This year's Iowa caucuses could be the wildest ever

Marco Rubio has some upside potential. He will attract votes from all of the factions in the GOP, especially those who’ve grown weary of the sniping between Messrs. Trump and Cruz, or who are looking for a less colorful candidate who actually might be able to win in November.

Counting votes has been an issue in the past. Republicans do a simple straw poll at their caucuses: Write a name on a piece of paper and drop it in the box. Democrats divide into “preference groups” with people supporting the same candidate huddling together. Delegates to the county conventions for those candidates are awarded based on the strength shown in these preference groups.

Historically, one or both parties has troubles or glitches with the tabulations. The process of local volunteers counting votes in more than 1,000 precincts and reporting those results to a statewide tabulation center often produces problems. It awarded the caucus-night victory to Mitt Romney in 2012 only to switch the lead to Rick Santorum a few days later when more votes got counted. Unfortunately for Mr. Santorum, no one reprinted the newspapers headlined “Romney Wins.” Hence: no media momentum, no burst of new volunteers or fresh contributions from donors.

To correct this problem, the two parties have joined with Microsoft to create a computerized reporting system that promises fast, accurate results. Let’s hope so.