The Iowa Caucus Doesn’t Matter

In the midst of a media storm surrounding the delayed voting results in the Iowa caucus, people have forgotten how little it matters.


MCT Campus

Precinct chair Carl Voss, of Des Moines, shows the phone app he used for the Iowa Caucus to news media at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters, Feb. 4, 2020, in Des Moines.

Jenna Barackman, Web Managing Editor

“All I can say about Iowa is, it was an embarrassment. It was a disgrace to the good people of Iowa who take their responsibilities in the caucuses very seriously,” presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Feb. 9 to CNN. “They screwed it up badly, that is what the Iowa Democratic Party did.”


The 2020 Iowa caucus has been the subject of controversy due to almost a week in the delay of voting results due in part to switching to a mobile app to display the voting results, according to National Public Radio. Voting took place on Feb. 3, and as of Feb. 9, the official national delegate count has still not been finalized. The current statistics (99 percent reporting) show South-Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg narrowly in the lead with Sanders only two votes behind. 

Jenna Barackman
Current voting tallies for the top five candidates, according to the Associated Press.

Though every step in the democratic process is important, too much emphasis is placed on the Iowa caucus which, in reality, means very little in the big picture.

First off, Iowa does not in any way, shape or form represent the population of the United States. Iowa is 92.9 percent white with most of them rural, according to World Population Review, compared to the United States as a whole, where non-Hispanic whites represent only 60.7 percent of the total population, according to the United States Census. The Iowa caucus is therefore not wholly representative of the country as a whole, and though it is the first primary/caucus, whomever the state of Iowa chooses is unlikely to follow through in most states because of their lack of diversity.

Additionally, Iowa receives a relatively low amount of delegates, 41, while other states like California, have 495, according to Politico. Iowa is, once again, massively insignificant in the long run besides their early caucuses.

Despite a lack of relevancy in the wide scope of the democratic process, it has the elusion of importance because of its place as the first caucus. It is already clear that this mistake, which is definitely unprofessional, will be used to discredit the Democratic party through the 2020 presidential election and for years to come.

The media storm has overdramatized the actual effects of this mistake, which was receiving late voting results, instead turning it into a tool to further the political gap between Democrats and Republicans. CNN called the caucus “incredibly damaging to democracy” and Republicans such as Donald Trump Jr. and Kayleigh McEnany, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, took it a step further by claiming the caucus was “rigged by Sanders,” according to NBC.

It seems crystal clear that the underlying issue is not just the simple delay of voting results from an app, and this will be used to further the political divide in the country and further prevent dialogue and hostility between the parties. The bottom line: most candidates and voters know the Iowa caucus doesn’t matter whether it delivers prompt voting results or not.