Political News

Democrats are turning the Super Bowl into campaign gatherings in Iowa

Posted February 2, 2020 2:44 p.m. EST

— Democratic presidential contenders are turning the Super Bowl into campaign events on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

This year's game is awkwardly timed, kicking off as candidates wrap up a whirlwind weekend of campaigning that might on any other night be punctuated by a large final rally.

Their organizers and volunteers will keep knocking on doors through the game, campaigns said. Several of the leading candidates, meanwhile, have built events around the game.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a baseball guy, but he's made an allowance for Sunday's festivities. His campaign is hosting a "Big Game Watch Party" at a Des Moines bar, where he'll be joined by Reps. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Ro Khanna of California.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is hosting a Super Bowl watch party at Doc's Lounge in Johnston, a Des Moines suburb. Klobuchar will speak to the crowd at halftime.

The doors open at 5 p.m. CT -- but her supporters will remain out knocking doors during the game, an aide said.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's plans were loose, an aide said Saturday, but he planned to visit a bar and then stop by a supporter's Super Bowl house party.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be in Des Moines to watch the game with Brad Bauman, a senior adviser to Andrew Yang, at a gathering in the Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center sponsored by a coalition of groups including Progress Iowa, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa and Iowa Starting Line, the popular political news site.

Warren's operation is chugging along without taking any obvious notice of what'll be kicking off in Miami Gardens, Florida, at around 5:30 p.m. local time.

About 30 minutes after the game is scheduled to begin, as Iowans brace themselves for the first round of million dollar commercials, Wisconsin state Rep. Greta Neubauer will be firing up a phone bank for Warren in Dubuque.

Top surrogate Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Deb Haaland of New Mexico will be at the University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa, respectively, tackling canvass duty for the campaign later in the evening.

Former Vice President Joe Biden didn't plan any Super Bowl events, but his final planned campaign stop is almost certain to run into the game.

He is scheduled to start his final event before the Iowa caucuses in Des Moines at 4:15 p.m. CT -- an hour and 15 minutes before kickoff.

But Biden is routinely an hour or more late to his events. And he usually lingers well after their conclusion, shaking attendees' hands on the rope line. He's virtually certain to be there well into the game.

Afterward, an aide said, he plans to watch the game with family.

An organizer told attendees in Waterloo on Saturday night, just ahead of a Biden appearance, that door-knockers would continue through the Super Bowl -- eliciting some groans from the crowd.

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