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Race for Iowa: how Democrats pick their presidential candidate

there are more than a dozen Democratic

candidates running to beat Donald Trump

in the presidential election this year

but first they have to win the

Democratic nomination and there's a long

way to go before that happens the

primary season begins months and

sometimes even years before a single

vote is cast the candidates hit the

campaign trail

they make speeches they make promises

they take selfies

they eat pork chops on a stick they

fundraise and they debate a lot above

all else the goal for Democrats this

cycle is to convince voters that he or

she and not their rivals are the best

chance the party has of beating Donald

Trump we cannot simply be consumed by

Donald Trump because if we are you know

what we're gonna lose the election so

you've got your campaign you're raising

money you're rising in the polls and

qualifying for debates but how do you

actually become the Democratic nominee

it's all about winning delegates and you

do that by competing in contests in

states across the country and some

matter a lot more than others let's

start with the basics every state holds

either a primary election or a caucus

primaries are more familiar voters turn

up at the voting booth cast their ballot

for a nominee and leave the caucuses are

very different they can be raucous

Affairs with open debate about the party

and the politics by tradition Iowa goes

first

[Applause]

as the first contest it can launch a

future president you have done what the

cynics said we couldn't do or it can

crush a hopeful screams I am no longer

actively pursuing the presidency after

Iowa the race is on to the next three

big states New Hampshire Nevada and

South Carolina these four states are

very different but they're key to

winning the nomination

they help narrow the field and give

successful candidates the momentum to

compete on Super Tuesday on Super

Tuesday more than a dozen states hold

their primary contests Texas and

California are the most coveted prizes

Super Tuesday is a big opportunity for a

candidate to pull away from the rest of

the pack the name of the game is to run

up the score with delegates in state

after state after state there are nearly

4,000 delegates up for grabs and

whichever candidate earns the majority

of these available delegates wins

nomination but the primary contest

likely won't end when a candidate

crosses that threshold if any of his or

her rivals have the campaign and the

resources and the money they can stay in

the race and fight until the end well

that's the goal anyway this cycle some

Democrats are starting to worry about a

brokered convention what well a brokered

convention would happen if no candidate

arrives at the convention in Milwaukee

with enough delegates to win the

nomination outright that would involve a

lot of horse trading and backroom

dealing and many Democrats believe it's

probably not going to happen either way

by the end of the convention in July

there will be a nominee someone the

Democrats hope can be Donald Trump in

November

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