Here’s Everything To Know Leading Up To Today’s Iowa Caucus

Voters across Iowa are gathering together on Monday to participate in the Iowa Caucus, the first of the presidential primary contests.

The voters will be participating in a caucus-styled contest, not a typical primary election, to determine which of the Democratic contenders voters in the state want to be the eventual nominee to take on President Trump.

“The outcome is still anyone’s game. Four candidates — Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren — are neck-and-neck,” ABC News reports.

While it is likely these candidates will win the state’s primary contest, the caucus style could open the door for candidates lower on nationwide polls to perform well—creating momentum the candidates will wish to carry into other primary contests.

In 2016, Republican Senator Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus, followed by Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

ABC News adds:

Some campaigns need the jolt out of Iowa more than others. Sanders, Biden and Warren both hold key pockets of support across the nation that will probably sustain them well into the spring. A win for either in Iowa could consolidate both candidates’ supporters into support for one, leading to that candidate’s likely nomination.

Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar have faced other challenges.Voters worry whether they have national teams and cross-country appeal. For example, some voters who say they are considering Buttigieg, openly fret about his lackluster numbers with African Americans in the rest of the country.

If Buttigieg or Klobuchar were to surprise pollsters here, it would showcase them as viable alternatives and up their chances as the Democratic presidential nominee, practically overnight.

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The Iowa primary contest also acts as a venting mechanism to remove candidates from the running who underperform. In 2016, Senator Rand Paul, former Governor Mike Huckabee, and Senator Rick Santorum suspended their campaigns following poor performances.

While Iowa is the first of the primary contests, it is quickly followed by the New Hampshire primary—which is just over a week away—and Super Tuesday (where more than a dozen states hold primaries on the same day)—which is exactly one month away.

These early contests are instrumental in determining a candidate’s momentum and electability through the primary season.

“By the middle of March, 60% of the delegates up for grabs will be allocated. So the speed at which a campaign gets launched out of Iowa can dramatically determine whether they can keep up,” ABC News reports.

According to the report, the likely outcome will feature Biden or Sanders winning the state:

Not since President Bill Clinton has a candidate lost Iowa and New Hampshire and gone on to win the nomination. And very different from this cycle, Clinton did not compete in Iowa as those caucuses in 1992 were uncontested, because the local, beloved U.S. Senator Tom Harkin was on the ballot.

According to our most recent national ABC News/Washington Post poll, Biden is leading among Democratic-leaning voters older than 50, with 38%, compared to Sanders. who has 12% support in that age bracket.

The numbers almost exactly flip with younger voters: 39% of voters under age 40 chose Sanders, while only 18% of voters under 40 chose Biden.


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