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Politics & Government

Will Iowa Caucus Results Impact Wisconsin?

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Guests listen as Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks at a town-hall-style meeting on January 31, 2016 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

All eyes will be in Iowa Monday night as the state conducts it presidential caucuses. Just how much will the results matter in Wisconsin?

Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin says the results will matter indirectly:

"Because this is the start of the process that's going to winnow the field to a few candidates and show us who really has strength versus who simply polls well or brings out a lot of people at their rallies and events," Franklin says.

When asked about whether the outcome of the Iowa caucuses will give a hint as to the preferences of voters in Wisconsin, Franklin says there are similarities among the states' populations:

"I think aside from the broad policy issues, foreign policy, the economy -- those are issues that are fairly common to both of our states, and we both have a lot of agriculture in the states -- so we do share some interests that way. But I think inevitably candidates are focused so intensely in Iowa that they tend to emphasize Iowa issues maybe a little bit more than they might in a more national campaign, say. But I think from our perch next door we've certainly had the chance to see candidates through regular news coverage and through debates. That certainly gives us in Wisconsin a sense of those candidates," Franklin says.

Franklin says it remains to be seen just how Wisconsin's April 5 presidential primary will play out, in terms of its importance:

"I think the paradox of going in April where we're scheduled, is it's possible that both parties will have wrapped up their nominations and we really won't have much to do with it. But it also is possible that if either or both are still active, we vote pretty much by ourselves on that day in April. The irony of Super Tuesdays is that they're a big event overall. But because multiple states are voting on those Super Tuesdays, it's easy for an individual state to get lost in all of that. So in a strange kind of way, we've rolled the dice -- either we won't matter at all, or we'll actually be positioned to play a pretty important role," Franklin says.

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