Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and co-author of “Why Iowa?: How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process”?”
On Tuesday, Colorado and Minnesota will hold their Republican caucuses, either confirming or casting doubt onto Mitt Romney's lead. But why some states hold caucuses instead of primaries — or in the case of Missouri, use both — in order to determine how many delegates they'll send to a party's national convention is largely a matter of taste.
Iowa is not representative of the rest of the U.S. demographically, yet the state's caucuses every four years have overwhelming influence on the presidential nomination process. It is this idea that has some critics saying the caucus system itself is inherently flawed. The number of states holding caucuses — in addition to the amount of money spent and extremist positions espoused — have grown exponentially over the past few years, and are a far cry from their grassroots, populist origins.