. Me." ...... a few discerning Clinton associates note that he used the words "I," "me" and "my" 16 times in the video ...... Clinton's rhetorical style brings to mind the hit country song by Toby Keith, "I Wanna Talk Talk About Me." ..... former presidents _ much like former chief executive officers _ find it difficult to stop talking about their accomplishments and the people who benefited from their leadership. ...... Clinton's job now is to evolve from the singular "I" and collective "we" to the servile "she." ...... "He's like a great batter adjusting to pitching" ..... 2005, New Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine ..... "If you ever need a governor who's strong and smart and good and experienced and full of new ideas and capable of implementing them, you need that person now," Clinton said, before dropping the I-bomb five times in his next three sentences: ..... He even gave a nod to Kerry's rival, President Bush, by telling the crowd, "You've got a clear choice between two strong men ... ." .... They could be heard muttering to each other about Clinton: Why is it always about him?

11-Mile Baltic Bridge to Be Built Time scheduled for completion in 2018 .... Trains on the route also have to take the 45-minute ferry ride.
Iran's Petrol Revolution Barring a terrorist incident on the scale of 9/11 and laid unambiguously at Tehran's doorstep, it's hard to imagine Bush trying to muster a military effort to oust the mullahs from power. ..... Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice--i.e., not Cheney-- "is overwhelmingly predominant in foreign policy" nowadays. .... one of Ahmadinejad's campaign promises was to put Iran's oil wealth on the table of every Iranian .... The government-subsidized pump price in Iran must be the lowest in the world .... Tony is politically toxic in the Arab world--not only for having helped Bush invade Iraq, but also for all his empty promises to help redirect Western focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ...... At this point, Israeli and Palestinian leaders are just barely on speaking terms. .... put realism over idealism ..... banging Israeli and Palestinian heads together and bringing about necessary compromises ..... Blair also seems to have a genuine personal interest in seeing peace achieved in the Middle East ..... instead of grand peacemaking, he'll just quietly work to restore international aid to the Palestinians and help rebuild Palestinian governing institutions ..... the urgency of resolving this destructive dispute once and for all.

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No need for BJP to `teach, guide & advise` PM Indian Express the first woman President in the 60th anniversary of Independence. .... plans were afoot to reply point-by-point to the ‘misinformation’ campaign against Patil
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They built billion-dollar empires from scratch Almost two-thirds of the world's 946 billionaires made their fortunes from scratch, relying on grit and determination, and not good genes. ..... Fifty of these self-made tycoons are college or high school dropouts. .... Oprah Winfrey ... Born in rural Mississippi, she spent her early years living in poverty on her grandmother's farm. Wanting a way out, she moved to Wisconsin to be with her mother, but was sexually molested by her male relatives. At age 14, she reportedly gave birth to a premature baby who died. Only after moving to Nashville to be with her father did her luck finally start to turn. ....... Russia's richest man, Roman Abramovich, was an orphan. Apple's iconic Steve Jobs was adopted. ..... proving that street smarts can often trump book smarts ...... Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing dropped out of school at age 15, after his father died, to work in a factory. ..... Says Adelson, ''I loved being the outsider.'' ...... James Cayne, for instance, moved to New York to play bridge full-time; he was spotted by Wall Street legend Alan "Ace" Greenberg, who was impressed by Cayne's card skills and hired him to be a stockbroker at his firm Bear Stearns. Cayne is now chairman. ....... The world's wealthiest novelist, J.K. Rowling, was on welfare raising her little girl when her agent called to tell her that Bloomsbury would publish her book about an adolescent wizard named Harry Potter.

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