TRUMPET STAFF, BROADCAST JOURNALISM
The 2020 presidential election in the United States is on the minds of many as candidates campaigning kicks into high gear.
Iowa has long been considered the start of the main leg of the presidential election campaigns due to the highly publicized Iowa Democratic and Republican Caucuses, which are held in the Spring on Feb. 3, 2020 prior to the final vote held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
“It’s a big feather in our cap to hold the first in the nation caucuses and it does give Iowa a chance to voice strong opinions on how to set the tone for what should be done and how we are going to get there,” Dean Soash, the Waverly mayor, said. “That would be the biggest thing is that it puts Iowa in the spotlight.”
Iowa has held the first Democratic Caucus since 1972 and the first Republican Caucus since 1976, NPR reported. For the 2020 election, Iowa will continue to hold both caucuses on the same evening.
Caucuses, which stand for a gathering according to senate.gov, are a chance for political supporters to group together and lobby for a particular candidate in a designated place in hopes of swaying those backing less supported candidates, reported cnn.gov. A majority of the candidates began heavy campaigning in Spring 2019, stated usa.gov.
“The DNC [Democratic National Committee] also approved new recommendations from a panel known as the Unity Reform Commission that are designed to increase voter participation and bring transparency to the caucus process,” Troy Price, the current elected chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, said. “We want to preserve the spirit of the Iowa caucuses.”
Democratic Candidate Beto O’Rourke was the last presidential candidate to visit Wartburg in May 2019. While President Donald Trump and 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders visited during the 2016 presidential election.
“Candidates have to engage, they have to go out, meet people, talk to people, and Iowa is a small enough state where that can be done,” Fred Waldstein, a political science professor at Wartburg
College, said. “Realistically you actually get dialogue. It is not only the process of Iowan learning about the candidate, but it’s about the candidate learning about the important issues to Iowans.”
Students can join the Wartburg Democrats or Wartburg Republicans to learn more about what the two parties’ ideas, concerns and hope for the future.
“Our focus has been with reaching young people, just getting them informed,” Emily Russell, former president of the Wartburg Republicans, said. “I think putting the information out there and having students and young people just think for themselves and decide what’s most important to them.”
For more information on the presidential election, go to usa.gov/election, or on how to register and vote, go to usa.gov/register-to-vote.