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Presidential candidates flock to Iowa State Fair

Tis the season for obscure fried foods on sticks, carnival rides, music, buttered cows and politicians galore. It’s Iowa State Fair time.

The Hawkeye State’s fair, located in Des Moines, is the center of attention as presidential candidates from both sides show up to speak at the presidential forum. One million visitors will attend the fair to hear nearly all the candidates, like Jeb Bush, Martin O’Malley and Carl Cameron, speak. With the attendance so high, the fair is a must-go for presidential candidates on all ends of the spectrum as they round up voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

According to CNN, 14 Republican candidates, and more than 20 candidates in total, are expected to participate in the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox, including Mike Huckabee. The Soapbox is a modern spin on the old-fashioned political event of “getting up on the soapbox.” This is the 12th year that the Des Moines Register Soapbox will be the official location for candidates to share their voices with the crowd, according to CBS News.

When they aren’t “up on the soapbox,” the candidates can be found in their fair gear among the grounds sampling this year’s variety of fair snacks (deep fried nacho balls and fried peanut butter and jelly will make an appearance) and attempting to fit in with their potential voters.

Jeb Bush will be hanging around the fair with Iowa’s two Republican senators. Associated Press reports that Bush says he is fully committed to competing in Iowa’s presidential caucuses. Recent polls show that Bush has been struggling in Iowa; however, Bush says that voters are still making their decisions. How could decisions be made this soon? There are SO many candidates.

“You’ve got to show respect for Iowans. They’re discerning voters,” Bush said.

So who else will be in attendance? According to the New York Times, Joe Biden has reached out about speaking at the Iowa State Fair as he continues to consider his White House run. Though some say it’s too late for Biden, his discussions over possible fundraisers have increased, Fox News reports.

It is rumored that Donald Trump will show up to the fair in his helicopter. It wouldn’t be right if he didn’t show up in some over-the-top fashion. Oh, and it is hilariously rumored that he will use the helicopter as a ride for kids, which fair officials have said is not allowed. We will just have to wait and see if the rumors stand true Saturday.

Just after grabbing backing of former U.S. Senator and influential Democrat Tom Harkin, Hilary Clinton is expected to speak at the Annual Iowa Wing dinner at the history Surf Ballroom Friday. And she will most likely make an appearance at the fair Saturday. Though she will attend, she will not be speaking in the Des Moines Register Soapbox.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as, and Contact Meredith: