Seven days remain in the race to secure support in the February 1 Iowa’s Caucuses. The leading presidential candidates in both parties campaigned in Iowa this weekend.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made multiple stops in the eastern half of the state.
“We started this campaign with no money, no political organization and nobody — none of the media, none of the experts — thought that we were anything more than a fringe candidacy,” Sanders said.
During an online “town hall meeting” with supporters, Sanders said his campaign is “shaking” the establishment of the Democratic Party.
“We said we were just going to go out to the American people and we’re going to ask them to support us if they want to see a transformation of American society,” Sanders said, “and that’s what they did.”
A CBS Poll released Sunday found Sanders and Clinton locked in a tight race in Iowa and at some points this the weekend, Sanders and Clinton were in the same city at nearly the same time.
Clinton is warning audiences Sanders’ call for government-paid universal health care for all would give Republicans room to unravel President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“We are now at 90 percent coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” Clinton said in Marion Sunday. “Seems to me it’s a lot easier to get from 90 to 100 percent than from zero to 100 percent.”
Clinton is stressing her own “commander-in-chief” credentials and offering a preview of the General Election argument she’d make against whomever Republicans nominate.
“They don’t agree that we need to raise the minimum wage. They don’t agree that equal pay’s a problem,” Clinton said. “Honestly, I don’t know who they’re talking to. I see them on television talking to people and they move them from place to place.”
On the Republican side, Donald Trump is expressing increased confidence about winning Iowa — and the consequences for Republicans here if he doesn’t win.
“Iowa hasn’t had a winner in 16 years,” Trump said this weekend. “You’ve picked a lot of losers, folks.”
Ted Cruz barnstormed the state on Saturday and, in a joking way, stressed his outsider status.
“A blizzard hit Washington, shut down the government,” Cruz said and the crowd at a rally in Ankeny cheered. “The mainstream media immediately blamed it on me.”
The Iowa Caucuses are a party exercise. Party volunteers are lined up to run Democratic Caucuses and Republican Caucuses in each of Iowa’s 1681 voting precincts. Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Andy McGuire says you can go on the party’s website, plug in your address, and find where your caucus will be held.
“There’s really nothing to be afraid of here. You can register at the door,” she says. “…It really is very easy to Caucus.”
Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann touts the new “app” has been developed to manage the results of each party’s caucuses.
“To show the nation and media and everyone that we’re listening we’re trying to improve this thing and we’re on the cutting edge,” Kaufmann says.
Kaufmann and McGuire made their comments during a weekend appearance on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program.
Four years ago Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Caucuses by eight votes, but 10 days after all but seven precincts reported their results in a special “canvas” Rick Santorum had more votes and was declared the winner. That was after New Hampshire’s Primary and Santorum has said the tardy result denied him the “bounce” of winning Iowa.
Kaufmann says the “canvas” will occur within 48 hours this year, so the party’s certified results will be known days before New Hampshire’s Primary.