“I think the lesson is you can’t
buy an election in Iowa."
Senator John McCain
Keep Iowa First
The Iowa Caucuses have been called 'one of the last true bastions of democracy' and a place where 'you can't get ahead by buying millions in dollars in advertising'. In Iowa you have to show up and do the work of meeting with voters one by one, where they live, and discuss the things that really matter to them.
The Iowa Caucuses are a tradition in both Republican and Democrat politics, dividing the real candidates from the speech makers. The 2020 Caucuses had challenges and there has been talk of having a different state go first in the nation, which I think would be a grave mistake. Iowans take their role very seriously and know how to vet the candidates. Our local media is committed to the process and attend events all over the state - from barn yards to kitchen tables - to see how candidates are connecting and what issues voters are talking about. The Iowa Caucuses are one of the last places where the voters decide the agenda and party bosses take a back seat. Below are steps that could be taken to improve the process. The fact is someone has to go first and Iowa, with our reasonably priced ads, hotels and other campaign infrastructure, gives voice to candidates who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate. Iowa knows what its doing. Let's Keep Iowa First.
Brent Roske, Founder, Keep Iowa First
Proposed Reforms for 2024 Iowa Caucuses
The 2020 Caucuses were plagued by a digital/ mobile reporting system that was required by the national party but was not battle tested. The Caucuses ran perfectly - the reporting is what went wrong - so Keep Iowa First is recommending instituting paper ballots across the board which are transparent and easily checked and counted.
The Caucuses have been an incredible tool for both parties to engage bring new members to their parties. This could still happen but to ensure a common and defensible approach to the Caucuses we recommend oversight and authority to a non-partisan 'Iowa Caucus Commission' which would staff and execute each caucus event. This ICC would operate from state provided funds.
The Republican Caucuses are a pretty straight-forward process, with caucus-goers listening to speeches, writing down their choice and going home. We propose instituting this process for the Democratic caucuses as well to ensure transparency, accountability and a uniform caucus experience.
The Iowa Caucuses are the last bastion of true American democracy.
Senator Bernie Sanders
Watch 'Keep Iowa First' Co-Founder Brent Roske discuss the Iowa Caucuses with US Senators
Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Governors Mike Huckabee and Martin O'Malley