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What Iowa Looks Like Ahead Of The Caucuses

Goldie Federico-Rubin, 2, of Des Moines, stands next to her mom, Laura Federico, as they list to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 during a campaign event at Berg Middle School in Newton, Iowa.
Michael Zamora NPR
Goldie Federico-Rubin, 2, of Des Moines, stands next to her mom, Laura Federico, as they list to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 during a campaign event at Berg Middle School in Newton, Iowa.

In Iowa, voters expect candidates to come to them. Homes, churches and schools serve as intimate venues for presidential hopefuls to meet and greet with folks who could have an impact on the momentum of their campaigns.

"We expect to shake their hands, we expect to look them in the eye, we expect to be able to ask them the questions we care about," says Rachel Paine Caufield, a political science professor at Drake University in Des Moines.

The Iowa caucuses are on Monday — the first contest of the 2020 presidential race — and candidates are making a final push in the state. (A tradition that has been disrupted for candidates who are also senators and obligated to observe President Trump's impeachment trial.)

Here's what it looks and sounds like to be among the eager voters and committed activists ahead of the big event.

Video produced by NPR's Michael Zamora.

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