If the polls and surveys are correct, a large percentage of Trump supporters have never been to a caucus before, and many don’t even vote regularly. I’m not sure they know what they’re in for.
First off, next Monday night is setting up to be ugly weather-wise - cold, snowy, windy in Iowa. Secondly, it isn’t just showing up any old time and dropping off a secret ballot and going home. You have to devote your entire night to it, and it can involve a hell of a lot of standing around doing nothing. I know the angry old white male demographic isn’t going to like it. The question is, do they have enough passion to stick with it through the end? I saw people walking out of the Obama/Clinton Colorado caucuses in 2008 when the race was still too close to call.
That was only two candidates, too, not a dozen like this R field. The other thing is that it isn’t secret - you have to gather in groups in public with your neighbors who may support other candidates. They may be your kid’s teacher, an influential church member, or the bank President who loans you the money to buy new equipment and seed to plant in spring on your farm.
It also isn’t like talk radio or Fox News where you can say any crazy old shit and never be challenged. In a caucus you will be challenged to defend your choice. “Trump Rules! Cruz Drools!” ain’t going to cut it. A good speaker can influence voters to switch, especially if they know their chosen candidate has no shot, like a lot of them.
Obama won the D nomination due to his performance in the caucuses, not so much in primaries. He had the organization and dedication of followers who knew what to expect and had the passion and persuasiveness to pull in votes.
I’m not sure Trump has any of that. In fact, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.
We’ll see in a few days.