Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Why Gingrich Can Win The Caucuses With Only One Field Office Why Gingrich Can Win The Caucuses With Only One Field Office

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Blogs

Why Gingrich Can Win The Caucuses With Only One Field Office

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a meeting with employees at Nationwide Insurance, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

December 1, 2011

To many, it strains credulity that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was really serious about actually becoming the nominee until recently, especially since his campaign has done next to none of the usual things a campaign does to collect delegates.  In New Hampshire, we learn that it couldn't even file a full slate. In Iowa, he is opening his first field office this week.  A field office, to the uninitiated, is the locus of organizing. And if you paid attention to the 2008 Democratic caucuses, in Iowa you'd think that organizing was the sine qua non for obtaining a presidential nomination.

But that lesson doesn't apply to Republicans. The Iowa caucuses are really, for Republicans, beauty contests -- or "firehouse primaries."  How do you participate? You go to your caucus site, get a piece of paper, write in your candidate's name, turn it in, and wait for the results.  That's... primary-ish.   Democrats jump through hoops of fire.  They have to publicly identify themselves as members of preference groups...which have to reach a threshold called "viability"...they have to listen as other people make pleas against their preferred candidate...stay on location for an hour or longer...and that's just the start. 

Republicans need to get voters to the polls, but if there's an organic groundswell for someone else...and so long as voters know where their caucus location is, organization, as in field directors, buses, door-knockers, phone bankers -- aren't needed.  Most older voters know where their caucus sites are, because they don't change. (Older voters might need help going to the polls, but there are statewide party arrangements for that. It does help when a candidate identifies an older voter and can provide transportation him or herself.)  For the rest of Iowa Republicans, they can find their precinct online.

Who's going to win? Don't be foolish and predict anything until a week or so before the caucuses... the headlines in Iowa, the talk on radio ... the environment.. will determine quite a bit. 

More Blogs
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Comments
comments powered by Disqus