DES MOINES, IOWA - Quick geography lesson for you....look on a map and locate Iowa. Now, look to the right to find Washington, D.C. The fact is, the road to the White House starts about a thousand miles away with the Iowa caucuses. So, after months of speeches, fund raising, some mudslinging, and debates, this Midwest state matters a heck-of-a-lot to the front runners.
Republicans Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz are pulling out all the stops. Trump is sticking with his unconventional playbook by inviting children to play on his private jet and calling on his daughter Ivanka Trump with a TV ad. In it, she instructs viewers how to caucus for her dad.
Cruz tactics include mailers designed to shame voters with a report-card-like evaluation of their neighbors' voting history, urging them to head to the polls together.
"If every person brings nine additional people to caucus Monday night, we will win the Iowa caucus."
Most of the other GOP contenders’ votes will, no doubt, be up for grabs in Iowa.....which could make a real difference.
Just like in 2008, heading into Iowa.....Democrat Hillary Clinton is neck-and-neck with her opponent. Back then it was a guy named Barack Obama and Hillary came in third. This time, it's Bernie Sanders on her heels.
She says to an Iowa crowd, "For those of you still thinking about this, weighing your options, I hope I will be able to persuade you."
The Sanders campaign raised about $20 million in January. Win or lose here, he vows to stay in the fight to the finish.
"When we started this campaign here in Iowa, we were 50 or 60 points behind Secretary Clinton. We have come a long, long way.”
Iowa may only represent a small contingent of the delegates who determine the party nominees, but a win in the Hawkeye state helps a candidate's momentum soar into the New Hampshire primary.