Republican caucus-goers in the IMU's Iowa Theater
Republican caucus-goers in the IMU's Iowa Theater

My first Caucus experience

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-By Keith Reed

Keith-reed@uiowa.edu


 

This was my first ever caucus. My location to caucus was based on my address, and I was sent to

the Iowa Theater in the Iowa Memorial Union. I have to say that compared to the Democratic

caucus supporters and volunteers, there were not too many Republican supporters and volunteers

directing their respective voters to caucus locations. There was a texting service for the

Democratic caucus locations,  while the Republican caucus locations only had a website (that

was sub-par on mobile, if I might add). When I finally reached the location, it was an easy

process, as everyone had already filed into the theater.


 

Republican caucus-goers in the IMU's Iowa Theater

Republican caucus-goers in the IMU’s Iowa Theater


 

The theater was full and that was good to see that so many young people are involved in the

democratic process. Some of the faces seemed familiar to me because I am still technically

living in the dorms. Sprinkled throughout the crowd were older patrons from the community and

outside of the state. The caucus event started with the Pledge of Allegiance. There were opening remarks from the temporary caucus chair who soon

became the permanent caucus chair. The position of caucus secretary was soon delegated. The

donation folder was passed out and it circled the entire crowd twice and it still seemed quite

light.

The floor was then opened up to caucus-goers to lobby for the candidate of their choice and

persuade the public to jump to their side. Through all of the presidential hopefuls, the only

candidates who were spoken for were Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and

Mike Huckabee. The first three speakers who volunteered, in their respective orders, were

students while the last two were older men. While Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Rick

Santorum, Jim Gilmore, and Donald Trump did not have any volunteers to speak on their behalf.

Actually, when Trump’s name was mentioned there was an uproar of laughs throughout the

crowd. It was time to vote for the candidates. The ballots were passed among the crowd and

amid confusion about the number ballots each person was to get; it soon became clear. After all

the ballots were passed in, soon left many of the caucus-goers, but the event was far from over.


 

Debating policy issues

The remaining attendees pick delegates


 

Soon after all of the votes were in, it was time to pick the delegates. There was so much

confusion going on throughout the three-fourths empty Iowa Theater. The people who

volunteered to speak for the candidates of their choice even had trouble figuring out the purpose

of a delegate. The now permanent caucus chair was also confused about the purpose of a

delegate and the packet that she was reading from did not specify such either.

Next on the docket, were platform issues. The ideas raised from those who were left in the

theater align with the common themes surrounding the presidential race. The proposals ranged

from the legalization of marijuana, reducing the national debt, healthcare reform, education

reform, and end of bulk government spying. These proposals were adopted and they are going to

be forwarded to the country convention.

The votes were tabulated and the result was that Marco Rubio won the majority of caucus votes

in the Iowa Theater.


 

Debating policy issues

Debating policy issues