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How to watch the 2020 Iowa caucuses live


Iowans will caucus on Monday, February 3, the first state in the nation to go to the polls. While President Trump technically has two Republican challengers, all eyes will be on the Democratic nominees, who are locked in a tight race.

According to CBS News Battleground Tracker on February 2, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are even in first-choice support, each at 25% in our baseline model. Pete Buttigieg is very close behind at 21%. Elizabeth Warren, at 16%, is also in a position to accrue some national delegates. Amy Klobuchar is at 5% in our baseline estimate, and all other candidates are under 5%.

Unlike a primary, a caucus is not a "one person, one vote" system. Instead, Iowans will be electing delegates through a complex process that dates back to the 19th century. There are no ballots, and caucus-goers aren't technically voting for candidates but rather for delegates who support a given candidate.

How to watch

  • What: Iowa caucuses
  • Date: Monday, February 3, 2020
  • Time: Starting at 8 p.m. ET
  • Where to watch results: CBSN or watch on fuboTV (get a free trial).
  • Analysis: Coverage of the results will be carried on CBSN and in the video player above.
  • Live updates: Follow along with the Iowa caucuses live blog
  • Download the free CBS News app for complete coverage of the 2020 presidential race.

If a candidate fails to attract 15% of support from caucus-goers at their caucus location, that candidate will not clear the "viability threshold," meaning that candidates' supporters will have to either pick another candidate or their vote will not count. This process is called realignment.

This realignment process is critical. If your candidate wasn't viable and you're looking for a new group, viable campaigns will be competing to try to win you over. If you're part of a well-organized campaign on the cusp of viability, your team will be desperately trying to try to pick off supporters of other non-viable campaigns. The best-organized campaigns, with well-trained and experienced people on their side, are in strong positions to increase their size on caucus night.

CBS News will be providing live updates on the results throughout the night.

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