Photos from the Iowa campaign trail
All eyes are on the Hawkeye State, where voters will meet on the evening of Monday, Feb. 1, to caucus and award the first delegates of the 2016 presidential election. Candidates have been hitting the trail hard here, hosting rallies, meet-and-greets, town halls, and more events in a final effort to drum up support in a contest where voter turnout will likely be key to results.
On the Democratic side, the Bernie Sanders campaign hopes that a recent uptick in the polls can translate to an upset of Hillary Clinton, once considered the solid front-runner in the race.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is looking to catch up to Donald Trump, who has dominated headlines and attention in the Republican race. Cruz has also been turning up the heat on Marco Rubio after the Florida senator turned in a strong performance in the last GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses. And other Republican candidates like Dr. Ben Carson, who polled in first place in the state and nationally back in October, hope for a final-hour swell of support to carry them to a high enough finish to warrant a fight beyond Iowa.
As the candidates make their eleventh-hour pitches to the people of Iowa, they also look ahead to the next milestone in the race: the New Hampshire primary, just eight days later.
These photographs were shot on assignment by photographer Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work “Political Theater” which examines the landscape of the American political system.