Why the Iowa Caucuses Still Matter: Get Ready for this Key Political Event

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On January 15, Iowa Republicans will hold the first test of the 2024 presidential election. Caucuses in this Midwestern state will play a crucial role in determining the initial momentum for candidates, particularly for former President Donald Trump, who aims to make a comeback. Iowa caucuses are unique in the American electoral process – they are essentially meetings run by political parties and candidates’ performance in Iowa often reflects their campaign’s organizational strength.

On the Republican side, former President Trump leads in Iowa polls. However, contenders such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are also making waves. As the primary calendar kicks off in Iowa, these candidates are vying for the support of evangelical voters, a key faction of the state’s Republican electorate.

Historically, the results of the Iowa caucuses do not always align with the candidate who ultimately wins a party’s nomination or the presidency. While Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 Democratic caucus foreshadowed his presidency, similar success stories are rare for Republicans. The caucuses have also experienced significant technical difficulties, with both parties facing challenges in accurately counting and declaring winners.

Notably, Iowa Democrats will forego holding a presidential preference vote on January 15, but instead will be meeting in person for the caucuses. South Carolina and New Hampshire will take the lead in Democrats’ primary calendar, largely due to criticisms of Iowa’s predominantly White population and its logistical voting barriers.

The prominence of the Iowa caucuses in the lead-up to presidential elections has made them a focal point for candidates and political observers. As the first event in the party primary calendar, the results of the 2024 Iowa caucuses could set a precedent for the direction of the United States’ presidential race. Stay updated on the latest CNN news and newsletters by creating an account at CNN.com.


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