The caucuses in Iowa are underway as voters there decide who they want their Republican and Democratic nominees to be in November 2008.
There is much hype that surrounds the Iowa caucuses, however, what is rarely mentioned is the actual impact that Iowa election holds: Republican voters in Iowa have only 40 Delegates available to them to send to the GOP Convention in St. Paul which has the power to officially nominate the person who will represent our Party in the November general election. Iowa, being one of the smaller states in the U.S. in terms of population, carries little weight in the overall number of delegates needed to win the nomination. More populous states, such as Florida which has 129 delegates availble, will have a greater impact on the nominating process.
While most of the GOP nominees have put all their eggs in one, or two, baskets-- Iowa and New Hampshire-- other candidates have examined the delegate selection process and have seen the importance of doing well in other, more populous states, many of whom head to the polls for primary day on February 5th.
No doubt, the momentum of past elections has propelled candidates from Iowa straight to the general election, but this year will prove to be much different. Never before have we seen so many states holding primaries in early February and with so little time between the states' elections. It is imperative to watch how the importance of these Iowa caucuses change the ultimate outcome of the election.