The Caucuses are party functions. There will be 1,681 precinct level meetings for both Republicans and for Democrats this evening.
There were more than 615,000 registered Republican voters in Iowa as of this morning. If turn-out is in the range of 2008 — when attendance at the Republican Caucuses set a record — that means nearly one in every six eligible Republican voters will participate tonight.
Democrats set a Caucus Night participation record in 2008 as well. That’s when 240,000 Iowans showed up to Caucus. Double that number and you’ll get close to the total of Democrats who are registered to vote in Iowa today. Iowa Democratic Party officials, though, don’t expect participation levels to set a record tonight.
There are 1.9 million registered voters in Iowa. More than a third of them are registered as “no party”. That’s the designation available for Iowans who want to be so-called “independents”. To participate in tonight’s Caucuses, you do not have to walk in as a registered voter of either party. You can register at your precinct — but you’ll have to register as a Democrat to participate in the Democratic Party’s Caucuses and as a Republican to cast a straw poll ballot for a Republican candidate tonight.
See the latest details on voter registration in Iowa.