Election 2008 - Kansas Caucuses

Caucus Q&A

When are the Kansas caucuses?

  • Kansas Democrats: Tuesday Feb. 5, 6 p.m. (Super Tuesday)
  • Kansas Republicans: Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.

Where do I caucus?

Caucus Map
Browse our 2008 Caucus locations map

Douglas County Republicans will caucus at South Junior High School, 2734 Louisiana Street. Miami County Republicans will also caucus there. Jefferson County Republicans report to the Ozawkie American Legion, and Leavenworth County Republicans to the Leavenworth Riverfront Community Center.

For area Democrats, it's a bit more complicated. If your state senator is Roger Pine, you'll caucus at the National Guard's Metcalf Memorial Armory. If your state senator is Marci Francisco, it depends on the congressional district you live in. Residents in Nancy Boyda's district will caucus at Abe & Jake's Landing. Those in Dennis Moore's district will caucus at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, near 19th and Harper streets (the location was changed on Feb.1.)

Do I need to register?

  • Democrats: you can change your party affiliation if you need to at the door of the caucus. Anyone who will be 18 by Nov. 4 can participate.
  • Republicans: you must register as one by Jan. 25, although party leaders recommend changing your registration by this week.
  • Registration is available through the Kansas Republican Party's Web site, www.ksgop.org, and the Kansas Democratic Party's site, www.ksdp.org

How do Kansas Caucuses work?

  • Republicans: It's fairly simple. Bring a state-issued photo ID to check in. The caucus chairman allows representatives from the campaigns to give presentations, which will take one hour. Then voters will vote for one candidate by secret ballot. The votes are counted by congressional district. Candidates can win three convention delegates each for garnering the most votes in a congressional district. Also, the overall winner statewide will gain 24 delegates.
  • Democrats: After registration, the caucus chairman gives participants 30 minutes to select a candidate. The chairman then determines which candidates have received 15 percent support and are "viable." Then the chairman allows voters to reconsider their candidate. Voters must gather together to show their support for a candidate, so the format allows for lobbying on the floor. On Super Tuesday, Democratic voters are actually selecting delegates for the congressional district conventions on April 12, which will determine what candidates will be best represented at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Do the Kansas caucuses matter?

With the presidential nomination process still wide open, winning each delegate could be crucial. The Kansas caucuses are also happening much sooner in the year than past years, which virtually had taken the state out of play.

Which candidates have filed?

  • Republicans: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; former Ambassador Alan Keyes; U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, of Tennessee.
  • Democrats: U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York; former U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina; U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois; and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is still on the ballot even though he has withdrawn from the race.

Who organizes the caucuses?

The state Republican and Democratic parties, but the county party organizers play a major role at the local level.

T-shirt turmoil: ‘Barack Chalk Jayhawk’ T-shirt never should have been allowed, KU says
KU laments ‘Barack Chalk Jayhawk’: T-shirt touting candidate in spotlight after lawsuit
July 18, 2008
At a campaign event in Kansas City, Mo., earlier this year, presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed a group of his supporters from KU as Barack Chalk Jayhawks. Instant T-shirt. Small problem: KU has a trademark on the Rock Chalk Jayhawk phrase.
6News video: Dems hope for Kansas victory
February 17, 2008
A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Kansas since 1964. But state Democrats are pointing to November’s general election as a chance to reclaim that.
A blue Kansas in ‘08?
Party chairmen, political scientists consider the odds
February 17, 2008
A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Kansas since 1964 when voters picked Lyndon Johnson. After the recent caucus turnouts, could the red state be leaning toward voting blue? Depends on whom you ask.
6News video: Area Republicans caucus
February 10, 2008
With the race to November heating up in every state, area voters participated in the first Kansas Republican presidential caucus in decades on Saturday.
Huckabee victorious in Kansas
February 10, 2008
Defying U.S. Sen. John McCain’s lead in the Republican presidential race, Kansas GOP caucusgoers on Saturday flocked to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who easily won statewide and in Lawrence. “I think it reflects the fact that people still want a voice and still want a choice,” said Zach Stoltenberg, a Huckabee supporter and Kansas University architecture graduate student. “It doesn’t matter what CNN or Fox News or anybody says. This race isn’t over.”
GOP caucus today
February 9, 2008
Republicans will participate in caucuses across the state today.
Flaw allows voters at both caucuses
February 8, 2008
There’s an unintended procedural flaw that could allow some Kansans to vote in both caucuses this week. Unlike the Democratic caucus Tuesday where participants could register or change their party affiliation at the door, GOP leaders have said anyone who wants to caucus had to be a registered Republican by Jan. 25. The party purchased a list of voters from the Kansas Secretary of State.
Caucus on despite exit of Romney
February 8, 2008
Don’t worry. The Kansas Republican caucuses will go on as planned Saturday, even though one contender ended his campaign Thursday. But how the exit from the race of former Gov. Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, will affect turnout and the results in Kansas was unclear Thursday, party and campaign leaders said.
6News video: Voters could caucus twice due to loophole
February 7, 2008
A loophole in the registration process could allow local voters to participate in two caucuses this week.
Republican presidential candidates coming to Kansas Friday
Romney’s leaving the race could affect turnout for Saturday’s GOP caucus
February 7, 2008
The Kansas Republican caucuses will go on this weekend, and staffers and volunteers are working on a possible announcement that GOP front-runner Sen. John McCain of Arizona will make a stop in the state Friday.
Republicans not expecting caucus problems in county
February 7, 2008
A Kansas Republican official expects John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney to each make visits to the state before Saturday’s GOP caucuses. “I really think it makes Kansas an enormous tossup state,” said Christian Morgan, executive director for the Kansas GOP. “You have now three candidates for the Republican nomination that are running strong right now.”
Party planners evaluate caucuses
Democratic leaders generally pleased but see room for improvement
February 7, 2008
It was a party that came with both logistical hiccups and political enthusiasm. Kansas Democratic Party leaders on Wednesday said the excitement surrounding more than 36,000 people who participated in Tuesday’s caucuses also provided a tutorial on how to handle traffic and capacity problems. “I don’t think our staff could have done much better in execution, although I know we’ll be criticized by the people standing outside,” said Larry Gates, the Kansas Democratic Party chairman.
6News video: Caucus dust settles
February 6, 2008
6News reporter Cory Smith reports on lessons learned from Tuesday’s Democratic caucus and what we can expect for Saturday’s Republican caucus.
Overflow crowds jam caucus sites
February 6, 2008
Steady rain and blowing winds did not deter 4,872 Douglas County Democrats from caucusing Tuesday as the three sites across Lawrence saw large crowds and overwhelming support for Barack Obama. Statewide, Obama was set to pick up a majority of the 32 delegates at stake, but the state party leaders had not released that calculation late Tuesday night with a few caucus sites yet to report results.
6News video: Crowds cram caucus locations
February 5, 2008
The lines formed before 6 p.m. and stretched for hundreds of feet outside the city’s three Democratic caucus locations, including the National Guard Armory and the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Abe and Jake’s Landing even reached capacity, sending the spillover crowd down the block to Liberty Hall.