2020 Iowa Caucuses

John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa Democratic Party started releasing results from Monday's Iowa caucuses Tuesday afternoon. Watch here for live updates as more news about turnout, reaction and results continues to become available. 

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Thursday evening just before 5:30 p.m. the Associated Press announced they are unable to declare a winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses. A few hours later, after a three-day delay, the Iowa Democratic Party released final results showing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former South Bend Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg in a near tie. 

Clay Masters / IPR File

According to the Associated Press, President Trump has won Iowa's Republican caucuses.

He did not face a serious threat in the state where former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh were challenging the president. 

His reelection campaign lambasted the Iowa Democratic Party’s caucus result delays, saying problems in tabulating results showed that its opponents are not fit to lead.

“Democrats are stewing in a caucus mess of their own creation with the sloppiest train wreck in history,” Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said in a statement. “It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process. And these are the people who want to run our entire health care system?”

The Iowa Democratic Party is blaming delays on “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results." 

Parscale noted that the Republican Iowa caucus ran smoothly.

Clay Masters / IPR

Iowans will caucus Monday, and there will finally be results to how all that campaigning and organizing has paid off for the Democratic candidates. 

What started as the largest and most diverse crop of Democratic presidential candidates in history has been cut down substantially ahead of the February 3rd Iowa caucuses. But it’s not just Iowa that’s winnowed the field. On the nineteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about how we got here and what it could mean for the future of the Iowa caucuses.


Ben Kieffer / IPR

River to River's Ben Kieffer attended President Donald Trump's rally in Des Moines at Drake University's Knapp Center in front of a max capacity crowd just four days before the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 

Clay Masters / IPR

There are just three days until the Iowa caucuses and on Thursday night President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Des Moines at Drake University, where he focused his remarks on the general election.

Speaking for an hour and a half at the Knapp Center, President Trump didn't bring up his party's caucuses next week. Instead, he touted recent trade deals, spent time talking about his 2016 win and attacked his potential Democratic rivals in 2020.  

John Pemble / IPR File

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. 

With the Iowa caucuses just days away, Kieffer and Klobuchar discussed campaigning, impeachment, her polling numbers among black voters, climate change, foreign policy, and immigration. 

Clay Masters / IPR file

President Donald Trump is holding a rally Thursday in Iowa, just four days before the state’s caucuses. Trump faces no significant threat from within his party but his campaign has been quietly working in the state. The rally is part of Trump’s efforts to counter program the Democratic candidates. 

Katie Peikes / IPR

During a stop in Sioux City Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden responded to a comment Iowa Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst made about him this week.

Iowa Democrats gather Monday to kick off the nominating contests that will pick the party's presidential nominee — the person who will take on President Trump in November.

But how they do it is complicated.

The Iowa caucuses are kind of like neighborhood meetings where people get together and — out in the open, with no secret ballot — try to win over their friends, family and neighbors to support their preferred candidate.

Health care has been a leading issue in the presidential campaign over the past year, as Democratic candidates have clashed with each other, and especially with President Trump. But voters, who tell pollsters that health is among their top concerns, also complain that the health debate has been confusing and hard to follow.

With voting about to begin in many states, here's a guide to some key health care terms, issues and policy differences at play.

Universal coverage, "Medicare for All" and single-payer are not the same thing

Local governments across the United States could perform a simple upgrade to strengthen voters' confidence that they are what they say they are: use websites that end in .gov.

Federal officials control the keys to the ".gov" top-level domain, making it less likely that somebody could get one fraudulently and use it to fool people.

Domains that end in .com or .org, meanwhile, could be set up by attackers to try to intercept users seeking information from real sources.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Tom Steyer. During this conversation, Steyer addresses his top policy priorities, which include declaring a climate emergency. Steyer also reflects on how his previous experience in business would help him conduct foreign policy and why he started the "need to impeach" movement in 2017.   

John Pemble / IPR File

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, IN, Pete Buttigieg less than one week away from the Iowa caucuses. 

Ehimetalor Unuabona / Unsplash

Every four years Iowans are bombarded with telephone calls asking to take a polling survey in preparation for the caucuses. Reading polls can be confusing. Most polls show different outcomes for elections and vary from week to week. In the context of the Iowa caucuses, it's even more confusing because so many likely caucusgoers remain undecided until the last minute. So, how do we understand political polling? We brought in Peter Hanson, Director of the Grinnell National Poll, to explain.

Element5digital / Unsplash

Actor Jordan Whalen grew up in Ames and has been interested in the Iowa caucuses since 2007. Whalen has always thought the Democratic caucus process is naturally theatrical and has been thinking about developing a play about this political event for more than a decade. Now he is one of the leaders of New York City's Counterpart Collective, a theatre group whose mission is to create theatre derived from primary sources.

Clay Masters / IPR

Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has won the endorsement of the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, a little over a week away from the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. The recognition from the state’s largest newspaper is major win in a crowded race, and sends a strong message to likely caucusgoers, many of whom remain undecided.

In a few short weeks, U.S. citizens will cast the first votes of the 2020 election season. 

The Iowa caucuses will be held on Feb. 3, followed by the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11 and the Nevada caucuses later in the month.

The rules for preliminary elections change every four years, which can add to the confusion about how these complicated processes work. For starters, how are primaries different than caucuses?

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren just 10 days ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Kieffer spoke with Warren Friday morning before she returned to the U.S. Senate chamber to continue impeachment trial proceedings.

Clay Masters / IPR File

The Iowa Democratic Party is doing the Iowa caucuses a bit differently this year. In 2016, the Democratic National Committee told the state party they needed to be able to do a recount in 2020. 

Here are the big changes for this year. 

Every four years, people have to basically relearn how the Iowa Democratic caucuses work. This year, a slate of new rules means caucus night could get even more confusing, and campaigns will have more ways than ever to spin the results out of Iowa. On the eighteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll break down what actually happens on February 3rd. Plus, conversations with two candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden and billionaire Tom Steyer.


Katie Peikes / IPR

A recent poll suggests Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has struggled to gain support among African American voters. The former South Bend, Ind. mayor pushed a message of racial diversity and equality during a stop in Sioux City last Thursday.

Clay Masters / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is one of four U.S. senators who are back in Washington and away from Iowa as President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins Tuesday. Monday in Des Moines, Sanders told a crowd he will have to rely more on volunteers and surrogates to close the deal than he had hoped. 

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

In January 2019, billionaire businessman Tom Steyer originally said he wouldn’t run for president but he changed his mind later that summer. Steyer was behind the Need to Impeach organization that pushed for the impeachment of President Donald Trump and he also started NextGen America which focuses on progressive issues including climate and mobilizing young voters. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters spoke with Steyer before a campaign event in Council Bluffs on Tuesday.

John Pemble / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will have an advantage over the Senators running for his party’s nomination as President Trump’s impeachment trial begins Tuesday. The trial centers on the president pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters sat down with the former vice president before a Saturday campaign event at Simpson College in Indianola.

Katie Peikes / IPR

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent in some surrogates this week to motivate women voters ahead of the Iowa caucuses. An arm of Trump’s 2020 campaign called Women for Trump brought its bus tour and message to Sioux City on Thursday.

Tom Sparks/Flickr creative commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Iowa Democrats have until Friday to preregister to caucus this February as part of the state party's new early check-in process.

John Pemble / IPR

On Feb. 3, Iowans will meet for the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Each party has its own rules and locations. Your caucus location is probably not the same place you go to vote, and both parties ask that you check your voter registration ahead of time. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

With Caucus Day less than 20 days away, River to River continues its series of interviews with 2020 presidential candidates. During this segment, host Ben Kieffer speaks with entrepreneur Andrew Yang. 

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