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Part l:

A caucus is a meeting which local members of a specific political party register their top choice

of candidate running for office. A caucus differs from a typical primary election because they are

two very different methods used for voters to select their individual party’s national delegates.

The caucus system dates back to 1796 when American political parties first emerged. Since

federal law doesn’t require a specific method to how each state chooses their delegates, each

state can choose what system they use. Most states use the primary system, which is where

voters in the state can vote for which candidate they support. However, some states like Iowa use

the caucus system. (How do Caucuses work?) The word caucus originates from the Algonquin

people and it means, “gathering of tribal chiefs.”

Similar to the original meeting, the caucus system used today consists of several meetings. The


caucuses are significant because they are considered the first voting event of the presidential

election year. (How do Caucuses work?) In 1972, Senator George McGovern explained the

significance of the caucus vote in Iowa: “Iowa is terribly important. It’s the first test in the

nation, where we get any test at all” (Iowa Presidential Politics). In Iowa, local parties or

caucuses hold meetings where both Republicans and Democrats meet to choose their choice of

candidate. Each caucus will then send a certain number of

delegates based on the number of people in each caucus. (How do Caucuses work?)

Republican and Democrat caucus systems are different. The Republican caucus system involves

coming in, voting through a secret ballot, and the percentages then decide which delegate will go
on to the county convention, and so forth. The Democrat system is a little more complicated.

Democrats meet together in different precincts where different candidate supporters make their

case. The groups are divided according to which candidate they support. However, a group is not

usable if there isn’t certain percentage. If there aren’t enough people, they will often try to recruit

others into their group or go into another one. The formula is: (Number of people in the group *

number of delegates)/number of caucus participants. (How do Caucuses work?)

Part III

Although we wouldn’t select either of the four candidates in “real life,” in this scenario we

choose to support Donald Trump at the Cerro Gordo County Convention. We chose to base the

votes off of the plurality method. In the plurality method, only the first-place vote is counted.

The person with the most first place votes is declared winner. Due to this method being used,

Donald Trump was selected the winner.

Donald Trump won due to the plurality method. However, if other methods were employed, he

would not have come out victorious. When we used the Instant Runoff Voting method, it wasn’t

Trump that won, but Ted Cruz instead. Although it came down to Cruz and Trump, Cruz won

with a 61-39 vote with the IRV method. When we used the Borda Count and Copeland’s Method

to find the winner, we found that Marco Rubio was the obvious winner. In the Borda method he

beat Ted Cruz by 34 points and Trump by 89 points. In Copeland’s Method, Rubio beat Cruz out

by 1 and Trump by 3. In addition, he was also the Condorcet Winner as when comparing

candidates one on one, he came out victorious every time.

Although Trump did not win in any other method except for the plurality method, we still
chose to employ that particular method because it doesn’t overcomplicate things and helps make


easier and simpler to make. Your top choice vote is crucial and should be used wisely. We

preferred this method as it was the most familiar with what we use in everyday life. Typically, if

we were to take a vote on a matter in school, work, or with friends and family you would only

get one vote to determine the

winner. An example of the plurality method would be: if a group of friends were deciding upon

which movie to watch, everyone gets one vote. The winner with most votes would be the movie

we watch. Upon deciding the winner there’s always one objective and it’s to reflect the

preferences in the fairest way possible.

Of course, if all the methods listed above were to be employed, Marco Rubio would be the

clear winner out of all the other candidates. Fortunately, due to Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

there is no voting method that will satisfy all the fairness criteria. Despite what method is used,

the result is different each time.

Reflective Writing:

Choose a topic that demonstrates how mathematics and/or quantitative reasoning are important

in your future and write a 150 word discussion of the topic (about 3/4 of a page). You can show

how a mathematical concept will be important for you to understand, how you might use

numerical thinking in your future work, or how quantitative reasoning will make your future

more interesting and understandable.

Mathematics is a subject that applies to everyone’s everyday life regardless, and it’s more

important than people realize. A mathematic subject that I believe that would apply in my life

presently and in the future is Problem Solving. This semester I came to the realization that I

really struggled with Problem Solving but it’s a concept I was really determined to understand.

With problem solving there’s so many different equations that can be applied to my everyday

life. I’ve spent several years in retail where I dealt with many appeal markdowns where I had to

figure out what the clearance price was. A problem-solving example on our review is “A store

has clearance items that have been marked down by 40%. They are having a sale, advertising an

additional 55% off of clearance items. What percent of the original price do you end up paying?”

This problem may sound similar mostly when you’re walking around the mall, but it’s important

to know how to solve it especially to be sure you have enough money or you’re wanting to make

sure the price is appearing accurately. Plus, everyone looks a good deal so it’s not a bad idea to

be familiar with this type of problem. With this type of problem, we always want to make sure

we start at 100 to be accurate. Problem Solving has made me understand that it’s important to

make sure you’re changing the percent into a decimal rather than keeping it as a number.
Works Cited

Contributors, HowStuffWorks.com. “How Do Caucuses Work?” HowStuffWorks ,

HowStuffWorks, 20 Jan. 2004, people.howstuffworks.com/question721.htm.

“Iowa Presidential Politics.” Home | Iowa Presidential Politics , iowapresidentialpolitics.com/.