Foot soldiers and volunteers from all campaigns are wrapping up their get-out-the-vote efforts. In just two hours, months of work will be boiled down to Democratic meetings or caucuses all over the state to decide who leaves Iowa with a win.
Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders dropped by their Des Moines headquarters one last time Monday morning.
“We feel real confident about our numbers and we have seen from the past that we sort of do a little better than what our numbers are,” said Berwyn native Pete D’Alessandro, who runs the Sanders Iowa campaign.
“She’s on fire,” said Betsy Ebeling who was stumping for her Park Ridge childhood friend Hillary Clinton. “So I’m hoping Des Moines has caught that fire.”
In a razor thin race, both candidates have brought in friends to vouch for them.
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, the progressive politician who took Rahm Emanuel to a mayoral runoff, is in Iowa for Sanders.
“This is a man with a lot of vision and bold proposals.
High school friends from Maine South like Hardye Moel are in the state for Clinton.
“We’ve known her for so many years through thick and thin,” Moel said. “She’s just the person you can rely on.”
Caucus expert David Yepsen said there are only three tickets out of Iowa.
“Historically the party nominee comes out of the top three finishers in each party,” Yepsen said.
In 1992, Bill Clinton came in third in Iowa but won the presidency. Hillary Clinton came in third in 2008 and didn't.
The third Democratic candidate is former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who has polled only about 4%. In a close race, his votes could deprive Clinton or Sanders of the victory they seek.