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Pete Buttigieg bolsters support on the final day in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa – With the final day before the Iowa caucuses, candidates have been working to gain as much momentum and support as possible.

Among those holding their final rallies and town hall meetings is former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Still known as Mayor Pete, Buttigieg took the state at Lincoln High School in Des Moines with a fired up crowd of more than 2,000 on hand.

He had the crowd cheering, chanting and laughing as he vowed to win the Iowa caucuses Monday night despite recent polls showing him trailing behind other candidates.

After one of the public events, Buttigieg seemingly lowered his expectations for Iowa to shift his focus beyond the caucuses in case he doesn’t get the results he is hoping for in the state.

“These first four states amount to the critical early tests, not only of the strength of our organization but the strength of our message, and those two things together, are not only what I need to make sure are in a position to earn the nomination, but what it will take to go on to defeat Donald Trump,” Buttigeig said.

Before the Des Moines rally, hundreds of Pete for America supporters lined up outside on the sidewalk, down the street and around the corner of the venue.

Despite Buttigieg’s slip in the polls, their enthusiasm has not been dampened.

“Everyone should make it out to the caucus to make themselves heard so that the authentic winner can win. I don’t think we should listen to the polls about going or not going. Everyone should come out and make democracy work,” said caucus-goer Faith Schwartz.

“Very exciting weekend in Iowa as we all get to hear the candidates for the last time, before we make a decision. I think it’s important that we see all of them in case our first choice doesn’t come through and we still know who to support and why why we’re supporting in the months to come,” said caucus-goer Anne Wodniak.

Pam Matz, a Buttigieg campaign volunteer from South Bend, is spending the weekend knocking on doors in Iowa for the hometown candidate that attended school with her daughter. 

"I think Mayor Pete can do for the nation what he did for our city. He has turned it around, we were a dying city and now we have so much going on. He's a positive, smart, wonderful person and I think he is what the nation needs now," Matz said. 

The polls may show other candidates leading right now, but the one thing people on the ground are saying is that Buttigieg is inspiring people and generating more buzz than someone like Joe Biden, who has been on the National stage for decades.

Now that the candidates have done what they can in Iowa, it is up to voters headed for 1,678 different caucus sites tomorrow night to determine how effective their campaigning has been in the state. 

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