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The Democratic Showdown in Iowa

In just three months, the first election of the Democratic presidential race will be held in Iowa.

Over the weekend, the party held its most important political event yet in the prelude to that vote — including a fabled annual dinner attended by almost every remaining candidate in the campaign. At this dinner in 2007, Barack Obama, then a senator, delivered a searing critique of Hillary Clinton’s electability, helping him pull ahead in the polls. Candidates this time around were hoping for a similar campaign-defining moment.

We traveled to Des Moines to find out how the candidates are trying to stand out in a crowded field and to try to discern who might have the political support, financial might and organizational prowess to become the nominee.

Guest: Reid J. Epstein, a campaigns and elections reporter for The Times based in Washington D.C.

Clare Toeniskoetter and Monika Evstatieva, producers for “The Daily,” who traveled to Des Moines to speak with campaign supporters.

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

Background reading:

  • With the Iowa caucuses fast approaching, the ideological debate has remained the same, but the key players have shifted, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren appearing to have gained momentum.
  • The latest poll in Iowa suggested that Ms. Warren had seized much of Bernie Sanders’s youthful following. Here are five takeaways from the survey.

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