Montana Governor and 2020 presidential hopeful Steve Bullock chats with voters and shows off his grilling skills at the Iowa State Fair.

Montana Governor and 2020 presidential hopeful Steve Bullock chats with voters and shows off his grilling skills at the Iowa State Fair.

About a week ago, most of the Democratic candidates for president assembled at the Iowa State Fair.

They walked around, ate some corn dogs and turkey legs, and took the stage at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox to make their pitch to voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus.

If they felt ambitious (like Colorado senator Michael Bennet, who went on the hang-glider), maybe they went on a ride.

These types of events are taking place across Iowa and New Hampshire as a crowded field of potential nominees try to differentiate themselves ahead of their respective caucuses and primaries — both of which are over 150 days away.

Here’s author and journalist Lyz Lenz, writing for NBC Think about the State Fair:

It’s easy to feel exhausted of the spectacle. And year after year, we ask why Iowa, why this place? Why this fair? Why these butter cows? But the answer lies in the pageantry, the sweat, the heat, the gamey smell of your next president’s armpits as they delicately bite a pork chop and glad hand a farmer.

Why are Iowa and New Hampshire first in the country anyway? How did the system get to be this way? And how are voters in these states deciding who to vote for?

1A went to the Iowa State Fair with The Hill’s political correspondent Reid Wilson, to talk to some voters and find out what’s on their minds.

We also hear from voters in New Hampshire and across the country about what they’re thinking about an election that is steadily picking up steam.

Produced by Gabrielle Healy.

Guests

  • Reid Wilson National correspondent, The Hill; author, "Epidemic: Ebola and the Global Scramble to Prevent the Next Killer Outbreak"; @PoliticsReid
  • Emily Baer Assistant professor of political science, University of New Hampshire

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