Caucus Event Participants Name Reasons for Attendance

In the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, presidential candidates hoping to secure the Republican nomination drew crowds by hosting campaign events throughout the Hawkeye state. These events amassed not only those who planned to participate in the caucus but also media outlets and school groups. When asked what their primary reason was for attending the caucus, attendees’ answers varied. 


At an event for Vivek Ramaswamy the morning of caucus day, Iowa citizen Tyler Dunker said this was his last chance to see Ramaswamy in person. Dunker said this was important to him because it is different than attending a virtual event.


“Because you get to know people better, right? You don’t have the TV in between you. You get to see who the person is, and I think that’s part of the process — is discerning for yourself whether you believe people are telling you what they really believe and what they really do,” Dunker said. 


In-person attendance was an important factor for non-voters too, as Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention organization traveled to Iowa from Lexington, Virginia to attend caucus events. The university’s Mock Convention gathers information during election cycles to predict the Republican and Democratic nominees in the general election. One member of the organization, Patrick France, spoke about the group’s reason for attending a rally hosted by Donald Trump Jr. 


“I think the main thing is, in our prediction process, to understand, number one, how important the Iowa caucuses are in the overall primary process, and just to kind of get a  boots-on-the-ground feel of what voters are actually thinking, what the candidates are saying, what kind of messages there are, what kind of appeals they’re needing to use to reach voters, and also, I think paint a larger picture of the general election later on,” France said.


Though reasons for attending events leading up to the caucuses may vary, the process is very important to Iowa citizens. The caucuses themselves play a valuable role in the United States’ democratic process, and Iowans, every four years, are charged with a large amount of influence. 


“I think it’s my responsibility as a citizen,” caucus attendee Davis Hott said.