Iowa caucus

Dustin Oliver / Flickr/CC

After months of following campaigns, polls upon polls, and debates, voters in the Hawkeye State finally have their say -- with the Iowa caucuses officially launching the presidential nomination process. We'll discuss the results and how they might affect our First in the Nation Primary, just a week away.

The Stream: NPR's Live Blog from the Iowa Caucuses

Feb 1, 2016
Getty Images

NPR's live blog The Stream will bring you live news, photos and analysis from NPR's political team on the ground in Iowa and in Washington, D.C. It will open at 4 p.m. ET and be updated all night.

Get Caught Up:

What we're watching: Turnout. Caucusing is harder than voting in a primary. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders lead by double digits with people who tell pollsters they will be participating in their first caucus. The big questions if all those people lining up for their rallies will turn out to caucus.


Every four years, New Hampshire proudly touts its first-in-the-nation status. But technically, while our presidential contest is the first primary in the nation, it isn't the first time voters get to weigh in. That honor, of course, belongs to Iowa's Caucus.

But what exactly is a caucus? How does it work? Who gets to participate?

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

I don’t expect this will get me invited to many Manchester dinner parties or Sioux City porkfests. But here goes:

It’s time for Democrats to ditch Iowa and New Hampshire’s one-two punch at the front of the party’s presidential nominating calendar.

Phil Roeder / Flickr/CC

We head over to the Hawkeye state - Iowa - to check in on the other "First in the Nation" contest, with Iowa's caucuses coming about a week before New Hampshire's presidential primary next year.  We'll find out what the candidates are saying, and how they're playing, in Iowa. 


  • Ben Kiefer -  host of IPR’s daily noon talk show River to River, which he also helps produce.


Even when most Americans regard the next presidential election as a distant rumor, people in New Hampshire, with its first-in-the-nation primary, and Iowa, with its even-earlier-than-that caucuses, are attentively tuned to the twists and turns of the campaigns. 

Photo by DonkeyHotey, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

The 2012 campaign leapt from debate stand to voting booth last night, as Iowa held the first national caucus - the first step in the eventual selection the GOP nominee.  As many expected, front runner and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the night; perhaps by a slimmer margin than he would have hoped… 8 votes!  Coming in second by fewer votes than there are members in the Fellowship of the Ring, was Rick Santorum – one of the last remaining candidates to show a sudden surge in popularity.

<a href="">DonkeyHotey</a>via Flickr

It was a nail-biter at last night's Iowa Caucuses. After a year of campaigning, debating, promises and political ads, voting began for the twenty twelve Republican presidential candidate.  A too close to call race went well into this morning with Mitt Romney squeaking out an 8 vote victory from Rick Santorum.  Ron Paul came in a healthy third and Newt Gingrich a disappointing fourth. Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann will both re-evaluate their campaigns.  We’ll look at the results and how they may affect the discussion in New Hampshire’s primary and other contests down the road.  

NPR's Ari Shapiro reporting from the campaign trail in Des Moines Tuesday night spoke to a supporter of Mitt Romney, who was locked in a close race with GOP rivals Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

"I'm not really surprised," said Colleen Boyle. "Santorum's put in a lot of effort here, so it does make sense that he surged ahead in the polls."


On Tuesday January 3, NHPR will be airing special coverage from the Iowa caucus. Listen on-air and online.

8 - 9 p.m.

Iowa Public Radio >> IPR

9 - 11 p.m.  

NPR Live Coverage: Iowa caucus hosted by Robert Siegel>> NPR


Talk of the Nation takes Ken Rudin and the program's signature Political Junkie segment on the road.  And one of their stops is New Hampshire Public Radio in Concord.

In Iowa, It's Decision Day At Last

Jan 3, 2012

After months of campaigning, it's finally caucus day in Iowa. Polls still show a fluid race, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum heading the pack.

In the final leg of the campaign in Iowa, the Republican presidential candidates are talking about judges. No one has made them a bigger issue than Newt Gingrich.

Overhauling the judiciary has become one of his key proposals on the stump.

Conservatives have used "activist judges" as a battle cry for many election cycles now. But in Iowa, the issue has special resonance since the judiciary became a potent political issue two years ago.

An Eye on Iowa

Dec 15, 2011

The first-in-the-nation caucus state has been overflowing with Republican Presidential candidates, all hoping to be the number one choice of caucus-goers in early January.  We’ll find out what they’re saying and how they’re playing in the Hawkeye State and how that compares to the campaign this year in New Hampshire.