Iowa Democrats go to caucuses tonight to decide who wins the first of fifty state caucuses and primaries that will decide who the Democratic Party nominates to challenge President Donald J. Trump (R) in the November general election.
The polls are too close to call. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) is leading in some recent polls; while others show former Vice President Joe Biden leading. Many different contenders have been in third. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) are currently the two closest. Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is filling the airwaves with commercials; but his is not participating in the Caucus. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) has been trending and could break the top four.
“We certainly need to have a strong finish here in Iowa,” Buttigieg replied Sunday when George Stephanopoulos asked if he needed to crack the top three in Iowa.
A poll released on Friday had Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg all with between 20 and 17 percent support.
Sanders polls best with young voters and first-time voters. He is hoping those groups show up in force, a big gamble according to some veteran Iowa watchers.
“History has shown us that the biggest risk we could take with a very important election coming up is to look to the same Washington playbook and recycle the same arguments and expect that to work against a president like Donald Trump who is new in kind,” Buttigieg said.
“My gut tells me that it is going well,” Biden told NBC news. “It is going to be close.”
I think the way to go after Donald Trump is to point out what he hasn’t done, point out what he won’t do and point out why it is important and the bad things that he has done and how it has hurt the character of the country,” Biden said. “The good news is that they know me, the bad news is that they don’t know me.”
Biden said that while he would like to win Iowa, whatever happens it won’t change anything. “I have a real firewall in South Carolina.”
“By joining our movement, you’re joining a fight for human solidarity,” Sanders said on Twitter. “You’re standing against all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination. You’re working towards criminal justice reform, a humane immigration system and disability rights. That’s what this campaign is about.”
Warren has been dropping in the polls; but most sources say that she has the strongest organization in the state. Warren insists that her being a woman makes her electable.
“The world changed when Donald Trump got elected,” she told reporters Saturday. “Women candidates helped us win back the House in 2018 and won a lot of statehouse races in competitive elections.”
Warren and Sanders are both proposing a new tax on wealth to fund massive increases in entitlements.
The Alabama presidential primary is only four weeks away.
(Original reporting by ABC News, the Hill, and NBC News contributed to this report.)