Presidential candidates make final push in Iowa before caucus

We are about 48 hours away from the Iowa caucus.

It’s the first election in the race to the White House and the first time candidates find out how the public truly feels about them.

Some political experts believe the Iowa caucus is over-hyped, but believe Monday night’s results could make or break some campaigns.

Nearly every single presidential hopeful is in Iowa this weekend.

“Good morning, everybody,” New Jersey Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said to a town hall meeting in Iowa City Saturday.

“God bless the great state of Iowa. Let me say what an incredible honor it is to be joined by such a tremendous group of patriots,” Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said.

Candidates are making their final push to get Iowa voters on their side heading into Monday’s caucus.

“Please, go out and stand up for me Monday night and if you do I will stand up and fight for you for the next four years,” Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said.

“In many ways, Iowa becomes an example, a model, for the rest of the country and for the future of American democracy,” fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said.

Being the first election of the political season, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Political Science professor Joe Heim said Iowa can be important for a candidate’s future.

“The more important role for Iowa actually is to narrow down the field to a more reasonable number, especially on the Republican side,” Heim said.

But the road to coming out a winner Monday night doesn’t come easy. The caucus process is much different than what most other voters are used to. For one, instead of a person voting on a secret ballot, a Democratic caucus in Iowa is a pretty public event.

“What Democrats like to do is encourage discussion and interaction among friends and neighbors,” co-chair of the Allamakee County Democrats, Katie Dodge Hanson, said.

At a Republican caucus, representatives for each presidential candidate can answer questions and speak in favor of their candidate before casting their vote.

It will be a busy final 48 hours for the candidates, but their chance at the White House could depend on it.

“It’s one thing for a poll to tell you you’re at 5 percent, it’s another for the voters to tell you,” Heim said.

Heim said typically candidates will meet with Iowans in small scale town hall style meet and greets, and that is what Iowa voters have come to expect. He said GOP front-runner Donald Trump is going for large scale rallies, however, so he said it will be interesting to see how Trump fairs come Monday.