Caucus "Winners" Are Those Who Surpass Expectations

Feb 3, 2016

Knowing who is not going to make the presidential ballot got a little bit easier this week after the Iowa caucuses (several GOP candidates dropped out after low percentages of the vote), but determining the winners is a bit more complex.

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa, and Kedron Bardwell of Simpson College. They discuss the complexities that come with having a high turnout on caucus night, how the candidates' campaigns will play out in New Hampshire, as well as how the public and media determine who comes out on top, regardless of their actual ranking.

"It's about expectations," says Hoffman. "Trump was expected to win, and he didn't win. He came in second, so he lost in that sense. But Rubio wasn't expected to come on strong and he did, so he outperformed his polling, and that makes him part of the story. He's got the momentum."

Iowa Public Radio listeners also join in on the conversation to discuss their experiences on caucus night.

Did you caucus? Tell us about your experience on our Facebook page or message us on Twitter @IPRTalk.