Deep dive on Iowa caucuses

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The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in Iowa.

Unlike primary elections in most other states where registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots, Iowans gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates.

Dr. Dennis Goldford, a political science professor at Drake University in Iowa, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the importance of the Iowa caucuses and the basic elements of this political event.

Dr. Goldford is an expert on the Iowa caucuses who has written three books, including “The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: The Making of a Media Event, Third Edition” co-authored with the late Hugh Winebrenner.

Dr. Goldford has served as a political analyst since 1990 for KCCI-TV in Des Moines and for a wide variety of local, regional, national and international print and broadcast media organizations. During the 2019-2020 election cycle, he gave 370 media interviews.

“We stick a thermometer into the body politics of party activists to register their preferences in regard to the nominee,” Goldford said.

According to Goldford, the caucuses got connected to presidential politics by accident.

“They make political, presidential candidates treat voters as real human beings,” Goldford said, “rather than campaign props, you actually have to talk to people face-to-face.”

Dr. Dennis Goldford, Political Science Professor at Drake University

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