Thomas Roberts   |  November 08, 2013

'Caucus' -- Why Iowa matters

Iowa--the place where presidential hopefuls flock, and now the subject of a new documentary, aptly titled, "Caucus." Filmmaker A.J. Schnack joins msnbc to discuss.

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>> decades, the place where san diego spend months, sometimes years courting the state's 99 counties hoping to win its first in the nation vote. mike lee headed to speak at the faith and freedom fundraiser sparking 2003 speculation, rick perry was there speaking fondly of his time in 2012 . that year's caucus is the subject of a new documentary aptly titled "caucus." once every four years iowa caucuses , we're watching what happens there. so much rides on the people of iowa .

>> since 1972 iowa voters have been the first in the country to take part in the presidential nominating process.

>> one of the biggest political events of the year, the iowa caucus under way today.

>> this is a night we've been waiting for for a long, long time.

>> this race has been about two candidates. the problem is it hasn't been the same two candidates for two months in a row.

>> joining me "caucus" filmmaker. angela, gave awe list of hopefuls through the state of iowa . add ted cruz has been there three times, rand paul at least twice so far. how does the current cycles look to 2016 compare to what you saw in 2012 .

>> i don't think if i make documentaries for a long time i'll ever have that cast. all big personalities.

>> draw that distinction for me.

>> i think as a filmmaker you want to have all your characters have something that jumps out. when you have someone like herman cain who is not a politician professionally. you've got newt gingrich , former speaker, michele bachmann , all have big personalities, charismatic. seeing them interact with people was great. i don't know what the next round of candidates will be but it will ploebl be interesting.

>> we were watching rick santorum as part whaf we were playing. as you were speaking at iowans looking at that candidate as opposed to mitt romney , what resonated more.

>> they loved retail politics. in the final days of a campaign you'd see people at an event, mitt romney or rand paul, i think e-mail going to vote for rick perry but i have to see ron paul before i make the decision. that is something in iowa they take seriously about going an seeing every person. if you are the kind of candidate who will go to them and not do the hour outside of des moines but go to the very northwest corner, i think they take that seriously.

>> another part of reins here. iowa picked about 50% in terms of their success in predicting the presidential nominee . so as we look at the democrats, what does iowa mean for them?

>> for the democrats? in the next election, i think it will be interesting to see if it's a coronation depending who runs.

>> we look back to 2012 -- 2008 and that was very key.

>> that was a big fight. also 2004 when john kerry came behind at the last minute and won. he had been pretty much swept the primaries after that.

>> thank you for coming by this friday. happy friday. that wraps up things for me. a reminder leading up to veterans day , watching "taking the hill" hosted by patrick murphy right here on msnbc. "now"