Why is Iowa So Important?


You’ve likely seen some of the news coverage of all the 2020 candidates hanging out at the Iowa State Fair this weekend. Lots of states have big summer fairs, so why are the candidates all in Iowa?

Well, Iowa is rather important to the presidential primary process. Why? Iowa is first.

iowa first

Back in 1972 (after a rather tumultuous 1968), both parties decided that Iowa would be the first state to hold their primary, although of course, Iowa uses the caucus process (one of only a few remaining that do.) There’s a good article about how the Democrats are making the caucuses more inclusive in Iowa this year by utilizing virtual caucuses HERE.

Because Iowa is first, presidential candidates want to do well. The media will have little else to talk about regarding the presidential primary for a while. Super Tuesday (when 14 states have primaries) is a full month after Iowa. Honestly, it’s all about controlling the narrative. I have no idea how many of our candidates will be running by February 3rd, the day of the caucuses, but if it’s still a big field, you can expect people to drop out soon after Iowa if they do poorly.

On the other hand, Iowa is one of the swing states, and important for winning the Electoral College. Here’s how you can help make sure Iowa goes blue in 2020.

Back to the caucuses, keep in mind that Bill Clinton came in 4th in Iowa — he got 2.8% of the vote. So, being first isn’t everything.

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Categories: Explainers

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