We are now less than four weeks off the Iowa caucuses – the first election in the prolonged process of choosing the Democratic nominee. Even though the polls have Buttigieg, Biden and Bernie level-pegging that’s not how punters see it. The 78yo socialist from Vermont who is not even a Democrat is attracting the bets as having the best chance.
The caucuses are a very unusual form of election. At meetings across 1600+ locations in the state voters gather to discuss and then to decide on their choice. It was Trump’s good performance in the 2016 Republican caucuses that signalled that he stood a good chance.
Getting people out on a cold February evening to attend a meeting can be highly challenging for the contenders’ campaigns. Polling is also an issue because it is identifying actual caucus goers that is central.
Iowa has a reputation of throwing up late surprises as we saw in 2012 with Rick Santorum who came out of nowhere to win the Republican battle.