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Democratic candidates pour into Iowa for last-minute push

Freed momentarily from the Senate's impeachment trial, several presidential candidates high-tailed it to Iowa on Saturday for a last-minute blitz of campaigning before the state's caucuses kick off the battle for the Democratic nomination.

Posted: Jan 25, 2020 5:20 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Freed momentarily from the Senate's impeachment trial, several presidential candidates high-tailed it 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 among the 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 defense team began its defense 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 Sanders and filmmaker Michael Moore for a Saturday night rally in Ames.

Sanders' wife, Jane, and actor Danny Glover were campaigning on his behalf in Nevada, which hosts the third nominating contest. Jane Sanders predicted a strong showing in the early voting states.

“I think we'll win Iowa," she told about 40 staff and volunteers. “I think we'll win New Hampshire. And then I think it's up to you whether we win Nevada. But it looks great."

Sanders' signs of strength in Iowa are enough for the Buttigieg campaign to respond. The campaign sent prospective donors a fundraising solicitation warning of the Vermont senator's strength.

“Bernie Sanders is raising tons of money, he’s surging in the polls, and he has dark money groups attacking his competitors,” the email said. “If things stay steady until the Iowa Caucuses in just nine days, Bernie Sanders could be the nominee of our party.”

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 to back Warren.

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.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 276500

Reported Deaths: 3321
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin590031089
Ramsey24988472
Anoka19724213
Dakota19215176
Washington12538106
Stearns1226689
Scott753854
St. Louis740897
Wright663436
Olmsted610130
Sherburne512539
Clay445155
Carver409712
Blue Earth373511
Rice361431
Kandiyohi348215
Crow Wing316130
Nobles296028
Chisago28398
Otter Tail266615
Benton261940
Winona246128
Mower236722
Polk228621
Douglas219829
Morrison211621
Lyon193711
McLeod18879
Beltrami184615
Goodhue177626
Becker17559
Itasca168924
Steele16756
Todd165312
Isanti165015
Carlton153610
Nicollet146523
Freeborn13935
Mille Lacs132830
Le Sueur13219
Waseca129710
Cass12018
Pine11926
Brown117510
Meeker10797
Roseau9923
Martin98220
Hubbard97022
Wabasha9121
Dodge7850
Redwood78018
Watonwan7754
Chippewa7697
Sibley7094
Renville70818
Cottonwood7060
Wadena7006
Aitkin68923
Pipestone67018
Rock6439
Houston6152
Fillmore6050
Yellow Medicine56611
Pennington5356
Kanabec52911
Murray5283
Swift4976
Pope4820
Faribault4750
Stevens4442
Clearwater4356
Marshall4277
Jackson4091
Lake3584
Unassigned34356
Koochiching3325
Wilkin3275
Lac qui Parle3203
Lincoln3141
Norman3096
Big Stone2771
Mahnomen2494
Grant2346
Red Lake1903
Kittson1856
Traverse1330
Lake of the Woods871
Cook580

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 213603

Reported Deaths: 2193
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31707324
Linn13442161
Scott1040375
Black Hawk10393127
Woodbury9932114
Johnson911635
Dubuque879290
Story647619
Dallas602856
Pottawattamie585166
Sioux351925
Webster335930
Marshall332942
Cerro Gordo326541
Clinton307737
Buena Vista291114
Muscatine270366
Des Moines270116
Plymouth259537
Warren258510
Wapello242871
Jones222212
Jasper206639
Marion194418
Carroll190920
Lee190315
Bremer182612
Henry17087
Crawford170615
Benton160315
Tama146340
Jackson13758
Delaware136221
Washington131313
Boone128811
Dickinson127510
Mahaska121327
Wright11625
Buchanan11009
Page10834
Hardin107510
Clay10624
Clayton10234
Harrison102328
Hamilton10157
Cedar101413
Calhoun10047
Mills9886
Fayette9768
Floyd96914
Lyon9668
Kossuth9464
Poweshiek93712
Butler9134
Winneshiek90310
Iowa88011
Winnebago87523
Louisa81316
Hancock8067
Grundy79710
Chickasaw7893
Sac7817
Cherokee7624
Cass75419
Appanoose7426
Shelby7265
Allamakee72411
Mitchell7184
Union7096
Guthrie70815
Emmet70623
Franklin68419
Humboldt6645
Madison6474
Jefferson6351
Palo Alto6064
Unassigned5950
Keokuk5397
Pocahontas5192
Howard5069
Greene4980
Osceola4941
Clarke4614
Davis4405
Ida43910
Montgomery43210
Taylor4312
Monroe42912
Adair4157
Monona3932
Fremont3463
Van Buren3364
Worth3360
Lucas3076
Decatur3000
Wayne2876
Audubon2831
Ringgold1892
Adams1551
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