DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 31, 2016) – After a seemingly endless barrage of phone calls and television ads, Iowa voters will finally have their say Monday night.
This weekend the candidates crisscrossed the state, making their final pitch.
“I’m asking you tomorrow night, please go out and caucus,” Sen. Marco Rubio told an Iowa crowd.
As the candidates crammed in as many last-minute rallies as possible, behind the scenes an army of volunteers work the phones and neighborhoods.
“Hi, this is Shelby and I’m a volunteer calling from the Marco Rubio campaign,” Shelby Truitt told a prospective voter Sunday.
The Lebanon native, and recent Indiana University graduate, has spent days near Des Moines manning phones and knocking on doors.
“I actually switched jobs so I could work remotely and volunteer,” she said.
Retail politics is what makes Iowa shine. Not only shine but succeed, especially given the note in Saturday’s final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll that 45 percent of GOP caucus-goers could still change their minds.
“If you engage them, he was willing to say he’d consider,” former Indiana State Rep. Mike Murphy said, who’s in Iowa campaigning for Jeb Bush. “There’s no better way than to live a part of history than to say you’ve worked on the Iowa Caucuses.”
Turnout Monday night will be everything. It’s what brought a trio from Evansville to Des Moines to campaign for Bernie Sanders.
Saturday’s poll showed Hillary Clinton with a slim lead over Sanders, 45 to 42 percent.
“If Bernie can win Iowa tomorrow, it’s going to set the town for the rest of the primary season,” Adam Schaaf said, from Evansville.
But Clinton’s campaign has been working for years to organize in neighborhoods statewide from the ground up.
“I think the poll is great,” Gordon Hendry said, who traveled to Des Moines from Indianapolis. “It shows she’s ahead in Iowa. I think she’s going to close strong and win Iowa.”
Now just hours remain.
That means there’s enough time for another phone call and door knock.
“There’s a lot of undecided,” Truitt said. ‘Which I’ve heard is normal for Iowa.”