Iowans and Candidates Gear Up for Tonight's First in the Nation Presidential Caucuses

Feb 3, 2020

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More than two years have passed since the first presidential announcement, nearly $1 billion has been spent and numerous candidates have already come and gone. 

And yet the Democrats' turbulent 2020 primary season officially begins today with the Iowa caucuses. By day's end, tens of thousands of Iowa Democrats will have decided the results of their presidential caucus in the contest to challenge President Donald Trump. Democrats enter the first contest with uncertainty and deepening intraparty resentment. The top four candidates are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Candidate Michael Bloomberg is going his own way. The billionaire former New York City mayor is in California rallying supporters, as he bypasses early voting states like Iowa in favor of bigger, delegate-rich states to come. Bloomberg started his day in a coffee shop in Sacramento, where he urged voters to go to the polls. Early voting starts Monday in California in advance of the state's March 3 primary. 

Roughly one month after the federal government announced a new crackdown to keep e-cigarettes away from children, state lawmakers in Iowa and Nebraska are forging ahead with similar proposals of their own. Both states are considering new laws to raise the minimum age for vaping to 21 years old in addition to other measures to try to restrict the product, such as a ban on flavored vaping liquids and a proposal to bar minors from even possessing vape devices.

An Iowa Senate subcommittee has advanced a measure to raise that state’s legal age from 18 to 21 to eliminate the conflict with federal law.