Earlier this year, late in the legislative session, Iowa lawmakers went out of their way to ensure Iowa’s caucus process is just that — a caucus process. Democrats didn’t like it because there were in-person requirements and prohibitions on mail-in voting.
The bill originally included a provision that would’ve required participants in the caucus to be registered in that political party a certain amount of days before the caucus. That provision was stripped out late in the process, however. Instead, that would be handled by the respective parties.
If we’re being honest, the Democrats do not care about the Iowa Caucus at all this cycle. I’m not even sure if they’re sure who won the 2016 Iowa Caucus, let alone the 2020 Iowa Caucus. The Democrats are tentatively planning on a March caucus.
Republicans have their caucus set for Jan. 15. And the Iowa Caucus will really mean something in the Republican race. It may not determine the nominee, but it will undoubtedly chart the course moving forward.
With Democrats having an essentially meaningless caucus, and having it two months after the Republican one, what will stop Democrats from showing up at the Republican caucus to support whichever anti-Trump candidate seems to be most likely to win, thus handing Trump an apparent embarrassing setback right away?
Well, as of right now, nothing.
That is up to the Republican Party of Iowa. As of now, the Republican Party of Iowa is planning to allow same-day registration for the 2024 caucus. The “constitution” of the Republican Party of Iowa states caucusgoers may register on the same day of the caucus to participate.
Without that being changed, it seems unlikely the Republican Party of Iowa will take a necessary step to ensure some semblance of “election integrity” in the 2024 caucus.
Perhaps same-day registration in the past didn’t matter since both parties held a caucus on the same night. But it is clear that one party isn’t holding a caucus on Jan. 15. And it is obvious that whenever that other party holds its caucus, it will not mean much — at all — in the grand scheme of things.
Instead, Democrats have a real chance to make a much more meaningful vote by participating in the Grand Ole Party’s caucus.
I’ve already seen comments from Democrats in Iowa vowing to caucus for the Republican who is not Trump with the best chance to win. I’ve heard from some Republicans who say Democrats believe Trump will be easy to beat, so maybe Democrats will instead caucus for him.
I see two flaws with that thinking…
*They thought Trump was going to be “easy to beat” in 2016. I think they know better now. And, if they really thought he’d be easy to beat, they wouldn’t be trying to make him a felon or keep him off the ballot under the 14th Amendment.
*I find it really hard to believe people who can’t even utter the guy’s name will be able to vote for him for anything — short of voting for him to spend time in the big house, not the White House.
There’s a law that states voters can only participate in one party’s caucus, but I’m not sure how they plan to enforce that. And, should they try to enforce it, I’m not sure what the penalty for breaking such a law would be.
It is incumbent upon the Republican Party of Iowa to take necessary precautions to ensure there is some integrity to the 2024 Iowa Republican caucus. It should do what it can to make sure Democrats aren’t able to infiltrate the Republican caucus to create chaos.
The clock is ticking, though. Action must be taken. Inaction should be unacceptable, especially after the 2020 Election debacle.