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For the primary time, the Iowa Democratic Party will report three units of results from the get together’s presidential caucuses. And there isn’t any assure that every one three will present the identical winner.

Each set of results represents a special stage of the caucus. The new rules for the Feb. three contest have been mandated by the Democratic National Committee in a bid to make the method extra clear.

In the previous, Iowa Democrats reported just one set of results: the quantity of state conference delegates received by every candidate via the caucus course of. Democrats select their get together’s eventual White House nominee primarily based on nationwide conference delegates, and the state delegates are used to find out these totals in Iowa.

What results will Iowa Democrats launch out of the caucus?

There will probably be three units of results: tallies of the “first alignment” of caucus-goers, their “final alignment” and the entire quantity of State Delegate Equivalents every candidate receives.

This is the primary time the get together has made public the primary and closing alignment results.

What do these classes imply, and the way will the results be decided?

Caucuses are totally different from primaries. In a major, voters go to the polls, solid their ballots and depart. At a caucus, voters collect at native precincts and declare help for his or her chosen candidate — then some have a possibility to modify sides.

In Iowa, voters arriving at their caucus website will fill out a card that lists their first selection. Those results will probably be tabulated and can decide the results of the “first alignment.”

But that’s not the top of the night time.

Caucus-goers whose first-choice candidate fails to get no less than 15% of the vote can change their help to a special candidate. The threshold may be increased at some precincts. If voters don’t select one other candidate, their vote received’t rely within the closing alignment. They can select “uncommitted” — however that selection solely will get reported if it, too, will get no less than 15% of the vote.

The results of this stage will probably be tabulated to find out the caucuses’ “final alignment.” Only candidates who obtain no less than 15% of the vote at that precinct — the so-called viable candidates — will probably be counted within the closing alignment. Non-viable candidates get zero votes within the closing alignment.

There’s another step.

The closing alignment votes are then used to calculate the quantity of state conference delegates awarded to every candidate. The get together calls these state delegate equivalents, as a result of they symbolize the quantity of delegates every candidate could have on the get together’s state conference in June. That, in flip, determines what number of nationwide conference delegates every candidate receives.

Iowa will award 41 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention, primarily based on the results of the get together caucuses.

Could totally different candidates high every of the three classes of results?

Yes.

For instance, Candidate A could beat Candidate B within the first alignment voting. But Candidate B could get extra help from voters who initially voted for non-viable candidates. After these voters change to a special candidate, Candidate B could find yourself with essentially the most votes within the closing alignment.

The closing alignment votes are used to calculate the state delegate equivalents, so the results must be related. However, in a really shut race, it’s mathematically attainable to have totally different winners there, too.

Why are Democrats making this alteration?

The new rules have been mandated by the DNC as half of a package deal of modifications sought by Bernie Sanders following his loss to Hillary Clinton within the 2016 presidential primaries. The modifications have been designed to make the caucus system extra clear and to ensure that even the lowest-performing candidates get credit score for all of the votes they obtain.

And it’s not simply Iowa that’s affected by the modifications. The Nevada Democratic caucuses on Feb. 22 may even report three units of results.

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