With polls of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary showing a four-way race and no clear leader, voters in Iowa will head to their caucus locations on Monday, February 3, for the first contest of the primary. From a field that once numbered 28 candidates, only 12 are still in the running as the delegate race begins.
The caucuses will get started at 7 pm Central time.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden have been trading leads in the most recent polling, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren close behind. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who achieved double-digit support in a recent Monmouth University poll, could also be a surprise contender.
The caucus system can be confusing: There will be three sets of numbers coming out of Iowa, but only one, the number of state delegate equivalents, will matter for the Democratic nomination. Raw vote totals, however, could prove equally important from an optics perspective.
For a candidate to have a real shot at competing in Iowa, they will have to win at least 15 percent in a caucus — above the “viability threshold” — to avoid being eliminated from delegate contention.
From Iowa, candidates will head into an eighth Democratic debate in New Hampshire on Friday before that state’s primary on Tuesday, February 11. Any candidate who wins a pledged delegate in Iowa will automatically qualify for the debate stage.
Follow along below for Vox’s coverage of the 2020 Iowa caucuses, including how to watch, breaking news updates, analysis, and more.