Iowa, Barack Obama, Tom Perez discussed on The Takeaway

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Okay. Here's another change that will impact Democrats seeking the presidential nomination. Dnc chairman Tom Perez told me that some states that previously held caucuses will now hold primaries. Are northstar here is we want to return our power to the grassroots. That's why we will have more primaries. Unless caucuses I firmly believe that when more people participate in primaries have larger participation that's good for our democracy. Sievers some definitions what actually is a caucus and how is it different from primary. Well, a caucus is actually a meeting you meet at a certain time in a certain place. Whereas primary is vote you go in and you vote privately that's Jeff link. He's participated in a lot of caucuses. We're gonna come back to him. But first, let's turn to Jim Messina longtime democratic political strategist Obama twenty twelve campaign manager who thinks it's a good thing that some states such as Minnesota and Colorado are swapping the caucus for a primary. That alleviates one of the concerns that we're gonna nominate someone who's not in the mainstream as, you know, candidates Sanders beat candidate Clinton and all the caucus states and lost in most of the primary candidate Obama do really well in the caucus stage did tremendously won't caucus pretty well in the open states, as well Messina's point is this caucuses tend to attract the most committed partisans and activists these are the people who are willing to spend several hours on a random weekday to cast just one vote. Those activists tend to be motivated more by ideology than your everyday primary voter on the democratic side. They're usually much more liberal than the party as a whole on the Republican side. More conservative caucuses are also less expensive for candidates than traditional primaries. That's because the universe of potential voters is also smaller, you don't need to spend millions of dollars trying to reach them all on TV, the most famous or infamous caucus, however is not going away that caucus, of course, is Iowa. After the problems of two thousand sixteen Democrats in the state have made some reforms on things like transparency of votes cast and ability to cast a ballot without having to show up at a caucus. I asked Jeff link about the role that Iowa plays in the presidential nominating process. Iowa has been a place where those who beat expectations can sometimes become the winner and with this larger field, I think everyone sort of expects the current front runners of Biden and Sanders to do well. And there is a huge opening for any of the other eighteen candidates like who gets third does one of the names that are not so familiar now get second or actually win the caucuses. So we could see somebody come from nowhere or the other is not that someone does unexpectedly. Well, but that a candidate does unexpectedly poorly. They could it's a double edged sword. One of the scare. Things to have in Iowa is an early lead. Because you've gotta maintain that league. And if you don't I mean, remember Howard Dean in two thousand four was a head for a long time in Iowa and dropped at the last minute and John Kerry ended up winning and really the dean campaign spiraled downhill very quickly after that. Do you? Do you feel it when you're in your own caucus? There's I get an actual energy there for a candidate. Can you really get a sense of? I think so and so really is going to win this thing, you absolutely do in tell you one story from two thousand eight I was at my precinct Senator Harkin happen to show up with Senator Durbin from Illinois, the Clinton people all showed up the Obama people were kind of milling around. But there was a line that extended from the gymnasium all the way out the door literally outside, and that was the line for people trying to register to vote, and I remember walking Senator Durbin out the hallway to look at the line. And I said, I think your candidates going to have a very good night tonight. Obviously, Barack Obama surprised a lot of people by winning the Iowa caucuses, but you could feel it in the room at our precinct. Jeff link is democratic strategist.

Coming up next