Why do the Iowa Caucuses Matter?

Vox: “Why do the quirky Iowa caucuses have this tremendous impact on the race, anyway?”

“Iowa became super important because we — the media, party insiders, activists, the candidates themselves, and even voters to an extent — gradually decided to make it so important. These key players think the caucus results reveal a great deal about which candidates can win elections elsewhere, and the contest for Iowa isn’t really a contest for delegates — it’s a contest to look good in their eyes.”

IA NH winners

“Like it or not, the Iowa results appear to be hugely important in determining who the major parties’ presidential nominees will be — particularly when considered alongside the impact of fellow early state New Hampshire. ‘It’s not remotely a national primary. These national polls mean nothing. The nation isn’t voting’ …Instead, it’s Iowans who get the first say.”

“Like you and I, the political world is obsessed with the question of who can actually win in each presidential nomination race. And a large part of that world has come to believe that the caucus outcomes help shed some important light on that question.”

“It’s pretty weird: Essentially, the Iowa caucuses are important because the media, the candidates, and the political world more broadly all treat their results as greatly important in determining who can win.”

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