Why do we care about Iowa?

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Just across the Mississippi River it’s a different world.

Downtown Dubuque has turned into the local campaign headquarters for at least Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Kevin Eipperle, who works downtown, said he loves the role Iowa plays and the opportunities he gets from it.

“I actually think it’s kind of amazing,” he said. “We get to see all the candidates, and you get to talk to them just like this, face to face.”

Being in the thick of it means more to some.

Bo Gatua, a senior in high school in Dubuque, said he knows about the caucuses Monday but said he probably wouldn’t go because to him it doesn’t matter.

“I’ve never noticed a real change,” he said. “Like you see a lot of stuff in the media, but in my day to day life nothing’s ever been changed based on who’s the president.”

In the time leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Iowans have a hard time getting away from politics, enough even people interested in the subject can get tired of the attention.

“I have texts from Amy (Klobuchar), Elizabeth (Warren), Bernie (Sander)’s campaign, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, everyone’s campaign really,” said Bobbi Jo Duneman as she scrolled through threads 20 messages deep.

Charles Franklin, the director of the Marquette Law School Poll, said Iowa gets such intense focus because it’s first.

“After months and months of polls and speech making and punditry, it will be the first time we see actual voters make actual decisions,” Franklin said.

Iowa doesn’t necessarily make a campaign. The state’s delegates have gone to the eventual president at six out of the last 10 elections. That’s the same amount of times Iowa and Wisconsin have selected the same candidate in the respective caucus/primary stage, but Wisconsin has a better record picking the winner in the primary stage (nine out of the past 10 elections).

“It’s not that it’s necessarily decisive, but people that do poorly in Iowa don’t get a bounce, don’t go into New Hampshire, the next event, with real strength,” Franklin said. “People that do poorly in both of those rarely have much of a future.”

Campaigns will continue work through the weekend. One campaign told News 3 Now its candidate will have eight stops across Iowa between Saturday morning and Sunday night.

The caucuses will begin at precincts across Iowa Monday night.

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