More than 20 candidates running for president are heading to the Hawkeye State this week for the Iowa State Fair – the annual event that features a famous “Butter Cow” and has long attracted White House aspirants dating back to Dwight Eisenhower’s visit in the 1950s.
Ever since then, candidates have eyed the fair for a chance to butter up caucus-goers and give them their best pitch on the so-called “political soapbox.”
MARY ANNE MARSH: DEMOCRATS, 2020 AND THE IOWA STATE FAIR — IT’S NOT JUST THE FOOD THAT WILL BE FRIED
Candidates are given 20 minutes each on the soapbox. But the Iowa State Fair is not all about politics: it’s about the people and it’s about the food.
The fair has 69 entrees on a stick this year and a roster of new fried foods for candidates to sink their teeth into. And new this year: a beer perfect for pairing with an Iowa Corn dog. Corn Dog Ale – is brewed with 150 pounds of hot dog buns and cornbread.
This year, nearly every Democratic candidate running for president will make an appearance and many are first-timers.
But it will be a return to the fair for former Vice President Joe Biden, who campaigned for president at the event in 2007 and said, “if you ever wanted to be president of the United States, now is the time to run for president.”
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Biden hopes this time is his time to be on the top of the ticket. A new Quinnipiac poll shows Biden still leading the pack of candidates with 32 percent support among Democrats and Independents. Biden is scheduled to speak on the soapbox on Thursday afternoon.
Not every candidate wanting to be in Iowa will be able to attend: Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke canceled his appearance following the mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.