Obviously, the 2016 presidential election campaign season has already been a doozy. Donald Trump has shocked all of the usual pundits by climbing to the top of the polls and seemingly is staying there. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is nipping at his heels trying to take the lead. On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls as Hillary gets more and more questions about her e-mail server and whether or not she actually represents something new, but she seems to be holding her lead. All in all, it could be quite the populist year.

So who will take Iowa for each side? And will it matter in the bigger election picture? Does Iowa still represent America?

In 2008, Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses for the Democrats. For the Republicans, it was actually Mike Huckabee. As it stands now, some of the latest polls for Iowa are below, but remember Iowa is decided by who shows up at the caucuses, not by a primary vote. That means that the individuals who will be casting their votes need to commit to an entire evening, not just a quick drive to a polling booth.

Quinnipiac Poll (Released February 1, 2016)

  • “Trump leads Cruz 40 – 22 percent among these first-timers, while Republicans who attended prior caucuses go 26 percent for Cruz and 25 percent for Trump.”
  • “Sanders tops Clinton 62 – 35 percent among Democratic first-timers, while Clinton leads 52 – 41 percent among voters who attended prior caucuses.”
  • “44 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats say this is their first caucus.”

Des Moines Register Poll – Democrat Analysis (Released January 30, 2016)

  • “Clinton leads Sanders, 45 percent to 42 percent, in a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers released Saturday ahead of the nation’s first nominating contest. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has 3 percent in the survey conducted Jan. 26-29.”

Des Moines Register Poll – Republican Analysis (Released January 30, 2016)

  • “Trump stands at 28 percent, while rival Ted Cruz has slid to 23 percent. But there’s still a strong case for Cruz in this race — he’s more popular and respected than Trump…”