So What's a Caucus? It's really TWO answers!
For Republicans, this is really just another primary. GOP voters cast their secret ballot, and whoever get the most votes...is the winner. National convention delegates, are divided up proportionally.
For Democrats, its fairly complicated. People will gather in fire stations, libraries, school gyms, etc. They will divide up by candidates they support. If that candidate does not have 15% of the crowd, they are done! For example, if 100 people attend a precinct caucus, candidate Chris Dodd needs 15 people to stay viable. If he doesn't, he's out...and his delegates are free to vote for anyone else.
This is crucial, because it's a way to get additional votes. Sen Barrack Obama is saying, "Please consider me for your second choice, if I am not your first choice!"
And Rep. Dennis Kucinich has told supporters, to back Obama if Kucinich does not have 15%.
So it's almost like "rank choice" voting in San Francisco! Those "second choice" votes, could put someone "over the top" in a tight race, and right now polls show Sens. Clinton, Obama, and former Sen. Edwards, deadlocked in a 3-way race!
Turnout is crucial tonight, voting begins at 7pm in Iowa. Skies are sunny, with a high temperature of 30 degrees today. Brisk, but no rain or snow!
It's estimated that 40% of voters may be "independents"....so this is wide open in both parties!
Get ready for an Iowa free-for-all!