“A confluence of factors — ranging from the historic size of the primary field to the strategic considerations of top-tier candidates — has turned Iowa into the essential early state in 2020. Since July, candidates have made more than 800 appearances in the state, far surpassing totals in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, according to candidate trackers maintained by the Des Moines Register and news outlets in the other three states.
Iowa is where Pete Buttigieg, still a single-digit candidate nationally, is surging, where Elizabeth Warren has overtaken Joe Biden and where the former vice president — still leading nationally — is at risk of getting cut down. And it is serving as the fulcrum for a host of other candidates — among them Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris — who hope to leverage their performance across the state’s 99 counties into relevance in the states that follow.”