The Forgotten Republican Caucus

Posted: January 10, 2020 | By: Matthew Deike Tagged: Blog

The Iowa caucus is less than a month away. While Democrat contenders rush into the state, it is easy to forget that the Republican Party will also be hosting a caucus in Iowa on Feb. 3. Although the winner of the Republican caucus seems quite clear, there is still some important business that Republicans at the caucus have to discuss. 

Electing Central Committee Members 

After the presidential straw poll, it is the role of each precinct to choose two members to serve on the county Republican Central Committee. Most country central committees in the state elect two people per precinct. Still, some counties amend their local county constitution to choose the number of members based on the proportional number of votes received by the Republican candidate for the highest office (president or governor) in the most recent election. If nominated, the role of central committee members is to work to organize party duties in the county and elect more Republicans to office in that area. 

Election of County Convention Delegates, Alternates, and Junior Delegates 

The next major step in the agenda is the election of county convention delegates. These members would represent their precinct at the county convention on March 14. At these county conventions, the members vote on resolutions to be sent to the district level, such as amendments to the state party constitution. They also elect delegates to the district conventions and the state conventions at county conventions. The votes for delegates and alternates are taken separately and allow those who did not win a delegate position to become an alternate instead. After the delegates and alternates are figured out, nominations for junior delegates are taken place. Junior delegates must be at least in the 7th grade and under 18 years of age. These junior delegates go to the county convention, and the goal is for them to learn more about the caucus process. 

Discussion of Party Platforms 

The last part of the agenda on caucus night is the discussion of platform resolutions for the party, which would be forwarded to the County Platform Committee. Caucus attendees can propose different resolutions to be adapted into their state party constitution. A resolution is recorded as approved if it receives a simple majority of over 50 percent. All passed resolutions are sent to the county level for consideration. If approved, they can be sent to the district convention for review and the state convention to be finalized as part of the state party platform.