Rubio’s volunteers make one last push before the eye of the caucus

By Alison Martin

ANKENY, Iowa – Risin’ up, one more day on the street.

In the early hours of the morning, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio visited his hardworking volunteers at his Ankeny headquarters. After months of phone calls and door knocks, Iowans all over the state would cast their votes, but in the meantime, it was up to volunteers to make the final push before the caucuses start and no more can be done.

By noon, volunteers both young and old were still dialing numbers and pitching Rubio’s policies. Communications director Jordan Russell said at this stage in the game, most volunteers were helping voters find their precincts and alerting them to voting times.

Not all volunteers were locals or even Iowans. Alex Richmond came to Iowa from Michigan. A graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Richmond took his time deciding which candidate to support.

While watching the second debate, Richmond connected with Rubio’s stance on foreign policy.

“He pretty much blew me away,” Richmond recalled.

Since coming onto the Rubio campaign in Iowa several months ago, Richmond has spent most of his time making phone calls. He estimated he’s made roughly 8,000 phone calls – many were undecided.

“People are almost always super nice,” Richmond said, except when volunteers called during dinner time.

The experience taught Richmond just how diverse voters can be from state to state. In Michigan, he said, voters know who they want long before the primaries. In Iowa, voters have so many more opportunities to meet candidates and hear their pitches.

“People have really taken their time,” Richmond said.

Regardless of the night’s outcome, Rubio’s staff will have little time to celebrate. Bright and early the next morning, Rubio will touch down in New Hampshire, ready to start the whole thing over again. Russell said he thinks he’ll be in South Carolina.

“It’s the start of a long process.”