tv Bernie Sanders Campaign Event in Mason City Iowa CSPAN January 28, 2016 8:49am-9:16am EST
that these two small haveresentative state subverted our process. .e need to start from scratch i would like to see a national referendum of the 50 states and see if the other 48 states agree that iowa and new hampshire second forirst and the remainder of our democratic form of government because i don't think it is right. has said, it was an accident of history. host: why is it right? guest: well, the interesting thing is -- this argument is made all the time. otherrly every cycle states try to go first since this started in 1972, they haven't been successful. there are a lot of things to argue on both sides but the basic idea of iowa and new
hampshire is that it is an opportunity for candidates to get out and talk to voters. one of the biggest values of this process is that candidates have to talk to real people on the ground. they cannot win these events by dropping a massive amount of money on advertising. if we started in a large state ,ike new york or california neither of those states are anymore presented of the country to iowa or new hampshire. he would not have the same kinds of grassroots policies that make candidates better. it helps them learn what is on people's minds. -- i have listened to hundreds of questions.
we have the same kinds of questions that people around the country are asking. people are forced to actually respond to voters. could that be done somewhere else? intentionally. that youok, we argue could start a process like this in any small state but the key idea it -- key idea is that candidates can get out and meet virtually everyone who will vote for them when the time comes and i think that is incredibly powerful. host: so are the candidates hearing what is on the minds of a variety of people? -- i was hijacked our democracy and it is hearing just the voices of a certain part of our country. how can that be reflective of how this election will turn out? , most obvious is that
it is demographic. is one of the five white to states in the nation. it is also before the union. this is one reason by a victory by bernie sanders in iowa and then in new hampshire may signal much less about the state of the democratic already raised their first appears. jeff greenfield has made these arguments before. these are old arguments. yes, iowa doest not look like california. it does look like new york and neither does new hampshire. about it wehink have a sequential system. somebody has to go first. there isn't a way to get around that unless we have a national primary. think of it broadly. by, hampshire, south carolina and nevada. when combined, these four states
will go before super and they are a good reflection of -- iowa, economically is a good representation. financial services are huge as our wind energy and alternatives. new hampshire has a different kind of republican party in iowa does. and in south carolina, the democrats, half of the voters are african-american and then in nevada, the latino population is significant. when you put them all together you get something that begins to approximate the country as a whole and i think that is the way to think about it. argument is that someone has to go first and it on theo be a place where ground operations and building a campaign is like building a business.
realng real people with concerns and i once have the same concerns that the nation has. and needing to be able to respond to them -- that is critically important. redlawsk is our guest and he is taking your comments and questions about the iowa caucuses. we are five days away. here are the phone lines. democrats, (202) 748-8000. .epublicans, (202) 748-8001 , (202) 748-8002. and i will voters, (202) 748-8003. caller: i am still having a hard time understanding how the candidates are picked. how many candidates as a having candidatesthe total
-- how do super delegates into play? is it a undertake all? -- a winner take all? guest: iowa has about 1% of the country's population and it has roughly 1% of the delegates for the two conventions plus or minus a bit because there are bonuses depending on the republican party. but a good rule of thumb is that it is roughly proportional to population. iowa is an evenly balanced state politically despite recent successes for republicans. a voter registration is evenly balanced. it is an even state and that is true with the delegate count. the superdelegates for the democrats are usually people who
are in various party offices and political offices, members of congress and they are not process at all. the delegates are selected proportionally. this is true for the democrats and has always been true for the democrats because the delegates are assigned based on the strength of the candidate in that precinct. precinct -- if -- it sanders gets 45% will probably round to 50% in the precinct. for the republicans, the actual physical human beings who get to go do not have to reflect with the voting in the caucus was. harshly because it was a secret ballot so you don't -- it will probably round to 50% in the precinct. know area earlier, thisoned
year, at the national convention, he will not get to vote whatever way they would like to vote. their votes are recorded based on what happens in the caucuses. no national delegates are being picked on monday night. it will reflect the state parties equivalents. national convention delegates will not be picked until the congressional elections in april. joey in nebraska, you are next. caller: i'm just going to throw out a brief comment quickly and listen. i took part in the first congress -- first caucus in barack obama and hillary clinton first ran.
for us it was historic for nebraska. we've never had a caucus of until that point and of course, we elected barack obama as president later on. it was in the lancaster county for me. and you guys are right when the experts say that when you caucuses, it is not the same as showing up in rallies. you have to be disciplined. you have to corral people i do to decide which side wins. it in my case, we went back and forth between hillary clinton and barack obama. it has been several years so i don't remember the exact outcome but i think it was a win for obama. personally speaking as a citizen, i prefer a straight vote to the caucus because it is too much horse training in my opinion.
i went to university and i took sociology and you get into a lot of groupthink. i prefer a straight vote. how can we encourage everyone to do this? that's all i wanted to say. because the c-span cameras will be there to show you how the caucus unfolds. and look at that when it gets underway. , onell be at 8:00 eastern hour behind. what did you hear there? guest: primaries are easier. there is no question about it. the polls might be open for 12-14 hours and you show up where you always show up and if there is no line you are in and out in a few minutes.
one of the things the democrats caucus does is allow people to express a second choice. it is the case that in the delegate selection process across the country whether in primaries or caucuses, there is a threshold applied differently in different places. the bottom line is if a candidate does not get 15% at the state level or the district level, that candidate gets no delegates from those voters. so the voters that but it for those candidates are unrepresented. process, if you are below 15% and supporting a candidate not doing so well, two things can happen. you can convince people to join you and your candidate gets you can sayrt, or my second choice is a different candidate and i will go register my second choice.
in american politics we rarely get to do that. we either win or lose. in the caucus process you don't win or lose, you win but even if you lose you have the opportunity perhaps to express your second choice. i think that's a pretty good set up. host: let's show viewers who won in the past in iowa caucuses. 2008, barack obama. 2004, john kerry. 2000, al gore. in 1988, richard gephardt. the caucus winners on the republicans, you have rick santorum. 2008, i got to be. 2000, george w. bush. 1996 and 19 88, bob dole. what percentage of the iowa population shows up? it varies tremendously.
republican on the side is usually a little bit less than on democrats. in 2012 and 2008, republicans had approximately 125,000. this is about 600,000 republicans, rounding here. number in the the state. basically 2012 was a record turnout and so had 2008. prior to that, turnout was more in the realm of 60,000 voters. democrats, 2008 turnout blew through the roof and through the walls of a lot of places the democrats were having caucuses. about0 democrats also 600,000, showed up. 2004 roughlyle the 125,000 and in 2000 it had been
in the 60,000 or so range as best we know. obviously then it varies a lot. right now we are all wondering what it will look like. democrats do not expect to hit the 239,000 number again but i think they expect to be higher than 125,000 that came before. republicans are preparing for an increase anywhere from 10 to 20 in some counties. in some counties that might have a 50% increase. regardless, it's a nomination contest so a lot of people do not vote. that is true in primaries as well. host: matthew is an independent. go to thendents caucus and participate? they can. i'll has same-day registration web you are independent or not an eligible -- not a registered
voter. just go to the precinct, register to vote right there, and pick your party. it is technically true that if you are a democrat and you want to caucus for republicans, you can do that. we registered to vote as a republican and walk right in. anyone can come and caucus as long as you are eligible. you just have to, i think you can do it online but you absolutely can. host: matthew, an independent in green bay, wisconsin. enjoyed thei really washington journal and wish there were more shows like this. guest, has ask the there been any talk about broadcasting media reform? socially?
that's all i have to say, thank you. mr. medlock, did you follow that? i'm not exactly sure what he means when he says broadcast media reform. essentially we have the media we have because we have the first amendment. the media has the absolute right to approach campaigns and elections in any way they wish. as useful always be as we want or comprehensive as we want. i think they tried very hard. maybe the caller is suggesting how we have all trump all the time. in any case, it could always be better.
host: walter in new york, a democrat. caller: yes, i have a question and it is not particularly political. but is that real gold on the dome of the temple, and if so, where does it come from? guest: it is real gold and my understanding it has been refurbished very recently. the iowa state capital has multiple domes. it is a pretty unusual building. my understanding is they are all gold cap. the corner ones may not have read -- been refurbished recently. unfortunately i have no idea where it came from. i think it's been there for a long time. host: david a read lock is a fellow for citizen engagement and co-author of the book why iowa. we are talking about the role i .ill place here
spencer, in arizona. republican. caller: good morning. my comment is i don't think the people in iowa, south carolina, or new hampshire understand what is going out on the west. those people voting are clueless and really don't know what's going on. you cannot tell me their primaries or elections or caucuses have anything to do with what we face out west. host: ok, let's get a response. lot doestually, i a have some idea. granted, iowa is not on the border. immigration to iowa has been significant. -- the latino population .s one of the fastest-growing it's small at the moment but it won't be for much longer. there are folks here who are
undocumented, particularly for the meatpacking industry. there have been rates from time to time by the federal government. there are real issues and people here at the caucus events i go to that talk a lot about immigration and those issues. there's also a growing political involvement by the latino community and iowa. more and more are now eligible voters, there are very strong efforts underway to get them engaged in the process so they can become part of it. to the extent the caller is talking about immigration undocumented and legal, iowa has been dealing with both for quite a number of years in both positive and negative ways. the: what about on republican side, evangelical voters and criticism they have. that their role is outside compared to what the rest of the country has for the nomination
process in iowa. the republican evangelical community is large and iowa, relatively speaking. anywhere from half to 60% of republican caucus-goers are likely to be considering themselves evangelical or born again. they do play quite a significant role. at the same time, evangelicals play a tremendous role in the modern national republican party. whether it was iowa or other candidatesleast some would be taking tremendous efforts to get their support. the iowa republican party is perhaps more evangelical christian than many of the parties. i will go back to the argument that it's not just about one state. republicans in new hampshire are different. and my sense there are more libertarians, more of the new
england republican. few balance across multiple early states, i think you get a pretty good republican reflection. caller: good morning. off, on the last caller i would have to disagree with you. reallyin the northeast don't understand what's going on with federal land in the midwest theour immigration in southern borders nearly as much as the people who live there. secondly, i just read a wonderful several pages on the web about the iowa caucus. i would like to remind people that if you are 17 at caucus time, if you will be eligible to vote for president later on, during the general, you can
actually go to caucus at 17. i think that is a really cool thing. host: i want to take that. what does that mean for campaigns that are energizing younger voters? --ald trump, bernie sanders donald trump, bernie sanders. it is a fascinating piece and i talked with 100 folks who was a key player in inventing the caucus process in 1972. the reason 17-year-olds can caucus is because one of the activists involved at the time was a high school student who was not going to be 18 by caucus date and they wrote that into the rules that he could be involved. it is important because it does mean that people younger than 18 can start getting involved ahead of the general election and cast votes. for many that show up it will be the very first vote that they
cast in an american election. for the campaigns, it means trying to reach out to them. the problem of reaching out is that unlike registered voters, it's hard to figure out where they are. cere are all kinds of list can use for unregistered voters and identify them as people not on the list are tougher to find. but campaigns make real efforts to do that and they always remind people that they can vote y're going to be 18. host: what kind of organization do you have? must you have? where do you concentrate your resources? specific counties or do you spread it across all 99? guest: it depends.
it depends a lot on the strategy the candidate has adopted and the party of the candidate. for republicans, a vote is about. anywhere you can get a republican vote is valuable to you. there are vote rich republican parts of the state especially the west and northwest in particular. but the more urban areas like des moines and cedar rapids and davenport are places with plenty dates andican candi campaigns tend to be relatively broad unless they have a specific strategy where they go after a specific order who can be identified in a particular part of the state. it is a little different. the delegates i mentioned that they were elected precincts are preset. that is the number of delegates preset the caste based on the democrats voting strength in the prior general election, not based on how many show up.
this is true for republicans as well that does not have the same impact because they report the vote count. the democratic party will not report the vote count. they will report delegate count. what that means is you could have massive turnout in a precinct in iowa city if you are bernie sanders. that will increase the number of delegates elected from a precinct. in a sense you can have almost too many voters and a precinct. where you went to a rural part of the state it might have 20 caucusing and it takes 10 of them to win have the delegates. there will be fewer delegates but instead of taking 50 people to win it may only take 10. for democrats there is a geography to the caucus and smart campaigns learned that and figure out where to build their support. generally, while you want the numbers, you really need to delegates. today with the
headline the rest of the republican rivals by for third place in iowa. candidates try to present themselves as alternatives to donald trump and ted cruz. rivals are and other subscribing to an old adage. there are three tickets out of iowa. historically that has been true, typically if you didn't fish in one of the top three slots your campaign probably wasn't going very far for much longer. certainly finishing at the bottom generally results in dropping out. this was not true for john mccain. he finished at a very close fourth and became the nominee in 2008 but otherwise it's typically true. the question of whether it is determined will be later. in