How Presidential Candidates Spent Caucus Eve Preparing For Their Day Of Reckoning
It has been a long and strange road to the primary elections ever since the presidential debates began in August 2015. However, after surviving six long months of a volatile political field — thanks to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in particular — the moment we've all been waiting for is finally here: the critical Iowa caucuses. Because the actual caucus meetings are obviously very important, it's interesting to look at how the candidates prepared for the caucuses and how they spent their last day before the votes rolled in.
In preparation for the first official vote of the season on Feb. 1, the presidential hopefuls traveled all around the state of Iowa to give last-minute speeches and town halls. Ultimately, this weekend was the time when the candidates did whatever they could to persuade undecided voters. For some, like Ted Cruz, that meant stopping in small, rural places like Fenton, Iowa (with a population of 279) because Cruz vowed to visit all 99 counties in the state. Similarly, Carly Fiorina added six stops to her pre-caucus events in hopes of gaining more voters over the weekend.
Although we know when to expect the Iowa caucus results, on the Sunday before the voting takes place the candidates were more concerned with how to influence those votes on the eve of the caucuses. In a last-ditch effort to sway the votes, here's how some of the candidates spent the day before the Iowa caucuses:
Ben Carson Promoted Religion & Immigration Reform
Many people attend church on Sunday mornings, and it seems Ben Carson does, too. (Or maybe he's just trying to appeal to those with religious values.) In any case, Carson sent out an early morning tweet around 8:30 a.m. spreading the gospel to his 1.11 million Twitter followers. Also of note, his Twitter avatar is a photo of him holding a sign that says "In God We Trust."
On the day before the Iowa caucuses, Carson's strategy was to appeal to voters via religion. However, soon after his first tweet, he resumed playing presidential hopeful and made sure to tweet about his immigration plan, which he seems pretty stoked about.
Hillary Clinton Championed Women's Rights & Tax Reform
On the morning before the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton focused her social media campaign on advocating for women's rights. Specifically, Clinton showed her support for women in China where The New York Times reported a famed women's legal aid center is closing. The Beijing Zhongze Women's Legal Counseling and Service Center served women activists and lawyers in Beijing since 1995. Clinton, who Ted Cruz recently called an insincere women's rights advocate, made clear to her 5.26 million Twitter followers that she does care about women all over the world. Not only that, Clinton later tweeted about her plans for tax reform in an effort to help lower-income people.
Taking a break from advocating for others, Clinton later tweeted a short video of Gabby Giffords making an emotional plea for Clinton's presidency.
All of these messages are giving voters something to think about in the day leading up to the Iowa caucuses, and Clinton was strategic in her social campaigning Sunday.
Marco Rubio Letting His Light Shine
On the day before the Iowa caucuses, Marco Rubio's social media campaign was a little slow. However, that might be because he is continuing to give stump speeches across the state today in various counties. In any case, Rubio made sure to share a special video with his 1.1 million Twitter followers Sunday. The video is all about how Rubio will reignite America's light (whatever that means) when he becomes president. But really, the two-minute video is kind of just a weird montage of outdoor landscape scenes panning across the screen in slow motion.
Rubio is trying to prove to voters why he is the best candidate, especially on the eve of the caucuses, but the video gets weird at the end when Rubio's stern message from the last debate plays over the soothing background music. In it, Rubio talks more about this whole "America's light" thing and, strategically, criticizes Obama to show voters why he would be the best option for POTUS 2016.
For over 200 years America's light's been shining on the world and the world has never been the same again. But now the light is dimming a little after seven years of Barack Obama, and that's why Monday night, what will happen here in Iowa, is so important.
Bernie Sanders Only Focuses On The Iowa Caucuses
While some of the other candidates are taking a more subtle approach, Bernie Sanders's entire Twitter feed from the Sunday preceding the caucuses featured tweets explicitly mentioning the Iowa caucuses. Maybe Sanders was feeling the pressure the day before his face-off with Clinton. Maybe he's just really excited to participate in his first ever Iowa caucuses.
Whatever the case, there's no need to tell Sanders to #FeelTheBern, because clearly he already is. From addressing young people to strategically retweeting major news outlets' coverage of his campaign, Sanders has spent his Sunday before the caucuses reminding his 1.27 million Twitter followers of why he's the best and why he should win the caucus tomorrow.
Donald Trump On Church & Ted Cruz
Donald Trump started his morning before the Iowa caucuses with a brief mention of his plans to attend church with his wife. Credit to him for tweeting before 7 a.m.!
Trump seemed like a decent, church-going guy at 6:50 in the morning, but his 5.95 million Twitter followers quickly saw his true colors soon after. In somewhat of a tweetstorm, Trump posted seven tweets in two hours attacking Ted Cruz and his campaign.
Apparently Trump's strategy leading up to the Iowa caucuses was twofold: First, to make a brief mention of church in an attempt to try to convince voters that he has religious values. Second, to get back to what his supporters want (an aversion to political correctness) and, in true Trump style, attack his fellow GOP candidate (and Hillary, too!).
Ted Cruz Shows Off Caucus Events
The day before the Iowa caucuses, Ted Cruz dedicated his entire Twitter feed to promoting his personal caucus events. All 760,000 of his Twitter followers were bombarded with tweet after tweet showing off the packed rooms at the campaign meetings for the presidential hopeful. From an adorable photo of Cruz's daughters "running to the caucuses" to his wife, Heidi, campaigning for her husband, Cruz focused all of his social media posts on updating voters about his relevance in the race. He even had a celebrity endorsement from Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, which is kind of odd, but hey, Cruz gets what Cruz wants.