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Poll: Iowans Caucus Tonight

Weather, passion may determine caucus turnout in Iowa.

Tonight, thousands of Iowa residents will head to caucus locations for the tradition of choosing a Republican presidential nominee.

With almost every Republican presidential candidate leading the polls at some point in the past three months, many Iowans are reportedly still undecided. Weather and this last week of heavy campaigning are just two of the factors that may determine caucus turnout tonight.

The latest polls are mixed. Some put former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead of Sen. Ron Paul and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Others show former Sen. Rick Santorum gaining on Romney and Paul.

Caucusing, unlike voting, is a very social and public event, and it can take hours. Each candidate or a representative from the candidate’s campaign can make a short speech. Then, caucus-goers talk to their friends and neighbors before writing the last name of a candidate on a blank piece of paper. The ballots are counted immediately, in front of everyone. (Learn more with this caucusing primer from CBS News.)

Did you know? Patch has several publications in Iowa, including Ames and Iowa City.

Virginia's Primary

Virginia’s Republican primary is scheduled for March 6 and, frankly, it may not be very exciting. Only two candidates—Mitt Romney and Ron Paul—collected enough signatures to be on our ballots.

In late December, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the requirements to appear on Virginia’s ballot are too difficult. On Sunday, the Washington Post reported Cuccinelli may intervene in the process to get more Republicans on the Virginia ballot, but later in the weekend Cuccinelli said he'll only work to change the process for future election years.

Here, each candidate must get 400 valid signatures in each of the commonwealth’s 11 congressional districts and 10,000 signatures, total. Cuccinelli would like the district requirements lowered to 100, WTOP reported.

If you were an Iowa resident tonight, whom would you caucus for and why? 

Answer our poll question and weigh in by commenting.

Correction: We accidentally added an 'h' to Ken Cuccinelli's name. It has been corrected above. Thanks to one of our readers for pointing it out to us.

Mark Blacknell January 04, 2012 at 10:59 PM
On a more local note: "Iowa has close to two million registered voters, and only 122,000 participated in the caucuses. The District has a mere 450,000 registered voters, of which 134,000 participated in the 2010 mayoral primaries." http://dcist.com/2012/01/putting_the_iowa_caucuses_in_perspe.php

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