Guesser kicks off its political year with the first Democratic vote for the presidential nomination: the Iowa caucuses

It’s already 2020, which can only mean the Primaries voting season is ON.

After a second half of 2019 in which the race for the Democratic presidential nomination began to take shape and the polls and debates highlighted which candidates were getting the most traction, it’s time for the race to the nomination to officially begin — in Iowa.

The Iowa caucuses are on February 3rd. Tens of thousands of Iowans will gather on the night of that Monday at caucus sites — known as precincts — all over the state. Being the caucuses an electoral event quite different from a regular primary, here is a brief explanation on how they work.

The result of the Iowa caucuses is usually seen as a relevant indicator of the frontrunners in the race. Since the year 2000, every Democratic presidential nominee has been a winner in Iowa, including former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Chaotic Latest Polls

The highly anticipated CNN/Des Moines Register poll focused on the upcoming Iowa Caucuses was released last Friday, just hours before the deadline to qualify for the seventh Democratic debate, with Bernie Sanders leading its results. The data shows 20% of likely Democratic caucus goers named Bernie as their first choice for president, having increased his support by 5 points since November.

On the contrary, Pete Buttigieg, who had been the leader of the Iowa race 2 months ago, has now faded slightly, falling by 9 points. Warren ranks second in the poll with 17%; Buttigieg 16% and Joe Biden 15%.

In addition, a slew of other contenders fell below the 15% viability mark. Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire executive Tom Steyer, the other two candidates who have made January’s debate, have remained at 6% and 2% respectively. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang grew his support from 3% in November to 5% this month, but hasn’t qualified for the debate due to not hitting the polling threshold, and Senator Cory Booker, polling at 3%, surprised many yesterday by cancelling his campaign.

https://twitter.com/DMRegister/status/1215770484429684736

But if you believed that the poll above made things more clear, yesterday a new Monmouth University poll was released showing Joe Biden as the frontrunner for the Iowa Caucuses. The Former Vice President gained 5 points from Monmounth’s November data and is polling now at the top of that leaderboard with 24%. Bernie Sanders has gained a remarkable percentage too, but stays in second place polling at 18%.

https://twitter.com/MonmouthPoll/status/1216782246406950924

The disparity between the latest two polls sets the stage for a crucial three weeks of intense campaign preceding February 3rd. All within the 25%-15% support range, it seems any of the 4 leading candidates could win the first of the Democratic primary votes.

The 7th Democratic Debate, Today

The first debate of this new year takes place today, Tuesday 14th, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. CNN will co-host the debate with The Des Moines Register and broadcast it live from 9 to 11 pm EST.

As we have seen before, only six candidates met the requirements for qualifying this time: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer.

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It hasn’t been long, but a lot has happened in the world in the few weeks since the last debate of December 19. Bushfires in Australia have grown to catastrophic levels and terrible flooding has devastated Indonesia. Both disasters are expected to be used to put climate change on the table tonight. Tensions between the United States and Iran spiked during the last days following the assasination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Furthermore, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate very soon, which could be followed by a Senate trial on President Trump’s removal from the White House.

The smaller debate size will likely give each candidate more time to speak about these recent events and other crucial Democratic nomination topics like healthcare, economic inequality and education will almost definitely come up.

Wrapping Up

The year’s first debate will be one of the key events for the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses, and the betting market that allows you to predict its winner. Important market moves and changes in the candidates’ odds are expected as a result of it, as has happened in previous debate markets where the nominees faced off.

Now it’s your chance to predict what those shifts — and the final outcome — will be. What’s your guess?