More than 300,000 people turned-out to take part in the Democratic and Republican caucuses. According to some people however, just because Iowans are first to take part in the primaries does not mean their choices will definitely be either of the two major parties' candidates in the general election; but according to experts, the caucuses is important to the candidates as it is their first chance to build momentum for their campaigns.
"This is where the candidates try to establish themselves and show that their platform is working and they have traction," WCJB political analyst Dr. Richard Buckner said.
Early momentum does not guarantee victory in larger states however and North Central Florida leaders said they anxiously await the Florida primary scheduled for Jan. 29th.
"There's still a lot of support for all of the candidates," the Alachua County Republican Party's Stafford Jones said. "As far as Guiliani specifically skipping the Iowa caucuses and concentrating on Florida, well that's kind of a bet-the-farm strategy."
The Alachua County Democratic Party's chair agreed the race is too early to call and even though his party's nominees will not campaign in Florida, the state could still lean towards the left.
"There's going to be a lot of campaigning over the next month or two," Jon Rieskind said. "This is the big night for Iowa, yet they are not going to select the delegates for a number of months."
Gov. Mitt Romney trailed Huckabee and Senators John Edwards and Hillary Clinton ended the night not far behind Obama.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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