How does the primary, caucus and state wide conventions work?

since huckabee won iowa, what does he get, does the state just count as one point, or does he get a certain amount of points for each state he wins?

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  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let me correct the wide misunderstandings about the Iowa caucus.

    In short it is a day when local county legally recognized political parties transact the basics of their county business in preparation for their county conventions.

    In Iowa for this year 2008 the only parties which could legally hold caucuses are the Republican and Democratic Caucuses. These caucuses should not be confused with the Democratic voting process as they have nothing to do with each other. Each Party can define its caucus procedures.

    First, each political party organization decides where their caucus is held. For some it is scatted throughout the county by either precinct or groups of precincts or in a single place for that party for that county.

    For my county the Democratic Party decided to hold many different locations primarily by precinct. The Republican party decided to hold it in a single location for all precincts for the county.

    The procedures are mostly the same.

    People come to their caucus location (the one representing their voting precinct) and check in by registering. They have to verify that they live within the correct precinct and are a member of that party. If they are an independent they can join that party at the time of registering or they can switch parties at that time.

    When all of the people wishing to attend are registered, all of them elect a permanent caucus chair and secretary.

    The next step is to have speeches by the candidates or their representative.

    At this time all of the people break regroup within their personal precinct.

    At this time they elect a permanent precinct captain and secretary.

    Then there is a final opportunity for people to speak for their candidate.

    At this time, in the Republican caucus they vote by secret ballot for their candidate.

    In the democratic caucus they move to groups (within that precinct) for the candidate of their choice. If their candidate doesn’t have at least 15% of the voters in that precinct they can then move to another candidates group. Anyone not wishing to move to another group is dropped from the voting.

    At this point all of the votes are total and reported to a central location for the State.

    It is here that people really don’t understand. This is merely a straw poll and doesn’t gain any candidate any delegates. It does provide the people’s preference for the candidates and candidates and is what is reported to the news-media. This can give any candidate the knowledge of whether to move to the next State or to drop out of the race.

    Now the real work begins. In each precinct they have been allocated a specific number of delegates for the county convention (held in March 2008) and these are now nominated (from the attendees in each precinct) and voted on. Proposed platform planks are now voted on and those that pass will go to the county convention in March.

    At the county convention a similar process occurs with the delegates (there will be 450 at my county’s convention) doing the voting. Here new delegates will be nominated and elected to attend the regional convention where a similar process will occur. At the regional convention delegates will be nominated and elected to attend the State convention (for each party.) It is at the State convention where each party will select its candidate for President. Until this State convention no delegate is bound by what has occurred and certainly none are bound by the original straw poll.

    It should be kept in mind that by the time this final selection occurs most States will have gone through their process of presidential selection.

    In former times, the parties nominee would not yet have been selected and there would be a brokered national party election.

    So take what happened in Iowa as only being relevant in its impact on New Hampshire and beginning to thin the field of candidates. Anything can happen yet.

    An Iowan deeply involved in the process

    I might also say that this has already been an event in Iowa with unanticipated happenings. The turnout was far larger than anticipated. In my county the Republican Caucus was held in a single site and it was expected that not more than 2,500 people would attend. In reality, more than 5,000 people attended and many others came too late to participate.

    In addition While the news-media has talked a great deal about Huckabee winning a head of Romney, McCain and

    Thomas had close to the same numbers. In addition Ron Paul came in very close behind McCain and Thompson, close enough that all three enter New Hampshire with nearly equal footing.

    It is an amazing year.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In each primary or caucus, the candidates are awarded delegates to their party's national convention this summer. Whoever receives the most delegates wins the nomination.

    Huckabee won 17 delegates in Iowa, and he needs 1,191 to win the nomination.

    Source(s): CNN
  • 1 decade ago

    Each state has a number of delegates to award in proportion to their Representatives in Congress. Democrats and Republicans both require that a candidate must have 15% of a state's voter support to get -any- delegates.

    Caucuses are meetings held in public with voters standing up for their candidates, literally. That is why caucuses have such low turnout. It is how we voted before the Australia ballot was introduced in the U.S. However, there is one good thing about caucuses. Supporters of Kucinich and Dodd did not "waste their time" going to vote. We all only get one vote. But when it is right there in front of you, you can move your one vote. Just the same as when you move your one vote from the primary to the general election. Even with write-in ballots you would never think to vote for a candidate that did not make it out of your party's primary, now would you?

    Primaries are elections with votes cast in private.

    Statewide conventions are rarely used for anything except changing the constitution of a state. Utah's Republican party uses it for nominating Congressional candidates. Since they are all there for counting they can have a second and third runoff. But they use instant runoff voting now, as recommended by Robert's Rules of Order, sometimes referred to as the bible of government meetings. With 11 candidates for one office, they rank their choices and are done with it. It will always produce a majority winner for them.

    When their high school students start using IRV for class elections, then it will be possible for them to use IRV for all elections and ALWAYS get a majority.

    San Francisco and some small towns use IRV. Exit polls show very high voter satisfaction.

    Source(s): Desseret News (Utah paper) Fairvote.org newspaper files on IRV (San Francisco etc.)
  • busbee
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    In commonplace elections, registered voters visit a polling station and spend very couple of minutes casting a vote. In a caucus, it has a tendency to be that in effortless words fantastically dependable individuals of activities take area, and it takes plenty longer to take area than very couple of minutes. The caucus goers do a lot more advantageous than in basic terms forged a vote. and because that it is so time-eating to participate in a caucus, and because that in effortless words the truly dependable take area, there's a much smaller "turnout" in a caucus than in a first. In different words, if Iowa and New Hampshire had almost the exact same quantity of inhabitants as one anther, then the total style of voters in NH will be a lot larger than the total style of caucus goers in Iowa.

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