Every four years, Iowa becomes the most important state in the Union. But why?
For four decades, Iowans have had an out-sized privilege: They get the first say in who will become the presidential nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties. As a result, presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders dote on the state for months, making promises—and taking votes in Congress—that disproportionately benefit Iowans. The question is, how did this frosty state of three million people get this leg up on the other 315 million of us? Why is Iowa first?