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Here's Why You Should Care About the Iowa Caucuses

Listen to Episode 1 of 'Uncommitted: Iowa 2020' for a deep dive into the story of the caucus, how it came to be, and why some say it needs to change.

by VICE News
Nov 12 2019, 3:02pm

Listen to the teaser below and subscribe here on Spotify for the full episode of "Uncommitted: Iowa 2020," a new podcast from VICE News.

Back in 1972, the Iowa Caucus started off not with a bang, but with something like a whisper. The brainchild of a young New York transplant, the brand-new electoral event seemed insignificant enough that the local papers barely covered it.

In the decades since, the caucus has grown into what it is today: a king-maker moment, where whichever Democratic hopeful is able to pull off a win in February has an outsized chance to clinch the nomination by July.

Join VICE News, Spotify and Emmy award-winning correspondent Antonia Hylton for the coming months as we tell in-depth stories about the Iowa caucus in a new podcast, “Uncommitted: Iowa 2020.”

Why Iowa? In short, because it matters — a lot.

It matters despite being time-consuming and hugely inconvenient because it requires voters to show up in person, haggle amongst themselves, and then pick their favorite candidate in front of everyone.

In primary states, voters go into a booth alone and pull a lever, fill out a form, or touch a screen. They tell themselves that however anti-climactic the experience, their vote counts. Iowa caucus-goers, by contrast, know their votes counts.

In 2020, Iowans have the power to make or break the presidential ambitions for a veritable clown-car of candidates and in this first episode, VICE News investigates why? We look into why Iowa mattered once, why it matters now, and whether or not it will matter going forward.

We sit down with the architect of the caucus to learn the origin story for this mighty-if-quaint event and ask why this particular rural, majority-white state nestled deep in the heart of the American Midwest gets to decide the fate of our presidential elections — especially, this presidential election.

Listen to a teaser for episode 1 and subscribe here on Spotify now.

Listen to the whole episode here.

You can catch Uncommitted: Iowa 2020 Podcast on Spotify every Tuesday. And sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Cover image: Supporters cheers as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate, goes up on stage to speak to Iowa voters on the Soapbox stage at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, August 11, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

2020 election