WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Most of the voters I met in West Des Moines Monday night showed up to their caucus site with their minds already made up. Yet, that did not dissuade citizens in precinct 313 from trying to sway their fellow citizens’ votes by making passionate cases for their respective Republican presidential candidates. Most of the 2016 contenders had a representative or supporter to speak on their behalf. Here are a few glimpses of their ardent speeches:
A college student spoke on behalf of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
“Ben Carson is not a politician,” he said.
“He will enhance America’s opportunity to restore our economy.”
The student finished his remarks by championing Carson’s “true character.”
“He is a man of integrity, a man of God.”
“Ted Cruz is exactly what the doctor ordered,” one gentleman argued.
“We need somebody who will stand up for the Constitution,” the voter insisted. “He’s done everything he can to stop Obamacare.”
“I’ve never seen a man more consistent” in his conservatism, he continued. “He stood up against everything, even in his own party” to do what the people want.
The businessman’s son Donald Trump Jr. made a surprise appearance in precinct 313 to make the case for his father. He advocated his dad’s plan to cut the nonsense in Washington, his love for his country and his ability to relate to voters, despite the media stereotype.
“He’s still a blue collar guy at heart,” he said. “He wants to have a cheeseburger and watch football like everyone else.”
One caucus-goer made a noticeably different pitch for his candidate. He spent most of his remarks advocating for Rubio’s electability.
“We’re fighting for the middle 20 percent,” he said. “We need to nominate a candidate who will get support from Reagan Democrats.”
The Rubio voter seemed to earn the loudest applause, which ended up being a good indicator of the final tally.
A former Marine asked the room to “take a stand with Rand.” The greatest treasure is the future, he said, and Paul will defend their liberties.
A congresswoman from Indiana spoke on behalf of her friend. Not only does he have a proven strong economic record in New Jersey, but she also championed his social conservatism, namely his pro-life credentials.
One woman spoke highly of Huckabee's Fair Tax plan and the wonders it would do for our economy.
The remaining candidates either did not have a surrogate to speak on their behalf or the remarks were short and did not make much of an impression.
The final tally was as such:
Cruz – 24
Fiorina – 2
Huckabee – 4
Kasich – 4
Paul – 15
Rubio – 71
Santorum - 2
Trump - 54