Iowa caucuses by the numbersby Nikki Tundel, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The 2008 presidential election is now 355 days away.
But the first real test for candidates -- the Iowa caucus process -- is just 49 days from today.
As a result, the Hawkeye State is a flurry of campaign stops and candidate fundraisers.
The numbers tell much of the story.
Take, for example, 1355. That's the number of events Iowa has hosted for presidential wannabes this year. 621 for Republicans. 734 for Democrats.
Candidates have made 163 stops in Des Moines alone. Nearly every other day a potential president has been out shaking hands in the state's capital city.
Twenty-five percent of Iowans say they've received a handshake from a presidential contender in the last eight months.
Five is the number of Democrats who stopped by the popular pork tent during the Iowa State Fair. Two Republicans also tried their hands at flipping pork chops for fairgoers.
Of the top 14 presidential contenders, 13 have frequented pancake breakfasts. Democrat Bill Richardson seems to prefer pizza parties.
Eight is the number of robo-calls the average Iowa household receives each week. Robo-calls, of course, are automated recordings from, say, Joe Biden or John McCain asking for support.
Politicians will spend an estimated $12 million on ads in Iowa. On the state's top-rated television station, a 30-second commercial during The Price is Right goes for $75. During the 10 p.m. news, the rate jumps to $1100.
Ten-thousand is the number of Mitt Romney commercials that have hit Iowa airwaves so far this year.
One-hundred million -- that's the amount of money the caucuses are expected to bring to Iowa. This windfall comes from things like hotel stays and car rentals and Krispy Kreme donuts for reporters and candidates and spin doctors.
And, finally, there's 200 percent. That's the amount bartenders say their tips jump in the months leading up to the Iowa caucuses. They say East Coast visitors are extra generous because they're surprised by how cheap drinks are in America's heartland.
That's just a little look at how the Iowa caucuses are adding up today.