Tags: 2020 Elections | Trump Administration | Trump Impeachment | caucuses | iowa

Trump 'Going Big' in Iowa, Looking to Eclipse Dems

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A mobile billboard, displaying an advertisement for President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, making the rounds in Iowa back in November. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Friday, 17 January 2020 03:43 PM

President Donald Trump's campaign plans to blanket Iowa with representatives and events ahead of the state's Feb. 3 caucuses, hoping to use the first-in-the-nation primary to show evidence of his strength in rural America, sources tell Reuters.

The Republican incumbent faces no real primary opposition. Still, Trump's campaign sees Iowa's vote as a chance to offer a counter narrative to the impeachment turmoil he faces in Washington, the sources said.

Trump will hold a campaign rally in Des Moines just days before the caucuses, which also provide an opportunity to test his campaign's organizational muscle and experiment with new techniques to get out the vote ahead of the general election.

"We will be going big, very Trump-like," said a campaign adviser involved in the Iowa planning.

A two-day Women for Trump bus tour across the state kicked off on Thursday with an event that drew roughly 500 people to a Des Moines ballroom.

The boisterous crowd of Trump supporters were greeted by calls to combat the dangers of "socialist" Democrats and praises of Trump's record during his first term in the White House.

Mercedes Schlapp, a senior member of Trump’s 2020 re-election team, said in an interview with Reuters that campaign representatives will be familiar faces in Iowa over the next couple weeks.

"We’re definitely going to have a presence here," she said. "Iowa is where elections begin, and we want to make sure President Trump is well represented here and has a voice."

Trump saw major support from rural America in the 2016 election but has tested that loyalty as president. His trade wars with China and Mexico - major buyers of U.S. agricultural products - hurt U.S. farmers and prompted Trump to support billions of dollars in direct payments to farmers to blunt the trading loss.

He comes into Iowa with momentum after signing the first phase of a new trade deal with China and a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

Republican Party of Iowa organizers plan to host a preference poll during the caucuses. Voters will be given a blank ballot on which to write in the name of the person they want to run for president, according to a state party spokesman. The results, which will be collected via a phone app, will be reported publicly that night, the spokesman said.

Unlike the Democratic caucuses, there are no viability thresholds, such as getting 15% of support, on the Republican side.

© 2020 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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President Donald Trump's campaign plans to blanket Iowa with representatives and events ahead of the state's Feb. 3 caucuses, hoping to use the first-in-the-nation primary to show evidence of his strength in rural America, sources tell Reuters.The Republican incumbent faces...
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Friday, 17 January 2020 03:43 PM
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