The Corner

Elections

Down With the Iowa Caucuses!

People raise their hands during a Democratic caucus at a fire station in Kellogg, Iowa, February 3, 2020. (Brenna Norman/Reuters)

Caucuses are a terrible way to pick a nominee. There is no secret ballot, so every nosy neighbor and busybody who prefers another candidate knows who you’re supporting. There is no access for those who work nights or need babysitters. And this year, Democrats have a fairly arbitrary 15 percent threshold — no delegates for anyone who falls below that line.

The live television coverage does not generate a warm and fuzzy feeling from Iowans gathering in church basements and high school gymnasiums. The two rounds of reallocation meant that supporters of those below the viability line started trying to form alliances out of Survivor, attempting to block delegates for other candidates. Apparently many Democrats believe the electoral college is some sort of unfair menace, but they’re just fine where neighbors are trading snow-shoveling or chocolate cookies in exchange to join their faction.

Caucuses are weird, and they seem particularly odd this cycle. One group of supporters of unviable candidates decided to back Cory Booker, who quit the race on January 13. This is the best day for his campaign in weeks! Pete Buttigieg won a delegate on a coin toss. A group of Andrew Yang supporters threw their support behind Bernie Sanders.

And now, apparently, the results are being held up for “quality checks.”

Primaries are simple!

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