- OBJECT. The object of the game is to gather with your neighbors in an airless church basement in order to select party candidates for President of the United States, causing those candidates with the smallest percentage of votes to drop out of the race before any state primaries.
- PREPARATION. Each candidate spends countless dollars and time pressing the flesh with each of the state’s 2,982,085 residents.
- EQUIPMENT. Each game piece represents a candidate. To begin, hold the plastic candidate in one hand while tearing away its known ideals along the perforated edge, and then stick a rod up the candidate’s arse to maintain its position.
The colorful game board is divided into several Iowa state industries—pork production, corn production, egg production, and John Deere production—from Cedar Rapids to Council Bluffs. Unlike the more popular Primary Election Game, there are no ballots or voting machines.
The all-white game cards represent Iowa’s citizenry.
- PLAYERS. Ages 17 & up (assuming the player will be 18 by the National Election day), a U.S. Citizen, and a resident of Iowa within the caucus precinct. Each player must be registered with a party in order to vote, although the participant can register at the caucus, or change their party affiliation at the caucus.
- PLAY. The game began this past Tuesday January 3rd at 7 pm when caucus doors shut tight against latecomers. The Republicans and Democrats approach their caucus rules in different ways.
The Republican players write the name of their preferred candidate on a blank piece of paper that is then tabulated at each caucus precinct and transmitted to the media.
The Democratic players use a more complicated caucus process. Because they can. These players show support for a particular candidate by standing in a designated area. For thirty minutes, players move around the room trying to convince their neighbors to support their chosen candidate. After thirty minutes the supporters for each candidate are counted, and only the Viable Candidates (those receiving at least 15% of the attendee vote) can move forward to the next round.
Then the clock is set for an additional thirty minutes so the supporters of non-viable candidates can realign with a viable candidate.
In the final round a democratic head count is conducted and the results are reported to the state party, who in turn counts the number of apportioned delegates and reports the results to the media.
- GAME OVER. Play ceases when the candidates point their luxury buses toward New Hampshire. Iowa who?