Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Iowa campaign team is ready to prove it will be a force to be reckoned with caucus night.
Her team has put together a 99-county day of action currently scheduled for Saturday, which one team member says will be used as a bit of a practice run for the caucuses.
The campaign will host organizing events in all of Iowa’s counties and will include appearances by surrogates such as Klobuchar’s husband, John Bessler, former U.S. Attorney Roxanne Conlin, various Iowa state senators, representatives and a whole gaggle of Minnesotans.
“By doing this thing this weekend, we are showcasing that we are organized and we are ready to go in all 99 counties, and that’s going to be one big piece to our success,” said Norm Sterzenbach, the campaign’s caucus advisor. “The caucuses are a delegate game and there are delegates in every precinct. To do well on caucus night, you need to do well across the state, not just in certain pockets.”
The campaign has certainly been working hard trying to reach every corner of the state. They’ve seen a 132.5% increase in precinct captain recruitment since the last debate and 101% increase in commit to caucus cards.
Klobuchar’s campaign also recently announced it has 100 paid staff members on the ground in Iowa, which has her team keeping pace with most of the front-runners in the race.
But those precinct captains, Sterzenbach said, “are like gold.”
Sterzenbach, who has earned the nickname “Mr. Caucus” for his years organizing the Iowa event, said the captains are the number one thing that’ll add to the team’s success. Because of them, there will be advocates for Klobuchar all over the state come caucus night.
The caucuses are traditionally challenging because there are nearly 1,700 precincts that meet simultaneously in Iowa, plus there are various satellite locations around the country and world.
“Part of the idea of doing something in all 99 counties to start with is to get prepared for caucus night,” Sterzenbach said. “And to make sure that we’re ironing out challenges and just getting everybody ready for the type of operation we’re going to need.”
Iowa presents another unique challenge. In California and Texas and some of the other big states or Super Tuesday states the goal is to win over congressional districts or national delegates. In Iowa, it’s about winning overall state delegate equivalencies
Keeping in par with Klobuchar’s larger message of being the candidate for all of America, Sterzenbach said the team’s plan has always been to make sure her reach extends beyond the usual Democratic strongholds.
“Saturday is going to be an example of that because we are going to continue that effort across the state,” he said. “And as we continue to identify more supporters, we’ve got an operation in every corner that we can move people into, whether they are considering Amy and/or are ready to volunteer we’ve got a place to put them into the operation.”
Going into next week’s debate, Klobuchar’s team is looking for another groundswell of support.
“Senator Klobuchar has been consistently good in the debates across the board and so we know she’s going to do well on Tuesday,” Sterzenbach said. “The campaign is prepared on all fronts for an additional surge of support.”
The team as a whole has been building out the organization for the last year to make sure there’s room for everyone as they come aboard.
“The old adage is organize, organize and get hot at the end,” Sterzenbach said. “And that’s certainly where we feel like we’re at now. The campaign has been putting a lot of work over the last year into trying to build capacity, trying to build good will and strong relationships with people.”
“That’s the place we’re in now,” he said. “That theory, you know, from a long time ago is coming to fruition. And it’s exciting.”
by Paige Godden