NORTH SIOUX CITY, Iowa, 10:29 a.m. — I-29 crosses the Big Sioux River at North Sioux City, South Dakota. Just across the river and down an exit ramp is the Seargant Floyd Iowa Welcome Center staffed by Mark and Sharon, who moved to the state just a few years ago and will caucus for the first time on Thursday.

“I’m supporting one and she’s backing another,” Mark says, declining to mention names. The two are both registered Republicans, so they have largely been spared the $10 million-plus feeding frenzy of robo calls and canvassing on the Democratic side of the campaign. “We’ve received calls, and the ads are on all the time,” Mark says.

Overall, though, Sharon likes the process. She says it’s important. “It’s part of the process of communicating information,” she says of the candidates’ endless campaigning. Mark nods his head, adding, “In some states, the caucuses don’t really matter, but here in Iowa, we really get to pick ‘em.”

Zack Arrives in Iowa

Here I stand at the border of South Dakota and Iowa, ready to cross into the state on every American’s political radar this week.

Zack Abrahamson