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It’s game day: Iowa caucus will set the stage for 2016 presidential election

PHOENIX — Tonight’s Iowa caucuses are the first step in selecting delegates to the National Convention, where the parties will pick their nominees.

Valley political expert Stan Barnes said it could be a close battle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the Republican side in Iowa.

“If Donald Trump wins (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina), it will be a tidal wave and I believe other candidates will get out of the race,” he said. “It will likely come down to Trump and anti-Trump. Maybe that’s Chris Christie, Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush. It won’t be Ted Cruz.”

Barnes said for all the excitement and energy on the Republican side, there is a large amount of disbelief on the Democratic side for .

“Hillary Clinton never, never thought she’d lose to Barack Obama in Iowa in 2008 and it happened,” he said. “In her wildest nightmares, (she) never believed a 74-year-old, self-labeled socialist from Vermont would make this a real race with her.”

Between candidates Trump and Bernie Sanders, the Democratic side of the caucus is just as interesting and instructive as the Republican race, Barnes said.

Barnes said this caucus is going to reset and realign how candidates campaign in the future.

“It used to be a certain playbook and that playbook is getting torn up by Donald Trump who is tapping into something very important,” he said. “He can’t be dismissed and he might even be the President.”

Join KTAR News on Feb. 1 for complete coverage of the Iowa caucus starting at 6:30 p.m. on 92.3 FM or online at 

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