CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A shot at winning over Iowa voters made the heat worth it for presidential candidates in Cedar Rapids.
10 Democratic presidential candidates took part in the Progress Iowa Corn Feed. There were originally 12 set to speak, but Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio returned to his city to deal with the power outage, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had a flight delay.
Despite the temperatures above 90 degrees, around 1,000 voters withstood the heat to hear from all 11 candidates. One woman said it was the busiest she has ever seen the annual event, as Iowans came to sort through the crowded field.
“This is a really good poll for this many candidates to be in one place. This is cool to see,” said Nikki Scheel.
It`s a long road ahead to the caucuses and not just for the candidates but the voters, too.
For out-of-state attendees, seeing a swarm of people outside on a sweltering day can seem out of the ordinary, but for Iowans, it`s just another summer day.
“We`re pretty used to it. Iowans this is what we get this time of the year. Nothing stops us unless it`s raining,” said Scheel.
“We want everyone to come out and listen to the candidates and decide who they will support. The more people that can be here and the more they hear from the candidates, they`ll be able to make an educated decision,” said Cathy Meyer.
The candidates had about ten minutes to make their case to voters, and in an especially crowded field, time is money. But Iowans will have many more opportunities to get to know the candidates who will keep returning to the state.
“That`s the cool thing about being in Iowa. We get kind of really preferential treatment early on. We get to meet people firsthand and everything and I think a lot of states don`t get that. It`s cool to be in the middle of everything,” said Scheel.