L2 VoterMapping now features two custom modeled data branches to identify “likely” 2016 Iowa presidential caucus attendees. These modeled selections are being offered at no additional charge beyond your per record standard charge. Please be aware that the modeled selections are not lists of previous caucus attendees. Caucus lists are owned solely by the Iowa Democratic and Republican parties. Organizations seeking access to those lists should contact the state parties directly. Those data are generally not sold but each party will sell the service of communicating with those past caucus attendees on behalf of the candidate paying for that service.
No one can be certain which voters will attend the 2016 caucuses and surprises are common.
Past attendance might be an indication of likely future attendance but it is no guarantee. Open contests for the presidency will always draw out more caucus attendees and special circumstances will increase their numbers dramatically.
In 2008 with Obama and Clinton both competing in the Democratic caucuses, the two historic candidacies drew enormous crowds including a surge in first-time caucus attendees and young people. The result was that Democratic caucus attendance doubled from about 120,000 in 2004 to around 240,000 in 2008.
Democratic caucus attendance in 2012 was quite low without a competition to drive it. Republican caucus attendance was around 120,000 in 2012. Because the caucus process is run by the parties themselves, little demographic data regarding the attendees is available to the public.
Where the model came from
News organizations have done some polling to determine the nature of those attendees and that information has been used by L2 to model universes with the same characteristics as the 2012, 2008 and 2004 caucus attendees. These universe selections were created through an iterative process from selections of higher frequency and primary voters with the final demographic profiles compared to the demographic profiles reported by the research and news organizations. The comparisons for each universe are shown below. L2 worked from the theory that caucus participation in 2016 will be around 120,000 for the Republican Party and slightly higher for the Democratic Party.
Likely doesn’t mean known
The voters included in these selections are, we believe, more likely than the average voter to attend a caucus but a significant percentage of them may not attend and a great many other voters who are not in the selections may appear at the caucuses. The final demographic profile of the 2016 caucus attendees may differ significantly from our models.
Below are the comparisons between the demographic profiles available for each party caucus and the demographic profiles of the audiences included in L2’s modeled selections: