He has been in the news for his unconventional style but Republican Donald Trump's unique campaigning for the presidential nomination will test the waters on Monday when the Iowa caucuses, the first in the nationwide procedure of choosing Barack Obama's successor, will be held.
Trump vs Cruz
Trump, who is fighting a tight contest with Ted Cruz and it could finally be decided by a large group of undecided voters. Trump leads Cruz by just five per cent and it can go anyway from here. The same is also seen in the Democratic Party where Hillary Clinton has a slender edge over Bernie Sanders, the veteran junior senator from Vermont.
Iowa caucuses flag off the state-by-state battle to choose candidates for the November 8 election for a new president of the US.
Trump, a billionaire businessman who has never sought a public office so far, will depend on his ability to gather his supporters, many of who are new to the process and are not admirers of politics, at the caucuses. Sanders, too, faces a similar challenge against a seasoned Hillary who went down fighting against Obama in 2008.
According to a Saturday poll, as many as 45 per cent of likely Republican caucus-goers were not yet decided and could change their preference of candidates.
The uncertainty of the Iowans may keep the leaders anxious but they are known for taking their decisions late. In 2012, for example, nearly half of the Republican caucus-goers had arrived at a decision in the final few days, as per participants' polls. Four years ago in 2008, things were similar as well, the polls said.
A test for Trump's unique political style
It is not that such uncertainty in the state saw huge upsets in over 40 years, but for Trump's unique political style, it could be extremely crucial as how Iowans behave in the caucuses.
A victory for Trump would give his controversial ideas like banning Muslims entering the US or erecting wall on the Mexican border a strong base while a loss would seriously hit the man's fortunes and he would be under pressure to do well in the next set of tests in New Hampshire and South Carolina later this month.
In the Democratic camp, it is key for Hillary to get a decent start for Sanders' leader over the former in New Hampshire could raise an alarm if her Iowa moment goes awry. It was in the same Iowa where the former secretary of state's campaign got derailed in 2008 as she finished third behind Obama and John Edwards.