The two presidential candidates who stood on a debate stage in New York Monday night are headed to Iowa. Donald Trump will headline a rally in Council Bluffs this afternoon. Hillary Clinton will be in Des Moines tomorrow to mark the start of “early” voting in Iowa.
Juan Hernandez, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa who is voting for Clinton, said the election seems to be a jump ball.
“A lot of people I know are unsure, so unsure that they’re not going to vote, so that’s kind of scary that they’re wasting their vote,” Hernandez said during a recent interview. “So I’m trying to kind of push them because it’s very important.”
Nonya Bragg of Des Moines and her husband are both Trump voters, but they are nervous, too.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t like either candidate, so they won’t vote for any,” Bragg said Saturday. “I think that’s probably the worst thing that anybody could do.”
Jan Pickerell is a regular volunteer for Clinton at a suburban Des Moines campaign office. During an interview Tuesday, Pickerell said liked Clinton’s “tenor” in Monday night’s debate with Trump.
“My stomach just kind of churns,” she said in describing her response to this year’s election. “…When you have strong passion about what you want to see happen and are fearful of what could happen.”
Joyce Hagen of Hanlontown is among the more than 600 evangelical Christians who gathered in Des Moines last weekend to hear GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. Hagen said she’s a lot more confident than she was a month ago about Trump’s chances.
“I’m just just hoping Trump pulls it through. I’m sure it’s going to be tight all the way up ’til the end,” she said. “…I just hope and pray he does.”
Jan Neal of Ankeny supported Clinton in 2008 and she’s mystified by the polls.
“I find it shocking,” Neal said. “You know I watched the debate. To me it is so clear who’s ready to be president and who’s not.”
Darrell Rogers of Oskaloosa supported Ted Cruz in this year’s Iowa Caucuses, but he’s voting for Trump this fall.
“To be completely honest, I’m scared to death,” Rogers said this past weekend. “If Trump doesn’t get in, I think our country will not survive.”
As engaged as some Iowans may be in this year’s election, there are others who aren’t. Twenty-one-year-old Jazmine Alaniz of Des Moines has never voted and doesn’t plan to this year.
“If it’s that important to you, then go for it,” said Alaniz, who is a student at Des Moines Area Community College. “I’m not saying it’s not important. For me, I just don’t know too much about it.”
Alaniz gets her news from Facebook and Alanix said she’s seen nothing there about the candidates or the election.