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Conway briefs foreign media ahead Iowa Caucus: “Independent voters constitute a big bloc in Iowa caucus”

Washington D.C.Simon Conway, radio host based in Des Moines, Iowa, briefed the foreign media over a moderated, telephonic press briefing on the optics of the caucus and what to look for in the Iowa Caucus results. 

Conway started his media talk by stating “Iowa is a small state, which enables candidates without much money to get around the state to become part of the process.” Iowa was first in the nation when former President Obama splashed headlines in 2008, so Conway mentioned that “if it wasn’t for Iowa caucus, no one would have known about President Obama”.

He took to length on the telephone to describe how Republican caucus shall work. Foremost, the fact we need to keep in mind that “Republicans will be caucusing even though everybody knows in advance that President Trump will be the Republican nominee”. So in – what will happen all over the state of Iowa on the same day, exactly the same day, is Republicans shall begin their speeches. Simon Conway shared the information that the Trump campaign team has “dispatched a whole bunch of very big name people from their campaign to come to Iowa to physically attend the caucus events, and for the time, I do not need to get into details of the names present in Iowa”. He meant, huge names from the campaign have arrived in Iowa to attend the caucus events. Cabinet members, former attorney generals, people who have national profiles, will be making speeches. This is how the process shall begin and we can expect to see big people holding speeches all over Iowa at all these caucus events

Further, Conway elaborated on the point that “the biggest voting bloc in Iowa, very interestingly, is people like me. I am Independent, as I have no party.” He cited that there are many reasons behind it, but you might all get bored with it, so I will highlight the main points. Now the biggest voting bloc increasingly across the country, that is becoming the case in Iowa, it’s almost 50 percent of those registered voters who have now declared themselves to be Independent, having “no party”. However, in Iowa, you can change your voter registration from the Independent which we call “no party” here in Iowa to Democrat. And as soon as they have done that, they can take part in the caucus process. 

He then elaborated as to how Democrats move around caucusing which differs from how Republicans form a caucus. Democrats arrive at their “precinct” and once they have been declared eligible to participate in some way, heir name will be checked against voter rolls or they will like me, say, I am from “no party” or I am a registered Republican and I want to change my registration to Democrat – once they have declared their affiliation status, assuming they are eligible to vote in the State of Iowa, they will take part in Iowa caucus. 

Further, Conway elaborated that once an individual established his or her party affiliation. The likeminded individual will gather together. So in once corner, you could have a bunch of people for Elizabeth Warren. In another corner, there could be a bunch of people for Bernie Sanders. In another corner, you could have Andrew Yang people. And maybe along some wall somewhere there will be people who have declared themselves to the undecided. 

Conway briefed the media about the caucus maths and he shared with the media that it is complicated and not his strong point, but still, he said, he will try to explain to the reporters over the telephone on the mechanics of caucusing.

He pointed out a relevant fact that in caucus, a democrat can move only once, and quoted example that if a voter is with Tom Steyer group and his group has less than 15 percent of the people who are present, you can move from the Tom Steyer group to let’s say the Andrew Yang group, you can move only once. So if Andrew Yang remains unviable, you cannot move a second time too, says Joe Biden o Bernie Sanders. You cannot do that, as you can only move once. Once, all the moving has stopped, the percentages that each of the candidates has are then converted into county delegates. Although this is very complicated, he said but those county delegates are then given what is called a “state equivalency” and that is how the Democrats will declare their winner. 

Conway pointed out a change in this year’s caucus is to be of relevance to media in reporting and not in counting delegates. The change is that the Democrats are also going to count actual people who are standing up for each individual candidate, which can constitute as “popular vote” which is bigger than the delegate count. 

Before the briefer took the questions from the foreign media, Conway ended his telephone briefing on a happy note that “we are very proud at our media outlet that President Reagan worked here” and told us that it is nice little news tidbit to add into our news reports. 

President Reagan was famous for being an actor before he was even president, famous for being Governor of California before he was president. Thus, Conway shared the piece of information, as put by him “proudly” in words that President Reagan used to work at the WHO radio network. 

Exclusive News Report: Kanwal Abidi – White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief, Washington D.C. She would be reporting from America on the State of Play from Iowa Caucus to the day when the U.S. will hit the polls in November 2020.

Kanwal Abidi

Kanwal Abidi is a staff journalist at the AZB and a Senior White House Correspondent. She is Washington D.C. Bureau Chief covering politics and national security issues.

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