Election Season Officially Begins with Iowa Caucuses

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Election Season Officially Begins with Iowa Caucuses

By Journalism Class

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The 2020 election cycle officially begins today, February 3, 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses, the first nominating contest for both Democratic and Republican candidates.

What exactly is a caucus, you might ask?

A caucus, as opposed to a primary, is a meeting of party leaders or party members to select candidates and elect delegates and take a stand on key issues. A candidate must get at least 15 percent of attendees to achieve viability or the group must realign to a different candidate. Six states Maine, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, and, most prominently, Iowa still have caucuses.

“The bottom line is winning (or losing) the Iowa caucuses is a big deal,” says CNN Commentator Harry Enten. “Winning Iowa doesn’t make you a sure thing to win the nomination, but it certainly helps.”

In a primary, voters will go to the polls as in traditional voting practices.

The next primary will be held in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Feb. 11. There are five additional caucuses and primaries in remaining states.

Running in the democratic race for President are:  Vice President Joseph Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Deval Patrick among others.

On the Republican side, President Donald J. Trump is being challenged by Joseph Walsh and Bill Weld, but the President is most likely to get the nomination from his party.

According to recent polls from Real Clear Politics, three of them place Sanders in the lead while two of them point to Biden.