Santa Caucus Is Coming To Town
Way back in 1846, a hallowed tradition was born in the great state of Iowa, because Iowans hated voting. They did, however, love to stand around and eat sandwiches. Thus was born the Iowa Caucus. But nobody really noticed what the Iowans were up to until 1972, when George McGovern's insurgent campaign against Democrat frontrunner Ed Muskie needed some weird stunt to distract Muskie's staffers.
The idea was to act like Iowa's "caucus" was actually part of the primary election system in America. Muskie believed it, and went on to lose the nomination to McGovern, who lost terribly to Richard Nixon. This is why Americans hate Iowa. But for unclear reasons, the Iowa Caucus continues to be a closely watched national political event, even though nobody knows exactly what's going on.
Basically, there are 99 counties and 99 "conventions" where people eat sandwiches and talk about 99 problems. Then there are the precincts, also filled with sandwiches -- 1,781 or maybe 1,784 precincts, all filled with people who have repeatedly touched the presidential candidates. After a rousing speech by Alan "Hawkeye" Alda, there is pie. Later, over coffee and more pie and probably more sandwiches, whoever is still standing in the schoolhouse or wherever decides who will be president. The Soviet Union was more democratic.
Also, the Iowans don't even start the sandwich 'n pie process until 7 o'clock tonight (central time?), so keep refreshing Wonkette constantly for the latest results!
Explaining the Iowa Caucus [Capital News]