tv Preview of 2016 Iowa Caucuses CSPAN February 1, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
caucus sites. in addition tonight on "news 13" networks we will show you to caucuses in their entirety, something is network has been doing since 1984. one is 49 miles northwest of des moines that the area community college. organizers have become together and expect a big turnout. and in des moines we are at roosevelt high school. the school is hosting for caucuses, three democratic comeau one republican. set up in the cafeteria for precinct 23 carried live on the "news 13" network. -- c-span to network. the weather channel is
predicting snow later for this evening and that it will hold off until after midnight when the caucuses are over. jonathan martin is with us as we start out our programming. on the ground watching these candidates, senior political candidate for the new york times. start with the weather, how is it tonight and will it be a factor in turn our? >> unseasonably. it is definitely on the mild side, all in all. 330 this afternoon and do not even need a winter coat. no reason why conditions should preclude folks from going out. how that plays is good news for trump, nominal, the
nonvoter, frankly, to come out for him. a lot of his support will be for people who have not been traditionally involved in the process. have been the reason, a nation that will help. sec. clinton needs the help of older voters. much stronger telling voters over 65. it is easier for seniors to get out if there is no snow and ice. >> what did you learn today? >> that the campaigns don't know much. we are now at the phase or the campaigns are asking reporters what they are hearing. windsor. this is classic.
they will go over this coming here talking about caucus work. it does not happen until 7:00 p.m. a lot of speculation. i will say that the hillary folks are pretty confident that her organization will prove to be superior and carry the day. on the republican side, less clear although there is a thought that rubio has close pretty strong here. but for every poll that comes out, you still find people that wonder. >> since you have been through this process before, is this cycle turning conventional wisdom on its head? >> if donald j trump is on the doorstep of winning the iowa caucus you have to say
it has turned conventional wisdom on its head. he will be the 1st non- politician ever when the 40 year history. both sides served at some. it is remarkable. still has been something, force. they had a deal with it. and on the democratic side, less people you defend lots of people that say yes. scarcely few would have said the main challenger would have been 74 -year-old bernie sanders. >> expected to arrive tonight but could hamper candidates wanting to get to new hampshire quickly. for whom is that most
important tomorrow? >> well, several are already in new hampshire. if you are rubio, you want to get there fast. >> he said it is typically on the republican side. do you agree? >> sure. i do not think you will have jeb bush and chris christie quit because they finish back in the pack in iowa. youiowa. you know, they have staked their campaigns much more on new hampshire. you will see them. i think you will see all of those go forward. not harder to figure out
because we don't quite know what there endgame is. huckabee, this probably looks like the end given the lack of money. as for rand, that is going to be new hampshire. >> last question for you, last time around was an embarrassment for the party with they had to go back and recount and change the winner from mitt romney. i am wondering how ready they are this year. >> they are going to avoid the embarrassment that took place four years ago. it will be a much more high tech operation, but these are precinct results coming in from the corners of the state. this is not a state process.
there could be some argument there. i think folks are curious about that. there is an assumption. better operational. >> where will you be? >> the 3rd floor of the des moines marriott which is the temporary new york times des moines bureau. >> thank you for setting your night. we are ready to see some results. thank you. well, let's take you next to boone county, iowa republican central committee chair. he will walk us through what will be happening. what is a republican caucus at its heart? >> the republican caucuses the meeting of the republicans we are located
in boone county with three locations that encompasses six precincts. what happens is we have the residence come to our caucus location, check in and receive a presidential ballot and will serve at the corresponding precinct and also after the presidential ballot there are more things that happened, electric county central committee members, delegates they go to the county convention and also except suggestions. >> we have been hearing the weather is good and that turnout is expected to be robust. what are you planning for?
>> we are planning for a been buster. i think we will have a tremendous crowd. it could be a record crowd. it is my understanding, i really feel that we will have a large crowd. they will have 1500 people plus year without des moines community college gymnasium. >> and how will that turnout? >> we have had numbers anywhere from 800 to 1200. as i said comeau we think we will be in the 1500 range. we are looking at maybe double was some of the various forms of been. 2,008 was a little over.
>> presumably aa good number of those people will be first-time caucus goers. how do you prepare the process? >> keep our fingers crossed. we really have had a committee working on this for some period of time because we saw the enthusiasm and momentum and what i think that we have done the best is we have been well organized our locations, have a lot of manpower so that we can get people through. the biggest challenge will be if they have not registered the change locations. we have to do a new registration which takes more time that if you just go in and say i'm such and such. it is easy.
but it takes more time to reregister or two originally register. i came from the registration desk. we have three very competent people getting through the line because we want them to get in and get comfortable i get to the location -- >> same state registration, and this is significant. >> unaffiliated, independent. so you could have quite a number of people running today. >> are exactly right. we see a large number. our biggest fear of anything , the line shouts office 7:00 p.m. that's the republican party of iowa rule.
if you aren't in line by 7:00 o'clock you are going to get in the caucus. our concerns are people think they can come later to be able to get in. we have done is get a job as we possibly can getting advertising out and so people in need to come early so they could get through the lines because there are very important things that need to go on tonight. presidential but some of the other elections commits just at the county level. we want them to experience what does he wanted a caucus. at a republican caucus it is written in a very businesslike fashion. we keep very orderly. people can here, understand, see what goes on. we feel is the best way to handle it.
>> as we close with you, i have beeni have been telling viewers one of the things they will be able to do is actually watch caucuses in their entirety as if they were in the room. i will ask you, a bit of a handicap for viewers around the country as to the politics of the precincts. oneprecincts. one of the specifics of the kind of people participating? >> i think i know how to answer your question. first off, we will have surrogates or representatives from the candidates who will speak. there going to give one last ditch effort to be able to talk to the masses of people and tell them why they should vote for candidate a, b, c, d, f, g, whatever. at that.in time i will start the original meeting.
if you are set up. >> my question is tell me about the caucus goers themselves. what is your political makeup, temperament, where do they fall on the moderate to conservative scale? who will be listening? >> well, i tell you what, i think just the people i have seen coming in there is a tremendous amount of people who are undecided yet this evening. yes, we have some people that know who they want, but i would go as far as to say that there will be maybe 30 to 40 percent of the people here that have not made a decision that and will
listen to candidates and my also talk to their neighbor sitting next to them and ask what they think which is the beauty of the caucus. that will be public for everybody but will be paid. you think this guy knows what he is talking about? and it is a grassroots low-level discussion. there will be a lot of education and a lot of people, they will make their decisions once they get the ballot filled out. >> i have to jump in. thank you. our time is moving quickly. thank you for setting the stage for our viewers on what it will look like in the republican caucus. we appreciate your time. and now let me take you to roosevelt high school 15 minutes from downtown des moines. thank you for your time.
precinct 43 temporary caucus chair. we just got the rundown. they are very different. walk us through the process. >> we are going to have a very broad cross-section. it could be a record turnout. we are not sure. it is like eight years ago, well in excess of 300 individuals. it will close registration at 7:00 o'clock so that anyone wanting to come will be welcome. once we have a solid number we will break and they are meeting where we will have the campaigns have an opportunity to speak to the group and depending upon the we will of the body we will either vote to choose the delegates by about a little movement to preference
groups. if we going to preference groups it will take some time. they will have people shuffling around. and then we will find out how the groups lineup. if there are any not will give them an opportunity to realign. if they have been no longer viable don't realign those people will not be included in the count for the various campaigns. >> liability threshold is 15 pe. >> yes, 15 percent is the threshold. >> for the people who don't get 15 percent to other options are to join another group believes, is that correct? >> well,well, it can
actually go to an uncommitted group as well. you have the possibility of delegates for all three campaigns and that is the possibility that someone will show up with enough people. that is the beauty of the delicacy. they are free to come in and we just try and make sure that the process move smoothly and then we trying get everybody through. >> i know you have got to run, but last question based on what you just explained. it will be about to decide whether or not people will go into preference groups are simply cast votes. supposedly been involved in both kinds. which works better? >> organizationally probably the initial vote, but i have never seen it happen. it is a remote possibility.
if the body wishes to go that route than we do. and then we select the delegates based on the vote of the body. usually it does not go that route julio with the preference group and preference group formation process which can take 30 minutes or more depending on the nature of the circumstances, but i will try to move things along so that we can get home before the snow. >> was the toughest thing about your job tonight? >> i think the toughest thing is hopefully just a set up, which we had him with. once we have the registration count should be fairly easy to run the meeting andin trying get the we will of the body and move things along. >> thank you for inviting c-span cameras and for your time and setting the stage.
>> happy to be of assistance, and i am glad you are here to show the american people how the process works. >> forty-three precinct in the des moines area, temporary caucus chair. the 4th minutes from now it will see him with gal in hand, complete coverage of the democratic caucus on c-span2. as our program continues with me introduce you to our next guest, roger simon has been covering politics for quite a while and wrote a book called showtime, but he has been watching caucuses since their 2nd time around 1976. is that right? >> i think it may have been 1876. you're right. i told you lawyer earlier, showtime was based on 1988,
and that was my 1st book. >> i wanted to have you explain what these iowa caucuses are all about and why iowa clings to the caucus system. >> well, because it makes it important, the same reason people in new hampshire battled to keep there 1st in the nation primary system. if you go 1st you're a big deal. if you go 25th, you are nebraska. i can tell you, two or three that is what people like about them. they like meeting the candidates. and they like, gun is why, meaning the reporters. the big shots that they see on tv, it's a big deal to
them. >> how has the process change this year? >> well, donald trump change everything. i don't think there has ever been quite a figure like this in american politics. and as jonathan martin pointed out quite correctly, there has never been someone , if he wins tonight, who has ever won the iowa caucus who has never served a day in some kind of office. just the whole phenomenon, such a long time comparatively dominating political talk and has been in iowa. >> we have a pretty short list of presidents who have one iowa caucuses including ronald reagan, bill clinton and 96, george w. bush and barack obama. of course and 96 clinton was a
candidate for reelection. if the list is that short how should people process the importance of what will happen tonight? >> it is important for one night and has an effect on our next race in new hampshire. past that it is of no importance. iowa is a small state. iowa's love it that way more than 50% of the cities in iowa, towns in iowa have under 500 residents. and you know, such a small state it produces very few delegates they go to the convention and really no one cares how iowa votes at the convention, but everyone cares about how iowa votes tonight. it is a quick, fading honor. i always enjoy it while they can. >> we will have an opportunity
to talk more as our program progresses, but we have clips that help people understand how the process works and how it has been amended. first up will be jeff kaufman, chair of the iowa republican party. before we listen to him, could you talk about the lessons that you think the republican party had to learn after what happened in the last iowa caucus? [laughter] >> well, don't lose the ballots. it was an embarrassment, but mainly in the state. i doubt you could go through many towns in america and have people even remember what went wrong. it was for precincts where ballots just disappeared, i mean, no one knows where they went. i wrote a couple of columns about it and said, how can you not know where the ballots
are? there are not that many people. and some of these events were talking about ten people, sometimes only two. on occasion no one shows up. isn't like. it is like you have to keep track of thousands of thousands of ballots. you know, i've never gotten the complete answer. answer that came back was someone was supposed to put them in an envelope and they forgot. we don't know where the envelope is the think the results are somewhere around this. this it really matter? did it really change things? probably not, but it was embarrassment. >> mitt romney was declared the winner. the ultimate difference was less than 50 votes when they settled it all out because you look at the percentages and they were a 10th of a percentage point apart and then give it to rick santorum.
>> right. and by that time no one cared which is unfortunate, but time marches on. >> we are glad to have your experience and expertise. right now, as promised, jeff kaufman, party chair for the republicans who will tell us a bit about how the party retool processes after what happened in the last caucus. >> there must be differences in 2016 and will be. democrats and republicans got together. and we have a terrific application for a smartphone that will be used. we still have the quaintness in the old grassroots politics , but iowa will be on the cutting edge this microsoft technology. this application reporting system will allow for
accuracy. there are internal checks so that it will trigger headquarters in des moines. if there is a number that looks suspicious then we have teams that will investigate, double check, verify. we have also -- it is very transparent unless we get one of those caution flags the media and people on the website will actually be able to see the same numbers that we are in their respective headquarters, almost in real time. and so we have a lot that are actually looking at the same numbers. it will not be the chairs, respected parties, and others. the others. the final thing we have done which could be the most important, four years ago we
had drugged out for weeks because 34 votes out of 120,000 cast more of the closest elections in iowa history. and so what we have done is we have imposed upon ourselves a 48 hour verification period. we are going to branch out and get a paper trail of all 1,681 caucuses, bringing it to des moines, going to verify and have official results, verify results within 48 hours. if it is a close election we may well not have a declared winner. i will have to make a judgment call command i am going to definitely err on the side of accuracy as opposed to efficiency. we have addressedall issues head-on command i cannot tell you enough how important microsoft has been as a partner in all of this. i sleep at night knowing i
will have microsoft engineers in des moines what all this transpires in votes are taken and collected at headquarters. >> vice president for technology and civic engagement with microsoft. they spoke to him about the technology to help islands report on caucus results. let's listen. >> the 1st thing command allows for a direct correlation of the precinct in the telephone number that they have assigned so we know it is the individual. and then there's a certain number of people that have registered you can have votes they go beyond. and when the results are pushed to the service the parties have the ability to appear in and see the results.
after they check and confirm they will release the results directly to the website, and through a programming interface make the same results available because it is there data. they will make that available to the media as appropriate. they have control over all of that. >> how significant is this microsoft and the political parties? >> we think it is an important step. these days the idea that there are bubbles that are highly capable an incredible crowd services and data centers, and allows for a much more robust and efficient and secure and real-time results. we think it is the beginning of a process and what we call civic engagement with the citizenry will be engaged using modern tools.
our view was iowa 1st in the nation major election 2016, and it is important to offer up services and help provide these things as a way to make it clear that in the modern world there are ways to do things that can be new, different, highly efficient, secure, reliable. >> that is how iowa is approaching their technology issues. see the results of this 1st in the nation connection between the politicians in the voters. next roger simon and studios. we will move from process to issue. if you look at the demographics, it is more than 90 percent white. hispanic 6 percent, black about 2.9. median age 38. so with those demographics in mind, what is it about the
appeal that has resonated with the majority white population, very much white population? why is immigration been such a resident issue this year? >> immigration has been a big issue for a while. the hispanic population of iowa, while small, has been growing a great deal. and residence in iowa i like residence in a lot of states. in the bigger picture we are concerned with immigration in america, the future, what we do with immigrants already here. but pointed out also has upset
many leaders of the democratic party over the years from other states who state population reflects the american population more closely than those iowa. as you said, there are hardly any black people living in iowa, very few hispanic, not many asian. religions, hardly any jewish. why do we start in iowa? why don't we start the state that more accurately represents the country as a whole? this is been a fight in the democratic party for a long, long time. iowa worries every four years that the party will eventually take its 1st in the nation caucus status away for exactly that reason. the response to that argument is what place really looks
like america. you pick a state of michigan and illinois, the media in the state, the media by to get a commercial on the year is many, many times more expensive than it costs to campaign in iowa. so only extremely well-funded campaigns would have a chance. the response in iowa has always been, it's relatively cheap, so let's start in the state for a lot of different campaigns have a chance to compete. >> the other thing, the percentage of people who actually participate is really quite small. just want to put the turnout numbers on the screen. 121,000 people that all this attention. it is a small percentage of
eligible. why is that we just made the case about how near induce was. >> that is an excellent question. sometimes for a turnout of 18 percent, sometimes 12 percent. the reason is that the process is so difficult, this is not like a primary. basically you can vote all day long from the crack of dawn until sundown. where you can running on your lunch hour wrote of vote by absentee ballot or you can to a variety of game different things and all you have to do is fill out about. you have to wait around for two or three hours. you don't have to argue about who you will vote for.
we can't even see how they vote secret. if it is so difficult the process of that crushes turnout and it is designed that way, but it is a process designed to be difficult because it has always been a party process designed for party regulars. only about a few hundred people are going to be part of this process soviet. 11,000 delegates tonight and at the end it will result in 44. will cut it down in each step. precinct, district, state, and it is a process designed for
party regulars. on the other hand, ever since the media started paying attention campaigns of said it is important to when the 1st race. let's poor money and collected as many people as possible voting so thatsoutherly of the process of war with itself. it is difficult. people do not want to vote. on the other hand, the campaign is doing everything in their power. >> chief political columnist for politico where he has been for the last nine years and has been covering national politics for many cycles. right now we are going to go to the boone area. mymy colleague is there talking to some of the people participating.
>> places are filling in here at the des moines area community college about an hour or so northwest of des moines, and we want to talk to someone who had never been to a caucus before and is undecided. we want to introduce you now. what brings you out here monday night? >> well, to participate in the process. i brought my 14 -year-old son, an exchange student from austria to participate in this wonderful process in our country. >> why have you never caucus before? >> , working mom with three children, and just busy. it's a chance to come out. >> you have been here for about a half-hour.
sitting in the bleachers what we found you. what has been the feel for you? >> excitement. this is cool. manages showing and excitement to our country. >> why you have decided? >> is because the candidates are so varied in their issues are separated. i'm anxious to here the speaker. i want to hear what these folks have to say hello what makes them a good leader of the country. >> the issues important come back to being fiscally responsible for making sure that the money is handled wisely spends and only that has strength to it as well as family values and just having
good leadership skills. this is the person that will lead our country, and i, and i want to see good skills out of them that they can bring people together, make good decisions. >> you brought your husband or he brought you maybe because he has caucused before. >> he is a political science and history teacher. so he has lots of excitement and gives extra credit points to his students were coming out to participate. >> is made up his mind. >> one of two candidates. it will be good for both of us to here the speeches. >> what do you do when you're not caucusing? >> just feel lucky that i a wife and mother of three grandchildren. to be in iowa and coast agriculture is a dream come true. representing in working for farmers is awesome.
>> greta irwin's executive director of the iowa turkey federation and here is her empowerment. >> thank you, peter. you are seeing people with pellets andhand getting ready to take part of the process. way back in 1984 we had never seen one of these before. the whole idea was to watch and see what it is. i remember a column written by a los angeles times journalist who said he sat watching in his living room and felt patriotic to see citizens at this level taking part with earnestness in the process. i was thinking as we were listening to this woman being
interviewed and how after a year of being bombarded with ads on television and candidates crisscrossing the state, she's going in undecided and a neighbor will help make the decision. >> absolutely. after months and months of being bombarded by television ads and flyers stuck in your storm window door and by people knocking on your door people constantly calling you, here it is. fifteen minutes away and she is still undecided. if you let it go on for another week would love it. they would love to go and talk to six more candidates.
people who show up have to be committed.committed. it is a big chunk of time, late at night, cold out relatively speaking. if they are tripping down and taking part in a great exercise of democracy. and, bless them. >> one thing that changes is the state of the economy. this time around the economies are doing better than the national average. things are going well. i am wondering why it is that bernie sanders and donald trumps economic messages will. >> i don't think many people
in iowa or outside of iowa in america that confident that the economy. >> and you know it's -- there is a lot of chance to bring about change. i know that will be new president come next year they want a president who will do something good about the economy. >> roosevelt high school 15 minutes away from downtown des moines, and he will introduce
you to one of the democratic caucus -- democratic caucus-goers. >> still considers herself a newbie. >> only my 3rd caucus since moving to des moines from atlanta. the 1st time ever chairing one. it is a big responsibility. >> and why did you do that this year? >> at some point i signed up to be a substitute, and something happened. four weeks ago they contacted me and said you will be the caucus chair for 44. >> how many other newbies do you think will come up? >> i think a lot. my daughter will be here. any kid that will be 18 by november 8 can come in caucus.
the players out they're that we have havehad brought a lot of people that maybe have not caucused before. >> and you set your 71 -year-old mother is here as well. are y'all supporting the same candidate? >> into is that? >> martin o'malley. he has already done what the other two democratic candidates have talked about doing. he has done them on a smaller scale in maryland of baltimore. things like raising the minimum wage, marriage equality, the state form of the dream act was passed in maryland. i think his 15 years of executive experience, he actually has the goods. he is a little younger. bernie is very old. i feel like being in the oval office for everyone year you are there it's about four
years of normal life. i look at the next four years and wonder what he can get done. i feel like o'malley would be great. >> they have been called the most valuable commodity in the democratic caucus. what happens if your candidate does not reach the threshold? >> to be viable is what everyone wants out of the caucus. my goal as chair is to be looking after the integrity of the caucus, but i want all three candidates coming out viable. a nice competition. because for now you're actually -- it's more of a level playing field. better position. if we send him out there he
they do their thing, i do mine. but friends and family are also democrats. we talked about why i am supporting o'malley. ultimately whoever gets the nomination, we will vote for them. >> thank you for the time of a busy night. >> and thank you to john representing our crew at roosevelt high school. the side of the democratic caucus that we will see live on c-span2. it is about eight and a half minutes away from the time that the process starts. as you heard from the people involved, at 7:00 p.m. local time you have to be in line in order to participate, but they will process all those people who are in line. the actual starts on may be delayed.
i want to move from our issues discussion to the results and what it means for the people who have been vying for the attention of these voters. it is the big four eight days from now. next up is the 1st in the nation. the next to her february 20, the nevada democratic caucus, and on that day the republicans will vote in the primary in south carolina. so let me ask you about after tonight you expecting people will drop out? is there any reason with the next event so close at hand? >> i don't think very many will drop out. it is quite possible no one we will. usually say or think that.
the bigger reason that the dropout, public humiliation. it is difficult running for president. physically difficult task speech after speech after speech. if you down in the back and get all i percent or 2 percent or 3 percent it's tempting to say,say, i'm going home. going to spend time with my family. i'm just going to get out of this thing. when you think, new hampshire is only eight days away. the money has basically already been spent. it is not my money anyway.
you know, i'll stick it out until after new hampshire. but after that will see a big dwindling, and people who were in the single digits won't get invited to the debates, i think they will drop out, thank you for spending caucus night with c-span audience. >> thank you very much, susan. >> now is time to take you to those two caucuses. ..