Des Moines, Iowa – A week ago I reported that Iowa GOP officials had invited Republican National Committee members to visit Iowa during the caucuses, so they could get an up-close look at what they’re confident will be a much-improved process after the mess in 2012. (Recall the reporting errors, and Mitt Romney being declared the winner over Rick Santorum.)
The Iowa GOP’s invitation came on the heels of the RNC debating, and then postponing to the convention meeting this summer, a resolution to strip Iowa and the other ”carve-out” states of their protected status after 2016.
Iowa GOP officials have also invited RNC colleagues from around the country to visit on February 1 and observe the caucuses up close. Kaufmann and his team feel confident that they are better prepared and organized than they were four years ago, and they want Republicans from other states to see what they’ve been promising will be a smooth and professional caucus process.
It had better be. Whether they accept the invitation or not, Republican officials nationwide will be watching on February 1 — and looking for any reason to deal Iowa a deadly blow this summer in Cleveland.
Republicans here weren’t sure what kind of attendance to expect, if any at all. As it turns out, 20 or so RNC members came to Iowa, according to party officials.
Chairman Reince Priebus is not on the ground, but he is said to be encouraged by the many improvements made by Iowa GOP officials ahead of this year’s caucuses. The state party has held more than 300 caucus trainings, shortened the time to verify its results from two weeks to two days, and perhaps most important, partnered with Microsoft on an app that allows fast and secure transmission of precinct results to party headquarters.
These are the enhancements Iowa Republicans say will produce a smooth, professional caucus process. With 20 of their colleagues in town watching, this bears repeating: It had be.