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US presidential race: Iowa caucus kicks off heated primary season



The race for the White House will officially begin Monday as the first-in-the-nation nominating contest takes place in Iowa following months of heated Republican campaigning.


The Iowa caucus has long signaled the start of the US primary season wherein parties select their presidential nominees in state-by-state contests ahead of November's nationwide election.


In the US, elections are largely left to the states to run so long as they are conducted in compliance with the US Constitution.


Most states use the primary system wherein voters take to polling locations across the territory to vote by ballot in what would be considered a more conventional form of election. Roughly one in five states use the caucus system.

It is a more antiquated form of voting in which caucusgoers gather in a room run by a political party and congregate in groups affiliated with a candidate. Those groups then give speeches in support of their candidate in an effort to draw support from other groups, as well as undecided voters who stand or sit together.


Delegates are then divided based upon the number of votes they ultimately receive at the end of the caucus. Unlike primaries, caucuses are run on election day by political parties, not states. States, however, set the dates on which caucuses and primaries are held.


Generally speaking, most people refer to caucuses and primaries collectively as primaries, or as the "primary season" in the US.

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