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How Elizabeth Warren is working Iowa’s red counties

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Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Northwest Iowa and author of the book “Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper.”

John Russell didn’t know how many people would turn up at an organizing meeting for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)’s campaign last Thursday night in Sac City, Iowa (pop. 2,098). The 29-year-old former farmer and stump grinder was the headline attraction. As a rural coordinator for Warren, Russell has staged a string of events in Iowa’s deep-red counties since April.

In the process, he has developed a strong reputation. He had 23 people show up in Mount Ayr (pop. 1,666) in Ringgold County, one of the most rural and hard-pressed in the country. Ten came in Ida Grove (pop. 2,066). Another 20 or so stopped by in Keosauqua (pop. 923).

The turnouts might not sound like much. But they are revealing when you consider that candidate John Delaney attracted just four people when he spoke in the flesh in Sac City this summer. Besides, no other campaign is doing quite what Warren is doing out here in the rural reaches. She has money, staff, a clear populist message, and she came here early and has returned often.

Warren has at least 65 staffers with a dozen offices in........

© Washington Post