Republican Presidential Hopefuls Campaigning Hard in Countdown to Caucuses

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INDIANOLA, Iowa - Ten days to the Iowa caucuses, and the Republican candidates are hitting the campaign trail hard throughout Central Iowa.

While Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take turns leading polls in the state, Marco Rubio snags an endorsement from the Des Moines Register, setting the stage for a potentially fierce battle on caucus night.

Donald Trump took the stage in Pella Saturday, discussing recent polls finding his supporters extremely loyal, claiming there's not much the Donald could do to change their minds about voting for him.

"The people - my people are so smart," Trump said. "And you know what else they say about my people - the polls!  They say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that?  Where I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters okay? It's like incredible."

Trump's remarks about shooting someone earned him plenty of social media attention, and while Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has said he will not be endorsing any candidate for the 2016 cycle, his appearance on the stage with Trump Saturday afternoon turned plenty of heads and sported a strong symbol for some Iowa voters.

In Ankeny, Trump's biggest rival, Ted Cruz, gathered a sizable crowd of his own, with another Iowa congressman - Representative Steve King - as well as conservative darling Glenn Beck, throwing their weight behind him.

"It's the David and Goliath story," Beck said. "You want somebody whose bold? It's not some guy who has a bunch of strip clubs and casinos. It's a guy who stands on his principles relentlessly."

While Cruz's supporters had plenty of fire in their bellies against Trump, the Texas senator himself remained calm when referencing his rival.

"Listen, I like Donald Trump," Cruz said. "He may say unpleasant things about me - I have no intention of responding in kind. I do not intend to insult him, I like and respect him."

The battle between Cruz and Trump could see more trouble from third-place candidate in the state, Marco Rubio, than either campaign perhaps thought. An endorsement from the Des Moines Register called for Iowans to pick Rubio on caucus night, citing his unique backstory and claiming it would give the GOP a new and fresh face.

"It's incredible that I live in a place where the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as a son of a president and the son of an immigrant," Rubio told voters in Indianola Saturday evening. "I understand and I'm frustrated because I'm facing or have faced many of the same challenges people in this country are facing. And I think it's good to have a president who understands these challenges personally."

Other candidates, like 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee, also made their way through Central Iowa Saturday. Huckabee's crew met with voters in Ft. Dodge, though the former Arkansas governor is polling at the end of the crowded field.


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