Get off the caucus sidelines

iowa caucusThe biggest field of presidential candidates ever takes the field for the Iowa caucuses.

If Iowa traditions continue, the vast majority of Iowa voters will sit this game out.

The record caucus turnouts reported by each party represent just a fraction of the registered active voters now on file at county auditor offices.

Republicans reported the best caucus turnout ever in 2012 with 121,503 participants. The Aug. 1 voter registration totals by the Secretary of State show 609,427 active, registered Republicans. That means the 2012 record represents 20 percent of involved Republicans.

Democrats aren’t much better. Their best caucus turnout of 227,000 in 2008 totals 39 percent of the active registered Democrats now on file.

That would leave 80 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats on the sidelines, even if turnout equals those records.

Now add in the 711,472 active voters who register with no party.

Total all of Iowa’s currently registered active voters. Compare that with the best-ever caucus turnouts reported by each party, and the conclusion is dismal: Just 18 percent of Iowa active registered voters will participate in the caucuses.

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