Iowa Democrats, eager for Hillary Clinton to compete in their state and thus maintain the credibility of their caucuses, unveiled five proposals Friday to increase turnout in 2016. But they did not go nearly as far as some thought they would. After her humiliating third place finish in Iowa in 2008, Clinton noted in her concession speech that “there were a lot of people who couldn’t caucus tonight.” She mentioned troops serving overseas, hospital workers, waitresses and cops on patrol. As she moves toward a likely 2016 presidential campaign, one of the biggest decisions that Clinton must make is how hard to compete in the caucuses that kick off the nominating process. They tend to draw a more ideological, motivated set of base voters. A higher turnout would favor the better-known, better-funded former secretary of State, senator and first lady.
But Iowa Democrats Friday explicitly ruled out allowing absentee ballots, proxies, letting people Skype into caucuses and having multiple caucuses through the day. “Iowans did not want us to take any steps that would change what our caucuses are at their core,” said Democratic state party chairman Scott Brennan.
Instead, the party is calling on the state legislature to pass a law requiring employers to let non-essential workers take time off to attend their precinct caucus. This would require the uncertain bipartisan backing of Republicans.