Monday, February 1, 2016

Four things to watch in the Iowa caucuses and Beyond

Beyond who simply does or doesn’t do well in the Iowa caucuses Monday night, there are things to watch inside the results that can provide important clues as to how the rest of the presidential campaign will play out.
By design, the national political parties created a presidential primary nominating calendar meant to extend deep into March or April. This means that, in theory, well over half the states will vote before a nominee is decided. Each state has its own particular key to victory.
Iowa’s caucuses are first on this calendar, but the state’s results can yield clues on how a candidate might be able to perform in Georgia or Colorado, for example. However, the number of candidates will probably dwindle considerably before those states vote in March.
To be sure, if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton pull off commanding performances in Iowa, they will both likely be on their way to winning their parties’ respective nominations. Both would just add momentum to their already large leads in states beyond New Hampshire.
But if either Trump or Clinton has a slim win, or someone else wins the Iowa caucuses, the race gets more complicated.
Here are a few things to watch for:
1. Can Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump drive turnout?
Iowa will be the first test of whether Sanders or Trump is actually leading a major political phenomenon. Yes, their crowds are larger than those that show up for other candidates. But there has been some question whether they can change the electorate by having nontraditional voters show up on caucus night. If Sanders and Trump bring out a lot of voters, as Barack Obama did in the 2008 caucuses, then that might be a signal they could be hard to stop.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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