DES MOINES— The matching shirts are printed, the band instruments are tuned, the meat is thawing and the smell of grilling will soon be in the air. That’s right, it’s the annual Polk County Steak Fry, the official kickoff of the fall campaign season and a must-impress moment for 2020 Democrats.
The event was started in the early 1970s to help former Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) first congressional campaign. Harkin retired in 2014 but the Steak Fry has lived on. The intervening years have included a who’s who of Democratic politicians: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton secured past speaking spots, as have current contenders former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Both are set to attend this year.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is currently the candidate to watch in Iowa. She is thought to have arguably the best ground game operation and is expected to draw a big crowd of supporters at today’s event. A new Des Moines Register poll, set to drop tonight, will give Iowans a clearer picture where she stands compared to Biden and Sanders, her top rivals for the Feb. 3, 2020, caucuses.