What to watch for in the 2024 Iowa caucuses

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The first votes of the 2024 presidential campaign will land Monday night on the frozen tundra of Iowa, where Republicans — along with independents and Democrats who choose to switch parties — will participate in the state’s caucuses.

The final NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll, released Saturday, found that former President Donald Trump, who is running to return to the office he lost in 2020, is the overwhelming favorite. His chief rivals, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have settled into a battle for second place.

Also competing in Iowa are Vivek Ramaswamy, the biotech entrepreneur who has worked the state hard but trails the top three in polls and did not qualify for last week’s GOP debate here; former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; and Ryan Binkley, a little-known pastor from Texas. The results will clarify the GOP race before it shifts to next week’s New Hampshire primary. 

Here are five storylines to watch: