On Jan. 3, Iowans will caucus at 1,774 precincts across the state, in the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating process. Above, Iowans caucus in 2004 at St. John's United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Precinct 87. Shaun Heasley/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Shaun Heasley/Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks Tuesday at the Lincoln Cafe in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Among GOP candidates, Santorum had the state to himself on Tuesday. Chris Carlson/Associated Press hide caption

toggle caption Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off in the ABC debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

toggle caption Charlie Neibergall/AP

Newt Gingrich, whose run for president nearly derailed earlier this year when many of his top staffers quit, now sits atop the polls. As a result, his campaign organization is growing. Here, he arrives at a town hall meeting last week in Staten Island, N.Y. Michael Nagle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain talk after a forum sponsored by The Family Leader Saturday. Both men let their emotions show during the roundtable. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

toggle caption Charlie Neibergall/AP

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain shakes hands with a family during an Oct. 5 book signing in Florida. Chris O'Meara/AP hide caption

toggle caption Chris O'Meara/AP

The Czech band Druha Trava will perform in Wichita, Kan., Saturday night. The band is on its U.S. tour. Don Gonyea/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Don Gonyea/NPR

GOP presidential candidates (from left) former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, businessman Herman Cain, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, pose before a GOP presidential debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Wednesday. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

toggle caption Paul Sancya/AP

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell delivers remarks at the Tea Party Express rally in 2010. Some say Republicans threw away votes by nominating ultra-conservative O'Donnell. Rob Carr/AP hide caption

toggle caption Rob Carr/AP

Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern greets young admirers in his home state at an airport rally in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1972. Many baby boomers voted for McGovern in their first election, against Republican candidate Richard Nixon. In 2008, boomers narrowly backed President Barack Obama, but they swung over to Republicans in 2010. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor