Iowa caucus: Abortion, climate and guns among top issues as voters prepare to select their candidate
In January 2020, 'abortion' and 'health care' were the most searched issues by Iowans, according to Google Trends data
With the nation's first 2020 presidential nominating contest just hours away, Democratic candidates are making a final push to convince voters to choose them in the Iowa caucus — touted as the bellwether of the parties' final nominations.
Although a victory in Iowa does not warrant an assured nomination to a candidate, it does, however, contribute in providing them key momentum. Iowan voters, over the past month, have clearly indicated the issues they are most concerned about and their subsequent interest in candidates dealing with those issues.
In January 2020, "abortion" and health care" were the most searched issues by Iowans in relation to all the key 2020 Democratic candidates, according to Google Trends data.
As all eyes are set to be on the much-anticipated Iowa caucus on Monday evening, here's a look at the prime issues and their related policies which would lead the Iowan voters to select a candidate:
A woman's right to abortion tops the Iowa voters' key concerns, and polls have stated that majorities of Democratic caucus participants are likely to favor the candidates with the most robust pro-choice plan charted out for their presidency run. A CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll last year had stated that nearly 85 percent of the women participants consider abortion as a "must-have" issue for Dem candidates, in contrast to 72% male participants who ranked it as a top issue. Voters typically searched candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, former mayor Pete Buttigieg, former tech executive Andrew Yang, and billionaire Tom Steyer on the internet along with the word 'abortion' to have a better understanding of their policies.
A closely-ranked issued after abortion for Iowa voters in healthcare, specifically 'Medicare for All', a signature plan of 2020 Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Sanders' single-payer Medicare for all plan aims to overhaul the American health care system and create one national health insurance plan for all citizens. However, a poll stated that among in-person caucusgoers the gap between liberals and moderates was largest on Medicare for All, with 60 percent of liberals calling it a "must-have" in contrast to 39 percent of moderates. The healthcare proposal also witnessed a wide gap by age, with those under the age of 35 likely to prioritize it nearly 20 points more than their elders. Voters typically searched candidates like Senator Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar with the word 'healthcare.'
Iowan voters are very concerned about climate change, and a majority of Democratic caucus participants consider this as a "must-have" issue for the candidates vying for the party nomination. They believe a candidate's ability to recognizing climate change as humanity's greatest threat and a concrete plan to combat it would bring them closer to winning the coveted caucus. Although there are is a near-collective agreement between Democrat Iowa voters on climate change being a major threat, there is, however, a wide gap on support for Sanders' Green New Deal plan. A poll states that nearly 42 percent among those under the age of 35 consider it a must-have in contrast to less than 30 percent of older possible caucus attendees.
Support of restoration of a ban on assault-style weapons is also among the key issues Iowa voters are concerned about. With an increasing number of gun violence, and school shootings in the country every year, the Iowa voters are particularly concerned about the instatement of gun control laws in the state, seeking a ban on assault-style weapons. Biden, currently, is a popular candidate in relation to gun control. The former vice president in January told Iowa voters in a rally that he would do everything to reinstate the assault-weapons ban that expired in 2004, making it "even stronger."