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What is a caucus?

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(MGN Image)(KWQC)
Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 5:37 PM EST
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It's been talked about for months. Presidential hopefuls have been campaigning in the corn belt state of Iowa, off and on, since last summer.

And the first vote of the presidential election year took place there Monday.

But the Iowa caucus is far different than most of the other presidential votes.

For one thing, unlike a primary or an election, it's not a secret ballot, and doesn't involve just a series of individual votes.

Voters meet together across the state to come to a consensus on candidate.

And as West Virginia University at Parkersburg professor Dr. Robert Anderson told us, they have a specific number of votes for a candidate that has to be reached.

"At least 15% of the caucus has to support one candidate," Anderson explained, "or otherwise, their candidate doesn't receive any of the delegates."

Several states hold caucuses during the presidential primary season. But because Iowa is the first to do so, it gets the attention of the candidates, the public, and, of course, the news media.

The first presidential primary, New Hampshire, takes place later this month.

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