Four presidential candidates to visit downtown Ames


Grant Tetmeyer/Iowa State Daily

Patrons enjoy the Ames Main Street Farmers Market on June 15. The market and downtown Ames will host multiple presidential campaigns Saturday.

Jake Webster

UPDATE: Bullock’s event in Ames was cancelled so he could attend a forum on gun control in Des Moines.

Iowa is the center of presidential primary politics, and Ames is just about in the center of Iowa.

Saturday, downtown Ames will play host to four Democratic presidential candidates. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, businessman Tom Steyer, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will all hold events in Ames.

Steyer will headline a meet and greet 9 a.m. at Cafe Diem, hosted by the Story County Democrats.

Bullock’s campaign will dual Steyer’s — the Montana governor will be visiting the Ames Farmers’ Market just outside Cafe Diem on Main Street at the same time.

Bennet will hold a meet and greet at Cafe Diem at 12:30 p.m., while Gabbard will use the same venue at 6 p.m. for her own meet and greet.

The litany of candidates visiting Ames comes at a time all four campaigns are in a race to qualify for the September presidential debate. Qualification for the debate requires receiving at least 130,000 unique donors from at least 400 donors in 20 states and receiving at least 2% in four Democratic National Committee (DNC) approved polls.

Of the candidates holding Saturday Ames events, none of them have so far qualified for the September debate.

Gabbard has reached the donor requirement, though has not received the requisite polling numbers to qualify. Bullock, Steyer and Bennet have not met either criteria.

The latest Monmouth poll of likely Iowa caucus goers found Steyer with 3% support, Bullock and Gabbard with 1% and Bennet with zero.