Local political scientists weigh-in on Iowa caucuses

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Monday night’s Iowa caucuses have kicked off the nomination process for the presidential contenders.

This, after some 1,500 rallies and $33 million dollars spent, according to ABC News.

Local political scientists are stumped over who will come out on top. “The rise of social media and the concept of the brand that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have all sort of mastered, makes Iowa much more of a wildcard than it usually is," explained Dr. Joe Cammarano, associate professor of political science and public service at Providence College.

That means current frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won’t necessarily have an easy win, though both Cammarano and Rhode Island College Political Science Professor Dr. Kay Israel believe they will garner the most votes.

"I think the real issue with Iowa is not going to be whether the predicted winners win, but whether the predicted winners lose,” added Israel. “That can be the game changer."

Cammarano feels if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio can win on the Republican side, it will show that the caucus system is still intact, valuing candidates with experience, but if Donald Trump wins: “We may see the end of the Iowa caucus as we know it."

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is hoping Iowa gives him the boost he needs to win the nomination over Hillary Clinton, just like it did for President Obama in 2008. "It gives Sanders credibility as a candidate,” Israel said. “If Clinton loses, it suddenly becomes déjà vu all over again and that’s the problem that she faces. She doesn’t want to appear to be going through the same pattern."

Voting for these caucuses can last several hours. It starts at 7pm in Iowa. ABC News will be airing special reports throughout The Bachelor, beginning at 8 p.m.

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