The Iowa caucuses will result in a long night and there likely will be a "very close field" at the end of it, Republican strategist Karl Rove said Monday.
"It will be so close," Rove told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "Even while the vast amount of votes come in by the app, some people won't use the app and phone in their numbers. My gut tells me we're likely to have a crowded field."
Currently, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is ahead, according to polls, but Rove said other candidates may prove surprising, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who could get delegates from counties that border her home state of Minnesota, and "(Pete) Buttigieg might do better than expected."
Changes in this year's rules could result in several candidates declaring victory. Rove explained that in the past, only one number, the state equivalent was listed, meaning how many people would go on to the state convention for each candidate.
"Tonight, these titles make me think it's like a science fiction movie, doing time travel or something," said Rove.
Under the new rules, the "first alignment" is where "everybody walks into the caucus and everybody says 'here is who I'm for,'" said Rove.
Then, if a candidate does not have 15% or more of the people in the room, they decide if they are to walk away or proceed to a "second realignment," where a "lot of change" could happen.
"Depending on what poll you look at, we have between 75% and 85% of the support going to candidates at or above the 15% threshold level or near the 15% threshold level," said Rove. "But that means that you have anywhere from 15% to 25% who are either undecided or for a lesser candidate."
Rivals are saying Sanders may try to declare a win too soon, and Rove said as a front-runner, the Vermont senator will "look best on the first alignment."
"It is a smart move by all the not-Sanders people to point it out and jump on it," said Rove. "It makes Bernie look weak and sets it up to focus on people's attention more than on the second number than the first number."
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