Election of 2020: Iowa Caucuses Begin 2020 Election Season
by Maura Campbell ’22
Candidates for the upcoming presidential election are making their last-minute campaign pushes as the early primaries begin. The Iowa caucuses to select the Democratic presidential nominee were held on Monday, February 3.
Reporting on the results of these caucuses has caused unusual controversy, as there were inconsistencies with the counting which continued into Tuesday. Current standings, with 71 percent of precincts reporting as of Tuesday afternoon, show Pete Buttigieg leading the polls for the Democratic Party, followed closely by Bernie Sanders.
According to the Iowa Democratic Party, the issue was not caused by any form of hack or intrusion, but rather by a reporting error with a new app used for calculations in the caucuses. Mandy McClure, director of communications for the Iowa Democratic Party, stated on Monday night, “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.” Despite the early lack of results, several candidates gave victory-like speeches on Monday night.
Early primaries and caucuses are particularly important for candidates because they often provide an indication of how well a candidate will do in later primaries. Primaries to select the Democratic and Republican nominees for president begin in February and last through June, with the most important voting date being March 3, 2020.
On this day, known as Super Tuesday, the states of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia all hold their primaries.
Meanwhile, with President Trump’s impeachment trial coming to a close, the American public seems to be largely divided as to whether the Senate should remove Trump from office.
According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday, February 2, the majority of Americans do believe that the President is guilty of both articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstructing Congress. However, public opinion is split along party lines as to whether these actions warrant his removal from office.
This opinion has stayed fairly consistent throughout the course of the trial. This new poll reports that 46 percent of registered voters support removing Trump from office while 49 percent do not; virtually unchanged from the even 48-to-48 percent ratio on the same question reported by NBC/Wall Street Journal’s December poll.
For non-registered voters, it is important to register as soon as possible in order to be able to cast a vote in your state’s primary election. Although many states allow for online voter registration, there are still several states that do not, meaning that registration may have different requirements. For information on how to register or how to vote in your home state with an absentee ballot, call your local town office or visit www.vote.org.