Iowa Democrats are increasingly worried the state party may not be prepared for the caucuses on 1 February, putting Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status at risk. With a little more than 80 days left, a number of top Democrats in the state expressed their concerns to the Guardian that the party has not done the work necessary to ensure that the caucuses, run solely by the Iowa Democratic party, will go smoothly. Iowa Democrats described growing anxiety over a state party they said was drifting and unprepared to organize in 1,681 precincts to ensure the result of the contest to pick Iowa’s choice for the Democratic presidential nomination is promptly reported.
In 2012, no winner was declared in the Republican caucuses for almost three weeks because of problems reporting accurate results. The state Republican party eventually announced that Rick Santorum had beaten Mitt Romney. There are mounting fears that the Democratic caucuses in 2016 may go the same way.
The Iowa Democrats who spoke to the Guardian agreed that such a bungle would lead to the state losing its first-in-the nation status, which has long been under threat by some within the national party who argue that a caucus is less democratic than a primary and that Iowa is not sufficiently diverse to represent the American public.
Iowa Democrats had already adjusted their rules for 2016, to allow members of the military to participate from overseas and to allow satellite caucus locations for voters who must work or are otherwise unable to get to their precincts.