Iowa starts presidential race
The state of Iowa will be the first to vote in the Republican Party caucuses which will stretch through to the Republican National Convention on 27th to 30th August this year, with the presidential poll scheduled for 6th November.
Around 120,000 Iowans will vote from across six candidates in 1,700 meetings to select 28 delegates to the national convention.
The six candidates standing in the caucus election are:
Michelle Bachman, a member of the House of representatives for the Minnesota 6th District.
Newt Gingrich, previously the 58th Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Ron Paul, a physician and member of the House of Representatives for the Texan 14th District.
Rick Perry, the 47th Governor of Texas (since 2000), one of the longest ever serving governors.
Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and the front runner for the presidential race.
Rick Santorum, a former Senator from Pennsylvania.
Around 5% of all Iowans will be taking part in the caucus today. No one candidate has a commanding lead at this stage, although Mitt Romney is the front runner in a recent poll in Iowa with 25% of the caucus vote.
The next round will be a primary in New Hampshire on 19th January which elects 12 delegates.