Iowa caucus: What time does voting begin?

The first major event in the US presidential calendar gets underway on 1 February

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The Independent US

Voting will begin in the Iowa caucus, which kicks off the first official voting of the election, takes place at 7pm on Monday 1 February.

Primaries and caucuses will take place across the US until 14 June, in which they will finish with a primary in the District of Columbia.

The iowa caucus is huge in the US media calendar.

It marks the first time in the election that the people have their say, putting an end to the polls and speculation that inevitably take place in the weeks and months before the elections really get going.  

If you’re wondering whether the Iowa caucus is really a big deal in the grand scheme of the four months of voting to come, then the past two presidents could be considered a testament to this.

President’s Barack Obama and George W Bush both won the Iowa caucus in their first term, and capitalised on the momentum gained throughout the remainder of their election campaigns.

In 2012, however, a counting error mistakenly gave the Republican victory to Mitt Romney on the nigh. Two weeks late, when all the votes had been counted, it was discovered that the actual winner was Rick Santorum. 

Mr Santorum’s campaign never really gained the momentum it could have, although he still won 11 states despite being considerably outspent.