URBANDALE, Iowa (KXAN) — It’s a sprint to the finish over the first hurdle of the 2016 race, the Iowa Caucus. Up towards the front with Donald Trump is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Eight hundred people from around the country have come through the Ted Cruz Iowa headquarters in Urbandale. That’s a 100 volunteer increase from just a week and a half ago. Around half of them come from Texas.
“May I speak to Gerald, please? My name is Dorothy Blackman and I’m with Senator Ted Cruz for President campaign,” Dorothy introduces herself to someone who’s signed up to be called by the Cruz campaign. She’s from Fort Worth and has been in the Des Moines area since Jan. 5.
“When I talk to my husband and talk to my son, who’s 16, back in Texas, they support what I’m doing. If they didn’t support what I was doing. I wouldn’t be here,” said Blackman.
The campaign has a goal of 15,000 phone calls a day. Recently, they’ve been reaching that goal early in the day. More and more volunteers like Dorothy show up towards crunch time.
“There’s so much at stake in this election. I really think our country is on the brink. If good people don’t step up and do something, then we have no one to blame but ourselves,” said Blackman.
At each campaign stop, volunteers take down names, numbers and emails. Then, in the final days of the race, a room of people reminds more than 10,000 rock-solid Cruz supporters to get their friends to caucus on Feb. 1.
“This is really what makes a difference in a caucus campaign, those personal contacts,” said Iowa State Director of the Cruz Campaign, Bryan English. He said he knows all the data collected doesn’t mean a thing without action from volunteers .
“You’ve got such a participatory process. People need to feel connected to not just the candidate, but the campaign,” said English.
And it wouldn’t be 21st century campaigning without some social media. Volunteers can do everything they can in here, on the Ted Cruz app.
KXAN’s Political Reporter Phil Prazan will have full coverage from Iowa all week long leading up to the caucus.