LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Iowa voters will be the first to weigh in on the 2016 presidential race, and the results will provide candidates with a snapshot of their popularity and momentum heading into the primary season.
How will the Iowa caucus play a role in how voters in Oklahoma cast their ballots on March 1? It's not as simple as you might think.
The Iowa caucus is a crowded field on the Republican side and there's still no clear front runner on the Democratic side. After the results come in, some of the favorite candidates may no longer be an option.
"Starting with Iowa and then New Hampshire, candidates are going to start dropping out. The candidates who don't win, who are going to lose their funding, lose their supporters, and so it will affect who will vote for. We may never have the opportunity to vote for Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee, some of the Republican candidates lower down on the polls, because they may drop out before we get to the race here in Oklahoma," explained Dr. Wendy Whitman-Cobb, associate professor of political science at Cameron University.
This is the reason Dr. Whitman-Cobb says Oklahoma voters should pay attention to the results from the Iowa caucus. While the race to the most famous address in America, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, can be expensive, Dr. Whitman-Cobb says campaigning in Iowa gives candidates that don't have sponsors or deep pockets an even playing field.
"Because it's a smaller state and they attract such smaller attention from the candidates that they kind of serve as a filter for a first place to be tested out. So, if they can pass the Iowa test, then they can pass everybody else," Dr. Whitman-Cobb said.
However, history shows that since 1976, only three Republicans and five Democrats who won at the Iowa caucus have gone on to win their respective party's nomination.
If you plan to vote in the March 1 Presidential Preferential Primary, you must register by Friday, Feb. 5.