The Changing Iowa Caucuses

Iowa has been hosting first-in-the-nation caucuses since 1972, but the proceedings have shifted with the years. Since the last caucuses in 2016, the DNC has mandated a new set of changes. IPR Reporter Kate Payne joins this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River to summarize how the upcoming Democratic caucuses on Feb. 3 will differ. 

She says "satellite caucus" sites across the world will allow Iowans to caucus outside of their assigned precincts for the first time ever. If a candidate is not viable, a preference card can also be filed out instead of choosing a second candidate. However, no one can leave a preference group once a candidate becomes viable within the precinct.

Later on, a range of other guests talk with host Ben Kieffer about the latest news spanning Iowa. University of Iowa Associate Professor Daniel McGehee discusses how Iowa can combat traffic fatalities in 2020 after 2019 saw an increase in deaths. 

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller joins Ben for the second half of the program and reflects on becoming the longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history. Attorney General Tom Miller was elected in 1978, and has servred for a total of 37 years. 


  • Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General
  • Daniel McGehee, University of Iowa associate professor of industrial and systems engineering
  • Kate Payne, IPR reporter
  • Mark Simmet, IPR Studio One host