Iowa GOP’s Caucuses a major expense, huge volunteer undertaking

DES MOINES — The Republican Party of Iowa raised over $800,000 to finance the operations for last night’s Iowa Caucuses. The caucuses are not like a primary, when county auditors and county-owned voting machines process ballots.

Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann says it’s a major undertaking for the party. “We have done over 200 trainings face-to-face. We’re going to be approaching 10,000 volunteers to carry this out,” Kaufmann says. “We are very, very confident that we have done everything humanly possible to make sure this Caucus comes off without a hitch.”

Kaufmann says the level of precinct-level organizing on the part of two campaigns is unprecedented. He won’t name the campaigns, but it’s clear from the activity Iowa Republicans are seeing that he’s referring to Trump and DeSantis. “The organization is actually perfect training for what they’re going to have to do in the General Election,” Kaufmannn says.

Kaufmann says it may take a couple of months for Iowans who’ve volunteered and worked on the various presidential campaigns to unify around the GOP frontrunner and likely nominee. “People put their passions, they put their entire lives on hold to advocate for their one candidate. If their candidate does not do as well, I mean it’s just a natural human reaction to take some time to reflect,” Kaufmann says. “As long as Joe Biden is the nominee, I have absolutely no doubt that reunification and reminding ourselves what we have in common — that will happen.”

Kaufmann has been chairman of the Iowa Republican Party for a decade.