Inside Iowa

Most criticisms directed against the Iowa caucuses are accurate. But it's hard to see what could take their place

By David Schoenbaum   142

Regular as a comet, the little neighbourhood party conferences known as Iowa’s precinct caucuses have streaked across the American electoral sky. As early as last April, candidates were thick on the ground of what the Economist once called “that most wholesome of states.” By 1st January, they had been joined by 2,500 accredited media representatives.

At 7pm on 3rd January, a record 346,000 caucus-goers assembled in 1,781 Iowa living rooms, courthouses, church basements, fire stations, classrooms, public libraries, high school gyms and recreation centres to debate resolutions, elect delegates to the county convention in March, and, oh yes, declare their…

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