Republican presidential hopefuls make their way in Iowa

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The GOP descended on Iowa this week. Over the course of three days in Iowa this week, the political pitfalls and opportunities of the state already became apparent, POLITICO reported.

After a slow start, Republican presidential prospects streamed into the leadoff presidential caucus state. 

Just a few weeks into the 2024 GOP primary, Republican presidential hopefuls are making them please in Iowa. 

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley held packed town halls in Iowa on Monday and Tuesday, while former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence have made their own stops in the state. 

Biotech entrepreneur turned anti-woke investor Vivek Ramaswamy has come as well, bringing autographed copies of his book, “Woke Inc.,” to offer the first 100 people who showed up Thursday at Machine Shed, a popular restaurant for Republican gatherings in Polk and Dallas counties.

The nature of the campaign and the caucus makes it impossible for candidates to hide their personalities or evade scrutiny. The results are an even playing field.

“Even though Trump is probably the favorite, I wouldn’t say it’s in the bag,” said Steve Scheffler, Iowa’s Republican National Committeeman. “If Iowans feel like they’re taken for granted, it doesn’t sit too well.”

Iowa political veterans say that the state’s extremely up-close style of politicking serves a purpose, chauvinistic episodes and all.

Still, there is fear that Iowa this cycle may not play its traditional role. With the exception of Trump, who last week announced top staff hires in Iowa, none of the candidates or prospective candidates appear to have yet established any robust campaign operations in the state. 

Democrats have left Iowa behind in the party’s nominating process, voting to move South Carolina first on the calendar. 

And even Republicans in the state are worried about what the change could mean for them.

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