DES MOINES, Iowa — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took her pitch directly to voters at Theodore Roosevelt High School on a cold winter evening, as the Iowa caucuses kicked off the 2020 presidential primary.
Warren delighted caucus-goers by showing up in person to make her case in the high school’s main gymnasium. Two other caucuses were meeting elsewhere in the building at the same time as well.
After spending about 20 minutes greeting voters, asking for their support, and taking selfies, Warren — clad in a green jacket and sneakers — strode to the center of the gym to speak through a megaphone.
Warren told voters that she had the strongest organization to win the nomination and defeat President Donald Trump. She asked them to support her for the sake of those who have been “left behind.”
One Warren supporter from Des Moines, who identified herself as Heidi, told Breitbart News that she supported the Massachusetts Senator because she is “pragmatic and has a plan.”
Other candidates also had a strong showing. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had large contingents of supporters who turned out to caucus for them.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) had a sizable group. One of her supporters, Jake, told Breitbart News that he supported her because “she’s the most centrist” and because she supports lower cost trade schools.
The “Yang Gang” showed up as well, and even Tom Steyer had a small contingent of support.
Only former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who recently disparaged the Iowa caucus for lacking demographic diversity — failed to find a single volunteer at the high school to represent him.
Each campaign delegated a surrogate or representative to make the case to the caucus.
Voters then gathered in different parts of the room to align with their first preference. Those with a 15% threshold or higher survived the “first alignment” and headed into the second round, in which voters could choose from among the remaining contenders. That “second alignment” is used to determine overall delegates.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.