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Thread: Winning the Iowa Caucus-Please Sticky

  1. #1

    Winning the Iowa Caucus-Please Sticky

    As you should already know, the caucus system is how Iowans choose whom to send as Delegates to ultimately vote for the Republican Party nominee and it happens in the following steps.
    On January 3rd, Republicans will meet in their neighborhood precincts to participate in the first step. As a Ron Paul supporter, get as many supports to attend as possible. Speak with the campaign about the phone from home program or take it upon yourself to canvass door-to-door and find as many people as possible. Although it doesn’t start until 7PM, plan to arrive at least 30-45 minutes early.

    As you arrive, you’ll be required to be registered as a Republican. If you aren’t already, you can register on location. Bring a photo ID or proof of residence and you’re in. Also as you sign in, the temporary chair will have a sign-up sheet for people who would like to speak on behalf of a candidate. Sign up (or give the name of who has been chosen to speak) and request to speak either first or last. Spend the remaining amount of time meeting your neighbors and finding out what is important to them. Remember half of the attendees haven’t decided on a candidate yet. Also, if you have a large number of people in line, feel free to volunteer and aid in signing people in. No one wants to spend their entire night there and it gives you a chance to put a name with a face when you ask people what is important to them.

    After everyone is signed in, the meeting can start. Familiarize yourself with Roberts Rules of Order, as it will be closely followed. The meeting will be called to order and opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Following the opening is the 1st order of business: Electing a permanent chair and secretary. Your local executive committee had assigned the temporary chair. If you feel them to be trustworthy or have no other choices, feel free to elect them as the permanent chair to keep the meeting going. If however; you would like more control over the time people are allowed to speak on behalf of the candidates, take a nomination and run for permanent chair. The same is true for a permanent
    Following the election, an attendee will be able to speak for each candidate. Typical time to speak is between 2 and 3 minutes, but the chair gets to choose the time limit. If you decide speak, dress appropriately. A suit isn’t required, but stay away from anything that might make your audience uncomfortable. Make sure to tailor your speech to your audience. If all your neighbors are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, tell them Ron has delivered over 4000 babies and has been married to his wife for over 54 years. Do NOT go into anything that could be considered a conspiracy theory and don’t bad mouth the other candidates. Be polite as other speakers are speaking.

    Following the speeches a secret ballot will be taken. The Chair, Secretary and a representative for each candidate will tally the votes. The number will be called to a designated number at the Republican Party HQ, but RP supports should also report the outcome to RP HQ to keep things honest.

    After the straw poll tally is taken and announced, most people will leave, but as a RP supporter, the caucus system is just starting. The Republican Party will need representatives for its county central committee. If you would like to be elected for a 2-year term to represent your precinct, get someone to nominate you. The central committee chooses how county funds are spent and raises funds to help local candidates. They also pick and choose which candidates get invited to attend their fundraisers. Minimum expectation is to attend the monthly meetings.

    Depending on the county, you may need to hold elections to become a Delegate at the county level. Most counties have very low interest so the chair will take a sign-up of whoever wants to become a county delegate. Make sure you don’t leave the caucus until this is done. Also, if you would like to help run the county caucus, volunteer to be on the committees for county caucus.

    Next step: county caucus. Just like the precinct caucus, be prepared to show up early and stay late. This time, there is no straw poll, but having the most supporters there is still important. As you arrive, find out what the rules are for your county to become a delegate at the district and state level. Some will have elections, but others will have a simple sign-up and minimal cost (~$40). Most of the event will be a soapbox for various elected officials to make their case, but there will be an election of representatives for the district level: Platform Committee, Rules Committee are the most important. The county platform will be amended at the event. For best results, get a copy ahead of time and a copy of your local rules on how motions will be made. Note: by staying late with your supporters, it should be easy to pass many local changes. In any case, the most important part is becoming a delegate to the next level.

    Next step: District Caucus. This is more of the same. There will be a lot of speeches and votes for different offices that represent the District level such as State Central Committee and representatives for the Rules and Platform committees at the State Convention. There won’t be any Delegate elections at this stop.

    Next: State Convention. On the night before the state convention, there will be another meeting of district delegates. Each district will be allowed to elect some national delegates and alternates from this meeting. If you truly want your vote to count, you must be a delegate to the National convention. Please note, it may cost ~3k+ in expenses to become a delegate to the national convention and take some time and expense campaigning. Speak with the campaign and local supporters ahead of time. Besides a direct election of national delegates, this group will elect a couple people to a nominating committee. This committee chooses all the At Large Delegates to the national convention. In 2008, after John McCain had the nomination in the bag, he wasn’t able to get any people on this committee. The result, 10% of the at large delegates were RP supporters and the other 90% were members of the Iowa Christian Alliance. Needless to say, having the majority of people at the Friday Night event is more important that the Saturday State Convention.

    On Saturday, the quorum will vote to accept the At Large Slate of delegates. If people don’t like the list, there may be some discussion on the floor. If this happens, be prepared to use Robert’s Rules of Order. As soon as the vote is accepted, game over and will have everyone headed to Tampa Bay that we can from IA.

    If anyone has anything else to add, please do.
    Last edited by CBC4L; 10-23-2011 at 07:47 PM.

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  3. #2
    Looks good to me. I hope to see you at the state convention.

  4. #3
    Thanks for all the info. +rep. I've just been too busy trying to get voters to go vote for him in Iowa to know the actual process

  5. #4
    This information should still be useful? passerby wrote up a summary of this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by passerby View Post
    This seems like a very important article. Probably should sticky for each Caucus forum node.

    The article is very detailed, so I thought it may be helpful to summarize. Not sure if I got this is right, so please correct as needed.

    - 'Voting' (straw poll) for a candidate is ceremonial. It does not lead to RP being elected as the state's representative by delegates.

    - The Caucus may or may not be at a different place than 'voting' for candidates in a straw poll.

    - People need to get elected as delegates at the Caucus. This is the most important event. Again, 'voting' in the straw poll is not the purpose of the Caucus.

    - People who want to be delegates give a speech to introduce themselves. The speech is used to get elected to be a delegate by Caucus attendees. Divulging your true support may or may not be best way to get there.

    - If you say you're for RP in your speech, you'll get selected by other RP fans, but won't be selected by non-RP fans. If you say you're unsure in your speech, then you may pick-up non-RP votes, but at the risk of missing-out on RP votes. Also, there is no guarantee that there aren't hucksters, er, fake reps looking to take away RP votes, only to later support another candidate. This may be mitigated if all RP supporters know who is for RP, but other's don't (just conjecture on my part). In other words, it a game of organizing ourselves while confusing our opponents.

    - Knowing the names of RP's delegates for your district before attending the Caucus seems best to avoid confusion. Not sure where to get this info, but your local RP rep office or site probably has a list.

    - There are only a certain number of slots for delegates and back-ups from each district.

    - Caucus attendees write down the people that you want as delegates. You don't have to fill out all the slots. Just write-down the names of known RP supporters!

    - Limited slots and limited votes means that there shouldn't be more RP delegates than there are slots. Otherwise, we'll be diluting our votes.

    - Once delegates are elected at the local level, this game gets replayed at the state and national levels.

  6. #5
    Just to summarize that summary, there are 2 important things that happen on the January 3 caucus:

    1) Straw poll vote that is not binding but gets reported by the media
    2) Election of delegates that can eventually actually vote for Ron Paul at the national level; be prepared and organized

  7. #6
    Thanks. I applied to be a precinct chair, hope they will take a defector from the other party! It will help that I know these rules.

  8. #7
    Can I get my brother in law
    My brother in law and his wife are visiting us for Christmas in Michigan. They just moved to urbandale, ia 6 months ago. They are not the least bit political but I could possibly convince them to vote for Paul at the caucus. So all they really need to do is show up, sign a piece of paper, wait for the speeches, and then cast one secret ballot and then leave? A maybe 45 minute process or one hour?

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