NABG Newsletter Issue 04: Iowa Caucus

Girls for Gender Equity
3 min readMay 15, 2020

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Primary season is about to heat up! On Monday February 3rd, the Iowa Caucus will take place. This is the first time that voters will begin to weigh in on the field of candidates for President. We’ll all be watching what happens — and especially making sure that Black girls are not left behind.

The Iowa what?

Here’s what’s happening in Iowa on Monday, February 3rd:

  • Over the course of an hour, voters will congregate at specified sites throughout the state of Iowa to pledge their support to specific candidates and try to get other community members on their side.
  • Caucus-goers divide themselves into groups based on their preferred candidates. The candidates need at least 15% of voters at the caucus site in order to be considered “viable.”
  • After the first round, candidates who do not meet the 15% mark are removed and the people who supported the now-removed candidate have to choose someone else — also known as “realignment”.
  • After rounds of voting and realignment, viable candidates are given State Delegate Equivalents (SDEs) based on the number of supporters they have counted. These SDEs are what the political party counts to determine who their nominee will be.
  • The Iowa Democratic Party does not declare a winner, however, the candidate with the most SDE’s is seen as winning the caucus. For more information on the Iowa Caucus you can read more here!

What is different in the Iowa Caucus this year?

  • Now, candidates do not have to fear losing voters. Once they have committed to a viable candidate, caucus attendees cannot change their minds and switch groups.
  • Unlike previous years when the public only knew the number of SDE’s a candidate received, this year the public will know the exact number of votes in an effort to increase transparency.

Who is at stake?

  • Iowa is 90% white, therefore not representative of the country.
  • Roughly 2% of Iowa’s population is Black, and this caucus is projected to have a historically high turnout so many candidates are trying to target Black voters in their campaigns
  • The race for President in 2020 had a historically diverse field of candidates, however, only white candidates have risen to the top of the ticket.
  • Currently, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Deval Patrick are the only people of color running for office, yet none of them are polling high consistently.

What is GGE doing?

  • We are watching the work of organizations engaging voters of color in Iowa! Check out Latino Vote/LULAC engaging the Latinx community to join the caucuses and Indigenous Iowa
    engaging the voting Inigenous community and promoting their campaigns.
  • We are also getting ready to engage our #BlackGirls2020 Steering Committee with all candidates running for President online! Stay tuned for more.

Black girls have been ignored for too long. Stand with us as we demand action throughout the primary season.



Girls for Gender Equity

Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational organization centering the leadership of cis and trans Black girls and gender-expansive youth of color.