UNITED STATES

The opening caucus in Iowa: how does it work?

The whole world is following the first round of the American elections, which begin tomorrow in the state of Iowa. Everyone's talking about...but does anyone know what it really is? Our observer in Iowa city, , will go to the caucuses. He explained to us today how the elections will be held. We also show you the campaign videos of the leading candidates. Sometimes funny, often too kitsch. Taken from Hilary Clinton's caucus campaign video: "Exercise is hard. Dancing is hard. Singing is hard. Caucusing is easy."

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The whole world is following the first round of the American elections, which begin tomorrow in the state of Iowa. Everyone's talking about...but does anyone know what it really is? Our observer in Iowa city, Sam Sadden, will go to the caucuses. He explained to us today how the elections will be held. We also show you the campaign videos of the leading candidates. Sometimes funny, often too kitsch.

"It's quite festive"

Sam Sadden is a law student. He's staying in Iowa, the state's student city, during the caucuses.

Today I'm going to Obama's and Edward's meetings. At the moment, the candidates are touring the state meeting supporters. Even the small towns. Tomorrow the caucuses begin. Each party has reserved rooms in primary schools and universities. Supporters come and discuss events. It's quite festive. At first, they try to convinve the others. And then they vote. There's no political leader, just public supporters. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow...

Even thought it's a small state, the preliminaries in Iowa are very important. Results can be fatal. That's what happened to Howard Dean [Democrat candidate in 2004]. Although they worked really hard, they hardly got any votes in Iowa. After that he was out of the race. The candidates who come in the top two or three have a chance of going on to win the election. For the others it's over. Personally, on the Democrat side, I bet on John Edwards. [The polls disagree, they show Barrack Obama leading]."

Post your questions to Sam on his profile page.

Hillary Clinton (Democrat)

"Exercise is hard. Dancing is hard. Singing is hard. Caucusing is easy."

Rudolph Giuliani (Republican)

"When you challenge Americans there's no country that stands up stronger and better than the United States of America."

Barack Obama (Democrat)

"Have you made a decision on who you're going to support at caucus?" "I'm for Obama." "That's what we want to hear!"

Mike Huckabee (Republican)

"The real genius of America's not in its government- it's in its people."

Mitt Romney (Republican)

"Unlike Sen. McCain, Gov. Romney supports the President's tax cuts, opposes McCain-Feingold and opposes any amnesty immigration plans. As the National Review wrote, Gov. Romney is "a full-spectrum conservative."

 

John Edwards (Democrat)

"In a world where corn grows tall and hope grows taller. Where people have a special power to decide the fate of a nation. In our most desperate hour, one man can clean up George Bush's mess"