Despite lack of primary threat, Trump 'going big' in Iowa
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[January 18, 2020]
By Jarrett Renshaw and Tim Reid
DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - 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. As a dozen
Democrats battle in their own caucuses to take him on in November,
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
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 advisor
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
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."
[to top of second column]
U.S. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Lara Trump, and Senior
Advisor Mercedes Schlapp speak on a panel during a Women for Trump
bus tour stop in Sioux City, Iowa, U.S. January 16, 2020.
REUTERS/Brenna Norman/File Photo
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
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
Unlike the Democratic caucuses, there are no viability thresholds,
such as getting 15% of support, on the Republican side.
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and former Illinois
congressman Joe Walsh are challenging Trump in the primary but are
not considered viable candidates.
(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw in New York and Tim Reid in Des
Moines, Iowa; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Chizu Nomiyama)
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