For more than 40 years, Iowa has held the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. A vibrant political culture has emerged as a result of this role, and Iowa voters have a unique opportunity to get to know the nation’s presidential candidates as they travel the state, attend small-group meetings, and hone their messages. Candidates come to Iowa—where “retail politics” is the name of the game—early and often. But the campaign trail in Iowa isn’t just about candidates. It’s about average Americans in small-town diners, church basements, and high school gyms. In an age of public cynicism about politics, the Iowa caucuses continue to demonstrate the importance of real people talking about issues with would-be presidents.