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January 30, 2020 - U.S. political parties select candidates for president and vice-president through a series of local caucuses and state-wide primaries in which voters cast secret ballots, culminating in national conventions.
On Monday at seven in the evening, tens of thousands of Democrats in Iowa will gather in schools, gymnasiums, churches and libraries, in all 1,678 precincts of the state, to select which of the presidential candidates they support.
Iowa’s caucuses — caucus means “a meeting of neighbours” — hold the distinction of voting first in the process to select who represents the United States’ two major political parties in November’s presidential election. Candidates must reach a 15 per cent state-wide threshold to qualify for pledged national convention delegates. If a candidate fails to hit that threshold, the path to the nomination is pretty much impossible.
With the first fundraising reports of the 2020 cycle in, President Donald Trump has to date amassed $165.67 million in Campaign Committee funds. The dozen Democratic candidates have collectively pulled together more than $318.20 million, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington DC-based nonpartisan research group.
In Iowa, there are four Democrat candidates bunched in the top tier in polls, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden. And after spending more than $60 million in television advertising markets across the state, the contenders have made their “closing argument” ads, to use political jargon.
Sanders talks about the “fight,” while Warren delivers the powerful closing message herself: “I approve this message because I’m going to beat him.” Buttigieg’s campaign calls for a “bold vision for the next generation,” and for Biden, it’s clear: “Vote Biden. Beat Trump.” On Monday, the people of Iowa will decide.