Biden wins Iowa Democrats’ mail-in Caucus count

DES MOINES — With 91% of the votes, Joe Biden has won the Iowa Democratic Party mail-in system that’s replaced the delegate math that determined which presidential candidate won Iowa Caucuses of the past.

Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Rita Hart said the new system addresses complaints that the Caucuses were not very democratic, since you had to be present on Caucus Night to participate.

“An in-person Caucus was not very inclusive and now we have a two-part process where we have the in-person (meetings) and then we have the mail-in,” Hart said, “and, as a result, we’ve gotten so much more accessibility.”

About 20,000 Iowa Democrats requested what the party called “presidential preference cards.” Over 12,000 were returned by Tuesday. About 3.9% of Iowa Democrats indicated they were uncommitted to a presidential candidate at this point in the race. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota congressman, finished a distant third with 2.9%, followed by author Marianne Williamson.

The roughly 12,000 total mail-in votes in the contest fell below the 15,000 Democrats who attended the in-person Iowa Caucuses in 2012, the last time an incumbent Democrat was seeking a second term as president.

Hart said Iowa Democrats will discuss what worked and what didn’t with the mail-in system and whether it’s the way they’ll conduct the 2028 Iowa Caucuses. “We’re going to be in a different situation in 2028. It’ll be a much more competitive environment,” she said. “We’ll have more people involved in the process as far as candidates are concerned, which makes a big difference, I think.

“Should we have a system where we mail out ‘presidential preference card’ requests to every Democrat in the state so that there’s even more accessibility? Should we have drop off boxes so it makes it easier for people to participate, especially those who are procrastinators or those who don’t trust the Postal Service?”

Iowa Republicans held the first voting event in their party’s 2024 presidential contest with their Caucuses on January 15. National Democrats kicked the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses out of the lead-off position after the 2020 Caucus results were delayed and critics — including President Biden — said the party needed to start the 2024 campaign in states where “voters of color have a voice” in choosing the nominee.