People tend to think of the Iowa Caucuses every four years when we have presidential elections, but they are held every two.
Usually, with limited attendance (at least from my experience). The Iowa Republican Party and Iowa Democratic Party just released the caucus dates (which are the same). They also announce the dates for the county, district, and state conventions. Democrats have several contested primaries, and if a candidate doesn’t emerge with 35 percent of the vote after the primary on June 5th, then a special nominating convention will be needed. The last time this happened was in 2014 with Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District when no candidate reached the threshold in the Republican primary. Congressman David Young won the special nominating convention.
Here is the Republican Party of Iowa 2018 Caucus to Convention calendar:
- Precinct Caucuses, Monday, February 5th, 2018
- County Convention, Saturday, March 10th, 2018
- District Convention, Saturday, April 28th, 2018
- State Convention, Saturday, June 16th, 2018
“The Iowa caucuses represent the very best of American democracy. As we head into 2018, Iowa Republicans and Democrats are glad to renew our continued commitment to a fair, open and honest caucus to convention process,” Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann said about the joint announcement.
Here is the Iowa Democratic Party 2018 Caucus to Convention calendar:
- Precinct Caucuses, Monday, February 5th
- County Conventions, Saturday, March 24th
- District Conventions, Saturday, April 28th
- State Convention, Saturday, June 16th
“One of the most important job our two parties have is to ensure that our caucuses are open, honest, and transparent – both for our candidates and our voters. We are committed to constantly innovating and improving the caucuses so each year is better than the last. We look forward to a competitive primary season and a spirited debate about the issues that matter most to Iowa next fall,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said in a released statement.
For Republicans (and possibly Democrats as well, but I’m not familiar with their rules) the biggest item on the docket would be State Central Committee elections at the district conventions. This process starts at the precinct caucus level.
I’m not sure, now that the Libertarian Party of Iowa has major party status in Iowa if they will have a similar process.