Here it is finally. Vivek Ramaswamy's voice sounds closer and closer from the hallway. Visitors move restlessly back and forth in their seats. This is what they came for, to this back room of a roadside motel in Iowa: personal contact with a presidential candidate.
On Monday, Iowans will cast ballots in the Republican primary, in keeping with tradition as the nation's top state. Donald Trump leads in the polls, followed by Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy.
There is no electoral campaign this strong in this state located in the center of the country. The candidates are nowhere near their voters. If they do.
The door swings open. A wave of disappointment. Ramaswamy, smiling broadly, held up the iPad screen. “welcome everybody!” shouts the candidate. “can you hear me?”
This crucial week, like many states, Iowa is experiencing a ferocious snowstorm. Hundreds of flights were cancelled, and cars ran off the road everywhere. Trump canceled his event in the capital, Des Moines, on Tuesday evening. Hailey also can't keep all her appointments, much to the disdain of Ramaswamy – who is now stuck in the snow, apologizing from his iPad.
Ramaswamy doesn't let her stand in his way. He should win votes, more than anyone else. An employee presses her microphone against the iPad's speaker. Another goes around the circle. “Does anyone have a question for me?” Ramaswamy begins. 'no one?' After some hesitation, the hands rise one by one.
Also read this profile of Vivek Ramaswamy: The younger, more extreme version of Donald Trump who is always smiling.
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