Explore caucuses through free Iowa State University online course

by James Q. Lynch, the Gazette

Despite what seems to be 24/7 coverage, Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses remain a mystery to many people — including Iowans, according to Steffen Schmidt, an Iowa State University political science professor who fields caucus questions from media outlets around the globe. So beginning Tuesday, Schmidt will be offering answers to anyone curious about the caucuses that kick off the presidential nomination process for both Democrats and Republicans. It’s all part of ISU’s first MOOC — massive open online course — that runs through Feb. 2 at www.iowacaucusesmooc.org/. Schmidt will present the history of the Iowa caucuses, which began to play a significant role in the nomination process in the 1970s. He’ll discuss famous events that propelled Iowa to the forefront and share caucus anecdotes.


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