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Iowa updates: Change considered for 2020 caucus

December 17. 2017 8:36PM

New Hampshire and Iowa have long stood shoulder to shoulder in defense of each state’s early spot on the presidential nominating calendar.

While the Iowa Republican caucus would be quite familiar to New Hampshire voters, Democrats do things much differently in the Hawkeye State. Voters gather in each precinct and declare support for their preferred candidates. Candidates with less than 15 percent of the room are dropped, and their supporters are then rounded up by the remaining camps.

The raw vote totals for all candidates are never tallied. Bernie Sanders supporters think this system hurt them in 2016, and are pushing to change the rules so that all candidates’ voters are counted.

Some Democrats worry this change would make the Iowa caucuses too similar to New Hampshire’s primary, ending our era of peaceful cooperation. Iowa Republicans already run their caucus this way.

Should Iowa Democrats change their rules, we would not see it as a challenge to New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status. But under state law, that determination would be up to Secretary of State Bill Gardner. It would be a good idea for Iowa Democrats to give him a call.

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