Next Tuesday about a hundred thousand or so Iowans will assemble in high school gymnasiums, church basements, and living rooms to engage in a tradition that will greatly impact the ranking of the current Republican presidential contenders.
Even if the turnout happens to be sizable, only a small portion of the state’s 3 million residents will be participating in the caucus procedure, which has been in effect since the 19th century.
In order to engage in the latest version of the Iowa event, caucus-goers will have to locate a voting site, which will have been previously designated by one of the 1,774 precincts.
Some of the larger counties will combine multiple precincts into a single site that holds thousands of caucus-goers. Consequently, the campaigns will be on the ground doing their level best to ensure that their followers show up at the correct caucus location.
Likely Iowa caucus attendees have indicated in polls and interviews that even if they favor one of the candidates the possibility remains that they could be persuaded to switch their loyalties.
The fluid nature of the primary race, which had frontrunners periodically exchanging places, is a further indication of how uncertain things still are in the upcoming contest.
GOP contenders are trying their hardest to reach undecided caucus attendees by saturating the airwaves with ads, crisscrossing the state on bus, car, and foot, and stuffing mailboxes full of campaign material. Super PACs that have run millions of dollars worth of negative ads will no doubt ratchet up the television exposure.
The caucuses don’t exactly have a good track record of predicting the candidate who will ultimately get the Republican nomination. However, when the dust finally settles on the Iowa event, the field is likely to have considerably thinned out. Depending on the amount of campaign funds remaining, one or more of the candidates that finish at the bottom of the Iowa list will likely drop out of the race.
On the other hand, those candidates that finish at or near the top in Iowa will find a larger number of enthusiastic donors willing to fuel the campaign engine, which is so necessary to effectively compete in the all-important contests that follow in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood.
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