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On Monday, February 1, people across Iowa gather for caucuses. But what is a caucus? Caucuses help political parties choose their candidate to run for president. For up to two hours, people can learn about and discuss the candidates. Then they pick which person they would like their party—Democratic or Republican—to support. No one is actually elected or even nominated at these gatherings. But the Iowa caucuses are the first time that regular people have a chance to officially vote in support of their favorite candidates. Because of this, the Iowa caucuses are an important part of electing the next US president.

Read more about the Iowa Caucuses (and see them explained with gummy bears).

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