The Iowa Caucuses

Better than expected turnout at Ankeny Caucus location

By Kristen Vake.

ANKENY, Iowa —It’s caucus night in Iowa and Kristen Vake is live at the Briarwood golf course in Ankeny where caucusing is about to begin for the democratic party. Over 200 people are packed into the small venue and ready to battle it out for their chosen candidate.

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Caucus locations bursting at seams

By Steve Musal

ANKENY, Iowa — Two reporters walk into a caucus room and are immediately asked to leave. In most cases that might be a sign of a failing democracy, but the reverse was true in Iowa tonight: There simply wasn’t any room for us. The place was packed wall-to-wall with Democratic caucus-goers.

It’s just one moment in one precinct, but we’re hearing similar stories from other caucus locations on both sides. That could be good news for Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, but with only an hour since the caucuses began, it’s still anyone’s game at this point.

More than 30 minutes after the Iowa caucuses were set to begin, many Democratic caucus-goers were still waiting to get into crowded precincts, such as one site in Ankeny, Iowa. (Max Greenwood/Medill)

Youth vote turns out at Ankeny Caucuses

By Emiliana Molina

ANKENY, Iowa — Youth voters made it out to caucus in Ankeny, Iowa and their votes may change the election turnout. Hillary Clinton recieved more than 150 votes, Bernie Sanders received more than 60 votes and Martin O’Malley did not reach the 15 percent threshold, leading his voters to be persuaded by Clinton or Sanders precinct leaders.


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Lines at Iowa precincts suggest record turnout for caucuses

By Max Greenwood

ANKENY, Iowa — More than half-an-hour after caucusing was set to begin, many Iowa voters are still waiting in line to get into the precincts – let alone cast their votes – a sign that this year’s contest in Iowa is shaping up to be one of the most heated in recent memory.

Even in Ankeny, a town of about 50,000 just north of Des Moines, Democratic caucus-goers waited eagerly to register to caucus in an already-overflowing banquet hall. One volunteer at the precinct said the location had been crowded in past years, but said the turnout this time was “unexpected.”

The Iowa caucuses are shaping up to be a tight race between Republican frontrunners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Saturday put Trump at a 28 percent to 23 percent lead over Cruz, while Clinton led Sanders by only three points. Continue reading

Ted Cruz rallies with voters in Davenport before the caucuses

By Raquel Zaldivar

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Parking spots were scarce at Adventure Community Church before a Ted Cruz rally in this Mississippi River town. The church was just as crowded. Heidi Cruz introduced conservative broadcast personality Glenn Beck, who introduced  the Texas Republican. Taking the stage, Cruz urged his cheering audience to show up at their precincts on Monday night – and he asked each of them to bring nine neighbors, relatives or friends.

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The forgotten Democrat, O’Malley inspires young loyalty

By Enrica Nicoli Aldini

IOWA CITY, Iowa – With Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders neck and neck in the Iowa polls, not much is being said or heard about the third Democratic candidate, Martin O’Malley. The Des Moines Register’s final poll Saturday night put his support as a meager 3 percent. Worse, 41 percent of caucus goers said they don’t even know enough to have an opinion.

O’Malley’s nomination seems the longest of long shots, but that did not stop two University of Iowa students from spending Friday afternoon walking 12 miles in sub-freezing temperatures, knocking on door after door in Iowa City.

“I think we’ll be surprised the night of the caucuses,” said Mitchell Dunn, chair of the Hawkeyes for O’Malley at the university, where he is a freshman. “The pollsters often don’t get to see the momentum for some candidates. We have a great group of supporters, and I think we’ll see a surprise on Monday.”

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Latino voting population doubles in Iowa, but will it matter?

By Raquel Zaldivar

DAVENPORT, Iowa – With the number of registered Latino voters in Iowa doubling since 2008, nonpartisan organizers are pushing Latinos to make their voices heard as never before in Monday night’s presidential caucuses.

Latino Vote Iowa, the first such project in the state, is knocking on  doors and making thousands of phone calls in hopes of mobilizing at least 10,000 caucus goers, a force large enough to make a difference.
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Rubio’s volunteers make one last push before the eye of the caucus

By Alison Martin

ANKENY, Iowa – Risin’ up, one more day on the street.

In the early hours of the morning, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio visited his hardworking volunteers at his Ankeny headquarters. After months of phone calls and door knocks, Iowans all over the state would cast their votes, but in the meantime, it was up to volunteers to make the final push before the caucuses start and no more can be done.

By noon, volunteers both young and old were still dialing numbers and pitching Rubio’s policies. Communications director Jordan Russell said at this stage in the game, most volunteers were helping voters find their precincts and alerting them to voting times.

Not all volunteers were locals or even Iowans. Alex Richmond came to Iowa from Michigan. A graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Richmond took his time deciding which candidate to support. Continue reading

Team Sanders goes door to door in search of victory

By Steve Musal

DES MOINES, Iowa — As the clock ticked toward Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, campaign workers for Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders spent the weekend making a door-to-door push that could decide his fate.

A Des Moines Register poll showed Sanders in a statistical tie with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, whose three percentage point lead was within the margin of error. Team Sanders will be pushing hard on the ground, no matter what the polls say, said the campaign’s national press secretary. Continue reading

Clinton amps up rhetoric on caucus eve

By Max Greenwood

DES MOINES, Iowa – As presidential hopefuls in both parties amped up their campaign pace over the weekend, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton held steady.

The former secretary of state attended nine “Get Out the Caucus” events in the three days leading up to Monday night’s caucus, while her chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, held 14 events.

But what Clinton lacked in quantity, she made up for in intensity. In her final set of pre-caucus rallies on Sunday, she sharpened her rhetoric on key Democratic issues, including economic inequality, climate change and the Affordable Care Act.
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