The months of work now give way to a final week of frenzied campaigning in Iowa, as late polling trends seem to show a boost for Donald Trump on the Republican side, and maybe a surge for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race.
“I have a tremendous bond with the people of Iowa,” Trump said on Sunday in Muscatine. “I think we have a good chance.”
The polls certainly indicate that, as the trend seems to be a swing back in Trump’s favor.
Trump’s lead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls went from 2.6 percent on Friday to double that by Sunday night, as a new Fox News poll on Sunday was the second in recent days that showed Trump leading by 11 points over Ted Cruz.
After surging into the lead several weeks ago in Iowa, Cruz has led in only two of the last ten polls.
Marco Rubio remains in third, just about the only other candidate in double digits in Iowa – he’ll campaign there the rest of this week.
“We are not just picking a political party,” Rubio said of the Iowa Caucus in Cedar Rapids. “We are picking the very identity of our nation. That is what’s at stake in this election.”
Rubio this weekend won the endorsement of two major newspapers in Iowa, the Sioux City Journal and the Des Moines Register.
“Sen. Marco Rubio has the potential to chart a new direction for the party, and perhaps the nation, with his message of restoring the American dream,” the Register editorial board wrote.
That same newspaper also endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic race; after months of looking strong in Iowa, suddenly Clinton’s main challenger Bernie Sanders has surged in the polls, raising questions about who wins on February 1.
Sanders led by 8 points in a CNN poll out last Friday; a CBS poll released Sunday showed him ahead of Clinton by one point.
“Today we are locked in a very close race here in Iowa,” Sanders said in a speech in Decorah, as he vowed again to make a “political revolution.”
Clinton stumped for votes Sunday at a black church in Cedar Rapids, as she again wrapped herself in President Obama’s administration.
“I don’t want to start over on healthcare, I want to build on Obamacare and make it work,” Clinton said.
Not only is Clinton on the stump, but her husband the former President will make stops for her on Wednesday in Iowa.
Republicans will also have a debate in Des Moines on Thursday, which will give voters in the Hawkeye State one last opportunity to size up the GOP field.