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What Is A Caucus and Why is it Important Here?

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(Fort Wayne - WANE/CBS)  With Thursday's caucus in Iowa more than 500 miles from Fort Wayne, why should you care what happens... and, what exactly is a caucus?

As we found out, it's something very unique... something we haven't really seen here in Indiana.

Presidential contenders have been campaigning relentlessly over the past few weeks... many focusing their efforts in Iowa, where it's estimated 300-thousand will take part in today's caucus.

Caucuses are held in schools, churches, libraries, and even homes.  For republicans, the process is fairly easy:  you listen to speeches, then place your vote.

"You get a blank piece of paper, you simply write down the name, and that's completed and you're done," said Iowa GOP Spokesperson Mary Tiffany.

It gets a little tricky for the democrats:  you have to publicly show who you support, by moving into presidential preference groups.

"It is neighbors talking to neighbors about who they're selecting for their nominee," said Iowa Democrat Party Spokesperson Carrie Giddens.

But if a Democrat candidate doesn't reach enough votes, they're eliminated.  Then, you go home, or join a surviving candidate.  Final tallies from both parties are taken, with county delegation awards handed out.  That's what people in Fort Wayne say they'll be looking for.

"It's definitely something I'd be watching, because I'm a strong supporter of Hillary," said one Fort Wayne voter.

"I think its kind of strange they do it out there, but I think it gives a pretty good feeling of who's going to be leading coming out of there," said another Fort Wayne voter.

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