In Iowa, Democratic and Republican caucuses each work a little bit differently.

Here's how a Democratic caucus works in Iowa:


You will be asked to sign in. This is important for the Democrats, because the party uses the count of people in attendance to apportion delegates.

Show Who You Support

People will align in different parts of the room based on candidate preference. It is very public, and your neighbors are going to know who you support.


If you’re still undecided on caucus night, that’s ok. There’s a place for the undecideds, too. Undecideds can even win delegates to go forward to the county convention, as long as they meet the viability threshold. But prepare to be persuaded. Your committed neighbors are going to try and convince you to join their candidate.


After people align into their candidate preference groups, a count is taken. Each candidate must have a certain number of supporters to remain “viable,” or to stay in the game (15 percent of the total number of people present).


There’s an opportunity for realignment, where people will try to persuade their neighbors to support their candidate. "Nonviable" candidates will need to persuade people to join them, or go to other candidates.

Counting and Delegates

A final count will be taken after the realignment, and this determines how the party apportions and elects delegates from the precinct to the county convention. Each candidate will be awarded a number of delegates they get to send to the county convention based on the number of people supporting him or her. Delegates will be elected from each preference group.


After the delegates are elected, the chair will conduct party business, and open the floor to resolutions.

Visit the Iowa Democrats website for more information.