It’s here: Iowa voters prepare to choose the next nominee

Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to a reporter while standing with supporter Court Oviatt of Logan, Iowa, after a campaign speech at the public library in Onawa, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – After months of get out the vote town halls and millions of dollars spent on advertisements, tonight the voters of Iowa will help set a course to determine who the next Democratic and Republican presidential nominees will be.

The most recent polls, including a Des Moines Register survey released over the weekend, indicate the contests could be the closest in recent memory.

GOP Iowa Voters Choice
Des Moines Register (Jan. 26 – Jan. 29)

Trump: 28%
Cruz: 23%
Rubio: 15%
Carson: 10%

Democratic Iowa Voters Choice
Des Moines Register (Jan. 26 – Jan. 29)

Clinton: 45%
Sanders: 42%
O’Malley: 3%

Down to the wire

With the race closer than ever, candidates of both parties are spending the hours before the Iowa Caucus on the campaign trail. GOP front runner Donald Trump will host several events with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Trump is holding an event at the Ramada Waterloo hotel on Monday morning before joining his family and supporters for a watch party at the Sheraton Hotel in Des Moines.

“I don’t think endorsements mean that much to us normal people,” said Sarah Palin , the Republican Party’s 2008 Vice Presidential nominee during a television interview Monday morning. Palin’s presence has generated lots of attention from the national media on the campaign trail but has done little to shift Trump’s polling position.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in television interviews Monday morning and urged her supporters to provide a strong turnout – a key factor experts believe could ultimately influence who wins the Iowa contests. Clinton will be joined at a watch party tonight with her husband and daughter at Drake University.

After Iowa, we’ve got a long way to go

After the balloons fall across hotel ballrooms in Iowa, the nation’s political spotlight will quickly shift some 1,200 miles away to New Hampshire. On Tuesday, February 8 the country’s first primary contest will be held. It’s not clear which, if any, campaigns will decide to fold up shop after a poor performance in Iowa. Below is a look at what’s ahead after Iowa:

February 6th: ABC News Republican Presidential Debate
February 8th: New Hampshire Primary
February 20th: South Carolina GOP Primary
February 23rd: Nevada GOP Primary
February 27th: South Carolina Democratic Primary


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