Democratic candidates pour into Iowa for last-minute push

DES MOINES, Iowa — Freed momentarily from the Senate’s impeachment trial, several presidential candidates headed to Iowa on Saturday for a last-minute blitz of campaigning before the state’s caucuses kick off the battle for the Democratic nomination.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota planned to hold town halls, rallies and concerts across Iowa on Saturday to keep their supporters motivated heading into the final stretch of the caucus campaign. They’ll join former Vice-President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who don’t have Senate obligations and have already spent much of the past week in Iowa.

The burst of campaigning comes as the contest for the Democratic nomination enters a critical — and volatile phase. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday showed Sanders with a slight edge over the other leading candidates, but the race remains competitive. Several polls show Biden, Buttigieg and Warren are still front-runners.

“There’s still plenty of time for movement,” said Kurt Meyer, chairman of the Tri-County Democrats in northern Iowa. “Every part of the ground game counts.”

Stuck in Washington for much of the past week, the senators in the race have flooded Iowa and other early voting states with top-shelf surrogates — rock star lawmakers, former Cabinet members, celebrities and spouses. The stand-ins aren’t a guaranteed way to sustain excitement or win votes, but the campaigns see it as the best way to maximize their reach in a nominating fight that could turn on the narrowest of margins in Iowa and other early states.

Biden isn’t bound to the Senate like some of his rivals, but he must navigate the trial nonetheless. House Democrats’ charges that Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress are rooted in the president pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate discredited theories about Biden’s foreign policy duties in Ukraine as vice-president and his son Hunter’s personal business dealings there.

Trump’s defence team began its defence of the president on Saturday, and some Republicans are determined to frame the matter more around Biden than around the president.

After a brief trip to New Hampshire, the second state to vote in Democrats’ nominating process, Biden planned to return to Iowa on Saturday evening and intended to remain in the state until caucus day. He began the day announcing an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, who joined her fellow first-term congresswoman from Iowa, Abby Finkenauer, in backing Biden.

Ahead of his arrival in Iowa, Sanders sent progressive icon and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the state. She addressed dozens of Sanders volunteers at one of his field offices inside a stirp mall, before heading out to canvass in Cedar Rapids. She promised to wear her green “Green New Deal” baseball cap to join them on a clear but cold Saturday, amid snow drifts that piled along plowed roads and melting ice.

“We are here to make a revolution that lasts,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She will later join Sander and filmmaker Michael Moore for a Saturday night rally in Ames. Sanders’ wife, Jane, and actor Danny Glover are campaigning on his behalf in Nevada, which hosts the third nominating contest.

Warren has Julian Castro, the former Obama housing secretary and onetime presidential candidate, in Nevada. U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., another star of the House freshman class like Ocasio-Cortez, is in South Carolina.

The Senate adjourned about noon EST Saturday, giving the presidential candidates time to return to Iowa for late-afternoon and evening events. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., was going to New Hampshire.

The weekend is critical for them, depending on how many more days the trial will extend this coming week. Warren’s campaign on Saturday hit prospective donors with a frank plea ahead of an “important January fundraising deadline.”

Fall short of her financial targets, the campaign wrote, and “we risk having to scale back our advertising plan during the most critical period of this election.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta doctors getting ready for court fight against new pay, benefits deal

EDMONTON — The head of the Alberta Medical Association says it’s preparing… Continue reading

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

All eyes are on Canadian police forces now that Prime Minister Justin… Continue reading

Ontario Tories hold annual policy convention amid union protests

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Labour activists plan to hold a demonstration outside… Continue reading

SARS lessons help Canada prep for COVID-19, but hospital capacity a worry

OTTAWA — Canadian medical experts say the country’s already overstretched emergency rooms… Continue reading

Teachers condemn government’s actions towards doctors

“That they should be treated with such contempt is deeply disturbing”

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner warns public after fatal drug overdoses in Regina

REGINA — Two deaths and dozens of drug overdoses in Regina have… Continue reading

A champion, again: Humphries wins 3rd women’s bobsled title

Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. is a bobsled champion again, winning her… Continue reading

Canada’s Kingsbury finishes first in moguls for 62nd World Cup victory

TAZAWAKO, Japan — Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury earned his 62nd World Cup victory… Continue reading

Cruise-ship evacuees arrive for quarantine in Canada as first Wuhan evacuees let go

OTTAWA — A plane carrying 129 Canadians and their families who have… Continue reading

Trudeau says rail blockades have to end

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday indigenous barricades that are… Continue reading

HIV-themed ‘Friends’ edit pulled after copyright claim from Warner Bros.

TORONTO — A Toronto-based HIV-AIDS hospital has pulled an edited “Friends” episode… Continue reading

Spurgeon records hat trick to lead Wild to 5-3 victory over Oilers

Wild 5 Oilers 3 EDMONTON — Jared Spurgeon scored three goals as… Continue reading

Most Read