2020 Dems Flock to Iowa to Woo First-in-the-Nation Voters

June 10, 2019

By Spencer Feingold

The 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls and their supporters have descended on Iowa, fanning out across the state to woo the first-in-the-nation voters.

Across the state over the weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) marched alongside striking McDonald's workers, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg played an electric keyboard for voters at a picnic, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) hosted a public town hall.

Other candidates held rallies, gave speeches, and met with state officials — all with just over eight months until the Iowa caucus, the first major contest in the presidential elections.

"We see a number of candidates come to town, make their pitches to Democratic activists and operatives," Alexandra Jaffe, an Associated Press political reporter based in Iowa, told Cheddar.

Several candidates also participated in the weekend's Pride celebrations such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who served drinks at a Des Moines' gay bar, and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who ran the Pride Fest Fun Run 5K on Saturday.

On Sunday, 19 of the 23 candidates went to Cedar Rapids to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party's "Hall of Fame" event. Each candidate was given five minutes to sell their core message.

Notably absent from the event, however, was former Vice President Joe Biden.

"From voters I've spoken to, they're not at all concerned about it. It is still early — it's June we have to remember — and they expect to see enough of Joe Biden. They've seen plenty of candidates at this point," Jaffe said.

Biden maintains a healthy lead in the polls with 24 percent of likely Democratic caucus goers supporting his candidacy followed by Sanders with 16 percent, according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN poll released on Saturday.

The front runners are followed by Warren with 15 percent, Buttigieg 14 percent, and Harris with 7 percent.

"We're starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify," J. Ann Selzer, president of the polling firm Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, told the Des Moines Register. "There's a lot more commitment than we normally see this early. And some of these candidates who've been under the radar start to surface and compete with Joe Biden."

Jaffe, however, continues to note that the race is still in its early days.

"We'll see what happens six months from now when we get a little bit closer to the caucuses," she said.

For full interview click here.