Five things to know about the Iowa caucus

Andrew Tapp, Reporter

1. Iowa starts off the presidential election.

It is the first primary/caucus for President of the United States for both major political parties. The people of Iowa are called the “President Wine Tasters” because they’re opinions can shape the rest of the election.

2. The Primaries pick the single candidates for each party.

The primaries are elections within the parties so that the people can pick who will represent their party in the actual election in November. Only those that register with a certain party can vote in the primaries. Each state is allowed to set the date and time when their primary is.

3. Caucuses and primaries are not the same thing.

There’s a difference between a caucus and a primary. In a primary all of the state’s delegates from each party go to the candidate who wins 50 percent plus one of the vote. In a caucus, delegates are divided up based on how much of the vote each person won. It is possible for a candidate not to receive a single delegate.

4. A caucus is more of a debate than a vote.

In a primary, voters go in and cast a vote. In a caucus, people go to a certain place, they sign in, then they debate about the candidates and then go stand in a corner for the candidate they support.

5. Iowa and New Hampshire set the course for who the nominated candidate will be.

The American people often look to Iowa and the second primary New Hampshire to see who will be the party’s nominee, but going to Las Vegas and looking at the odds there are just as good. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan all lost in the Iowa caucuses but went on to win the Oval in November.