DES MOINES, Iowa -- The chairman of the Republican party of Iowa spent part of his day on social media trying to clear up what he says are myths about the Iowa caucuses.
With less than four weeks until the much-hyped night, GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann turned to the new app Sidewire to answer reporters’ questions from across the country.
First up was Ted Cruz, who has been blasted by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, his son and ethanol supporters. They say he’s chosen subsidies for big oil in his home state, Texas, over supporting Iowa’s renewables
Kaufmann took both sides, writing “Ethanol is a critical issue for Iowans. Ted Cruz is a fantastic candidate and we're excited to have him working so hard to earn Iowan’s votes.”
Channel 13’s Dave Price asked: “Democrats are letting people participate by tele-caucus. Your party isn’t, so how do military members take part in a GOP caucus.
Kaufmann's replied: “It’s important caucuses don't start to look like a primary, but we are working directly with the Department of Defense and the Republican National Committee to ensure Iowans serving out of state will have ability to participate in process, which will help select next the commander in chief.”
Donald Trump's brought attention to this presidential race like no other. He's one of a dozen Republicans still running for the nomination, so the chair expects to top 2012's record turnout of 120,000.
Kaufmann wrote says he “would personally be surprised if we don't surpass 120K, but there are so many variables (Trump, weather, and other forces of nature) it’s impossible for anyone … to predict.”
Kaufmann also addressed the 2012 caucus night mistake when the Republican Party said Mitt Romney won, only to realize weeks later it was actually Rick Santorum.
On Sidewire, Kaufmann wrote: “We have nearly reached 200 training sessions to prepare our caucus vols. We have hired many new staffers, focused on training, and have a great new app from Microsoft.”
The app from Microsoft allows caucus volunteers to input candidates’ caucus night totals into their smart phone or tablet at every precinct, meaning faster results at the parties.
Check back with Channel 13 on Thursday, when we get our first look at how the app works.