There is currently a lot of confusion over the caucus as far as the gubernatorial race goes. People are under the impression that they must decide who they are supporting for governor before the February 5 caucus -- probably because many of the gubernatorial campaigns are confusing people by saying "make sure to caucus for me on February 5!" The gubernatorial race will not be decided at the February caucus...mostly. Let's unsnarl it:
There is a primary election on June 5. We will go to the polls and vote for a nominee for governor. Per state rules, if no one candidate earns more than 35% of the votes, the candidate will be decided at the State Convention.
There are currently seven candidates for governor so the likelihood of any one of them getting 35% of the vote is pretty steep.
So caucuses could potentially play a part. At the caucuses, each precinct will elect delegates to attend the County Convention. At the County Convention (Saturday, March 24), they will elect delegates to the District Convention (Saturday, April 28) and State Convention (Saturday, June 16). These delegates at the State Convention would be the ones to choose the gubernatorial candidate if no one gets 35%.
If you are really passionate about wanting your voice heard in the gubernatorial race, you might want to double up your chances for having the say by 1) Voting in the June primary and 2) being a delegate on the floor at the state convention, which means you must first go to the precinct caucus on February 5 to start the process of getting to the state convention.
People have asked if the caucus will separate into preference groups, splitting up into groups based on who we support for governor. The answer is...maybe? Each individual precinct will get to decide on their own if they want to split into preference groups, so the delegates are chosen proportionally from the preference groups instead of just randomly. Any member of that precinct caucus can move that the group split into preference groups and if 15% of the group wants to, it must be done. There are some complicated math figures that have to go into it, and will lengthen the time commitment at the caucus that evening.
It could also be done for congressional district candidates instead of governor, but in Scott County, and the rest of the 2nd District, we only have one congressional candidate---Dave Loebsack. So that is really not applicable to us.
If you are not super passionate about selecting the nominee, you don't care about going to the convention, and you will happily vote for any of the Democrats, you might be thinking "So why should I even go to the caucus? What's the point?"
Well, after we choose county convention delegates, we will also choose Central Committee members for the Scott County Democrats, two per precinct. These are the people who are involved with the local party on a regular basis. They will elect the County Chair (the leader of the Scott County Democrats) and other executive board members. They attend monthly (or more) meetings, work on fundraising, help plan events, handle communication for the party on a county level, and overall, try to be the faces of the Democratic Party here in Scott County. These are incredibly important roles and we need passionate activists to join us and help. The Democratic Party from the county level to the national is far from perfect, but it will never improve unless people are willing to join and work towards a better party.
The other item on the caucus agenda is submitting resolutions to the Scott County platform. If you have an idea that you think will improve our platform, you can submit it for consideration by your fellow precinct members at the precinct caucus.
Hope to see you on February 5! All precincts in Scott County will meet at North High School in Davenport. You must be ther by 7pm to participate ans must be a registered Democrat (You can register as a Democrat that night if you need to switch party affiliation).