Sanders' Iowa insurgency could boost Colorado's role

Sanders' Iowa insurgency could boost Colorado's role. 9NEWS at 9 p.m. 01/31/16

Des Moines, Iowa - The first winners and losers of the 2016 presidential race will be made here in in the Hawkeye state Monday night.

The tight race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders here could set the stage for a showdown in Colorado's caucuses, which take place exactly one month later on March 1.

Colorado's Republican party opted not to pick a winner on March 1, but Democrats will hold a preference poll for president.

Sanders is polling far ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, which votes next week. If Hillary Clinton can't fend off the insurgency from Bernie Sanders in Iowa, Colorado would become a more important battleground in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Both candidates made their closing arguments in Iowa on Sunday night with rallies in Des Moines.

Hillary Clinton held a rally with her husband, President Bill Clinton, to drum up enthusiasm in her base. She has strong backing from the party establishment.

Across town, the insurgency from her left was on full display.

Senator Bernie Sanders addressed a packed auditorium at Grandview University, sweltering and muggy from body heat.

A loudspeaker carried his speech out the door, where a line of people spilled out.

Sanders called for a higher minimum wage and denounced the influence of Wall Street in politics, which he used to draw contrast with Clinton.

"My opponent yesterday announced that she had received some $45 million from her Super PAC," Sanders said. "We announced that we received zero for our Super PAC."

His supporters burst into cheers.

Clinton's supporters argue Bernie would struggle to win the general election in November, because the eventual Republican nominee would hammer on the fact that Bernie calls himself a socialist.

"Times have changed people aren't afraid of that word like they used to be," argued former Democratic Iowa state legislator Ed Fallon. "And you know Hillary Clinton has so much baggage."

Fallon says Sanders voters have one thing in common with those who back Donald Trump— they want an outsider.

And turning those people out will be key.

"If enough people who might not traditionally be caucus goers turn out tomorrow we would see a Sanders victory in Iowa," Fallon said.

But Clinton can claim a narrow lead in the final polls here. She was up three points in the latest one published by the Des Moines Register.

"When you consider where [Clinton] was a few months ago, where she was way ahead, the momentum is clearly with Bernie in Iowa," said Ron Beane, a Sanders organizer in Des Moines.

The next time the sun sets on the fields of Iowa, the Democrats here will gather to tell us if that's true.

(© 2016 KUSA)



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