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iowa caucuses

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The first-in-the-nation 2020 Iowa Caucuses will be the most accessible caucuses in Iowa’s history. As part of the IDP’s effort to expand participation in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, the 2020 satellite caucuses will give Iowa Democrats who could not otherwise attend their precinct caucus an opportunity to caucus during extended hours at a location other than their assigned precinct on February 3, 2020.



In addition to the 1,678 precinct caucuses across the state, Iowa Democrats will have the opportunity to participate in the first-in-the-nation caucuses at 87 additional caucus locations around the world — including 60 in-state, 24 out-of-state (across 13 states and D.C) and 3 international locations.


These additional caucus sites not only increase opportunities for Iowans to caucus at a more convenient or comfortable location, they also help reduce crowd sizes at precinct caucuses and increase overall efficiency in the caucus process.


Satellite Site Types

  • 14 working-related sites

  • 24 student sites on college campuses

  • 29 sites that accommodate accessibility needs including aging service centers

  • 11 sites that are accommodating language and culture needs

  • 9 out-of-state sites that accommodate Iowans wintering in another state


Satellite Sites by Iowa Congressional District

  • 60 total in-state sites

    • CD-1: 13

    • CD-2: 17

    • CD-3: 19

    • CD-4: 11


24 Out-of-State and 3 International Satellite Caucus Locations

  1. Arizona: 4

  2. California: 2

  3. District of Columbia: 1

  4. Florida: 4

  5. Illinois: 2

  6. Massachusetts: 1

  7. Michigan: 1

  8. Minnesota: 2

  9. New York: 2

  10. Pennsylvania: 1

  11. Rhode Island: 1

  12. Tennessee: 1

  13. Wisconsin: 1

  14. Virginia: 1

  15. Paris, France: 1

  16. Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia: 1

  17. Glasglow, Scotland: 1


Any registered Iowa Democrat can participate in the satellite caucuses. Most of the satellite caucus sites are open to the public and closed caucuses are at private residences or workplaces. This means that Iowans can attend a public satellite caucus if it’s more convenient to their home or workplace than their regular precinct. Or Iowans who want to caucus in a different language or in a more comfortable setting can do so at one of the 11 language and culture sites across the state. 


To ensure proper registration and security — Iowa Democrats who aren’t in Iowa on February 3, 2020 or in-state Iowans caucusing before 6pm CST — registered their attendance by January 17, 2020. 


Iowans who attend the in-state satellite caucuses at 7 pm CST do not need to check in early, and have the opportunity to change their registration at the door just like a regular precinct caucus.



Satellite caucuses function the same as precinct caucuses. Each satellite location will have a trained captain who is charged with overseeing the room, managing volunteers, and reporting the results on caucus night. 


The total number of district or state delegates (SDE) allocated to the satellite caucuses by district, is based on the total turnout of satellite caucuses within the district (statewide for out-of-state and international sites) up to a maximum of 10%.


  • Each congressional district will have one additional satellite caucus county, where the results from each satellite caucus within that congressional district will be reported, weighted by the number of participants in the satellite caucuses. 


  • For out-of-state satellite caucuses, results will be reported by one additional “at large” satellite caucus county that will be added at the state convention, weighted by the number of participants in those caucuses.


The SDE is calculated differently for satellite caucuses because the IDP does not have a basis for attendance to determine an appropriate SDE like in precinct caucuses. Because of these additional counties, the IDP will report results for 104 counties on caucus night.

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