Republicans pull out all the stops in Iowa

IOWA (FOX 32 News) -- With the Iowa Caucus finally taking place on Monday, presidential candidates are spending the weekend racing across the state in a desperate, last-minute bid for votes.

Meanwhile, many voters were busy going to several events, looking for the candidate to finally win their hearts.

Donald Trump's brash and crass campaign style won some and lost some at a stop in Dubuque, Iowa, Saturday. Some voters who thought they would cast ballots for him at Monday night's caucuses, said they were turned off after seeing him in person. Others, though, were converted from skeptics to Trump believers.

Max Smith is a former member of the United Auto Workers union in Northwest Illinois who worked at a John Deere factory for 20 years. He was planning to vote for Hillary Clinton in Illinois's March 15 primary until he heard Trump speak at an airport hangar in Dubuque.  It was one of Trump's smaller rallies, with perhaps 400 on hand. Smith was impressed by Trump's self-confident declarations.

It's big for me [to switch from Clinton to Trump]," Smith said. "It didn't take long listening to him. He's more powerful. He's more to the point. And he's strong."

Others in the crowd here, though, came away disappointed in Trump.

"There are no 'hows.' He's gonna make the country great! But how?" said Iowa voter Maria Schmitz

Her husband, Peter Schmitz added, "Now would I vote for Donald Trump? No! I just don't believe that he can do the things that he talks about doing."

Elaine McNeil, an 86-year old Illinoisan made the trip to Dubuque with her daughter just to see the New York billionaire.  "He's the first man running I'm excited about since Kennedy. And he was a Democrat! He's a Republican. I'm all for him," she said.

Many thought Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be a top-tier Republican candidate, but he's trailing badly. Bush visited Dubuque several hours after Trump departed, speaking to a crowd of about 175 at the American Legion Hall 6.

"This is not about me. This is about you, your families, the country's families that are worried about whether their future's going to be as bright as what they have today," said Bush.

Doing far better than Bush is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz -- running a close second to Trump in some surveys. Cruz attacks Mister Obama at every stop, vowing to countermand executive orders by the President that Cruz calls "illegal and unconstitutional."

Cruz has also attacked rival Marco Rubio, accusing the Florida senator of having supported legislation providing a path to citizenship for immigrants who entered the US illegally.

Rubio, in third place in many Iowa polls, complained that Cruz's recent attacks on him have been unfair.
 

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