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2020 Democrats make their final appeals ahead of the Iowa caucuses

  • 2020 Democrats make their final appeals ahead of the Iowa caucuses
    'We must defeat Trump': Democrats make final appeals as Iowa prepares to vote. 2020 Democrats make their final appeals ahead of the Iowa caucuses
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Politics
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'We must defeat Trump': Democrats make final appeals as Iowa prepares to vote.
Polling shows no clear frontrunner in tight race as four Democratic candidates are knotted together at the top.

After more than a year of ideological clashes and policy debates, voters in the midwestern state of Iowa are set to have their say on which Democratic presidential candidate they believe is best positioned to defeat Donald Trump in November’s election.

Hundreds of thousands of Iowans will gather in high school gymnasiums, local libraries and church basements on Monday night to participate in the Iowa caucuses, the first official nominating contest of the 2020 primary race.

Recent polling has provided a consistent snapshot in the closing weeks of a tight race with no clear frontrunner. Four of the eleven remaining Democratic candidates are knotted together at the top – former vice-president Joe Biden, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and former mayor Pete Buttigieg – and more than half of caucus-goers say they are still open to changing their minds.

Iowans famously take this responsibility seriously, and since 2000, every Democratic winner of the Iowa caucuses has gone on to win the party’s nomination. But the prospect of four more years of a president Democratic voters view as singularly dangerous has added to the pressure. Their choice will reward one candidate – or possibly multiple – an early advantage as they compete in primaries across the rest of the nation.

After a yearlong leadup shaped by ideological clashes and a contest of ideas over issues of healthcare, climate change and income inequality, the leading candidates spent the weekend crisscrossing the state to make their final appeals.

“I respectfully suggest, not because I’m running, but because of the man who’s president, you’ve never had a greater responsibility than you have today,” Biden told a crowd of more than a thousand people his at his final campaign rally on Sunday in a Des Moines middle school gym.