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Dan Gilmore / February 1, 2016

Iowan Votes Matter!

It’s a turnout game in the year’s first election contest.

It’s Iowa Caucus Day! Finally, after months of talk, donations, debates and ads, the corn meets the harvester when Iowans cast their votes — or in terms of the Democrat caucuses, stand by their candidates. Iowa delegates make up only 1% of the total available delegates nationwide, but because the Hawkeye State holds its caucus first, it’s the state that often sets the tone for the rest of the election. While the returns will start rolling in at 8:30 p.m. EST, the forecasts predict that Hillary Clinton will end up victorious, though if Bernie Sanders comes from behind for a win, it could handicap Clinton. The GOP race is mainly a competition between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, with Trump favored with a 46% chance of winning, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight.

This means the race may come down to whoever can run a better get-out-to-vote campaign. Cruz is burning the shoe leather in a get-out-to-vote campaign that features 12,000 volunteers going door to door. Meanwhile, Trump is relying on the energy generated through his rallies to get his supporters — many potential first-time caucus-goers — out to their precincts tonight. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio, currently the GOP’s third-place candidate, has seen a bump in the polls. Rubio really needs a stronger-than-expected finish to propel him forward to wins in future battleground states. Regardless of what happens, tonight is when the presidential race really gets its start.

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