If you participate in the Iowa Democratic Party’s new “virtual” caucus option next February, do you need “virtual” precinct captains to help organize everything? Marianne Williamson’s campaign is planning on figuring out just that with their new plan to organize in Iowa.
Williamson announced the placement of 99 “Virtual Iowa Caucus Captains,” one covering each Iowa county. They’ll be tasked with both recruiting virtual and in-person caucus attendees to turn out for the best-selling author’s presidential bid.
The campaign says about 40% of their captains are from Iowa. The rest are volunteers from around the country who will be in charge of a specific county.
“I’ve always been extremely grateful for my supporters over a 35-year career improving people’s lives,” Williamson said in a press release. “The fact that so many of my non-political followers have joined me on this campaign has inspired me deeply, and I look forward to hearing from our new Virtual Caucus Captains and the great strides they’ll make.”
Although Williamson isn’t too well-known in traditional, national Democratic circles, her social media following is among the largest of the 2020 field of Democrats. She has 2.6 million followers on Twitter alone. Much of that is thanks to the many books she’s written and media appearances she’s made on shows like Oprah. One big opportunity and task for her team is to figure out how to connect with those people and activate them for her campaign.
“We only want to add to the importance of the sacred tradition of in-person Iowa Caucus participation, but we also want to react to the needs of the people and to the changes announced by the IDP,” said Maurice Daniel, National Campaign Manager. “Just like the Iowa Caucuses, the United States does more and more things virtually everyday with telecommuting increasing every year and Facebook even selling devices for people to connect virtually. We believe the Virtual Iowa Caucus Captains will be a winning and cost-effective strategy.”
Given that Iowans can now caucus virtually, either through a phone or computer (the exact details are still being figured out by the state party), organizing supporters online for the caucus is a more viable option. And for smaller campaign teams like Williamson’s, that can help make up for the usual large field operations that most caucus campaigns put together.
“One of the strengths of this campaign is Marianne’s existing network of millions of supporters,” Williamson’s state director Brent Roske said. “Harnessing that power to spread the word about the importance of the Iowa Caucuses, as well as activating pockets of support around the state make this a breakthrough strategy.”
Williamson returns to Iowa this week for a tour through the western part of the state.
by Pat Rynard