DES MOINES — Iowa Republican Party officials say just over 110,000 Iowans participated in Monday night’s Caucuses.
Party chairman Jeff Kaufmann said it happened when some areas of the state had a wind chill of negative 30 degrees. “We’ve shown the world we can have a personalized grassroots event and we can have absolute election integrity and we can do it all in wind chills that would probably send a whole lot of citizens in a whole lot of states under the covers,” Kaufmann said during a Radio Iowa interview.
About 15% of registered Republicans voted — the lowest turn-out for the Iowa Caucuses in 24 years. “Before the 186,000 (attendance) record that was set in 2016 on a, well, it would be a balmy evening compared to Monday, we were looking at numbers in 2012 and 2008 that were very similar to this,” Kaufmann said.
About 120,000 people participated in the 2008 Iowa Republican Party Caucuses. which Mike Huckabee won. In 2012, when Rick Santorum won, there were about 122,000 participants.
Kaufmann said it was a breach of faith for major media outlets to announce Trump was the projected winner of this year’s Caucuses before the vast majority of participants had cast their straw poll vote. “We are certainly showing our displeasure. I’m certainly cautioning the Nevada chair because they’ve got a caucus coming and that’s something that should not occur,” Kaufmann said. “That’s something that should not happen again.”
The Iowa Caucuses are run by the party, not state or county government officials. Kaufmann and other Iowa GOP officials raised more than $800,000 for the operation of this year’s Caucuses.