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Presidential Contenders Barnstorm Iowa; Poll Shows Warren Ahead Of Biden

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Time flies when you're having fun. The Iowa caucuses are just four months away. Democratic presidential hopefuls are putting in a ton of time in the state, and one of them just got some good news. According to the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, Senator Elizabeth Warren has now surged to the top of the pack. Here's Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters.

CLAY MASTERS, BYLINE: Over the weekend, some people were calling the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry the Coachella of the caucuses. Twelve thousand tickets were sold, and 17 of the candidates spoke.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUMS)

MASTERS: California Senator Kamala Harris danced into the park with a drumline. She addressed her supporters cracking a joke about a tweet that surfaced last week where she was telling one of her fellow senators she was moving to Iowa.

(APPLAUSE)

KAMALA HARRIS: I mean, I'm kind of moving to Iowa. (Laughter). But in my heart - I mean, I did actually pack my stuff up. I have to tell you.

MASTERS: When former Vice President Joe Biden showed up, a throng of reporters wanted to know his thoughts about President Trump's conversation with the new leader of Ukraine. Trump reportedly asked Ukraine to investigate Biden's son's business dealings.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE BIDEN: This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power.

MASTERS: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren addressed the issue when she took the stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELIZABETH WARREN: It is time for us to call out this illegal behavior and start impeachment proceedings right now.

(APPLAUSE)

MASTERS: Warren's speech came before the newest Iowa poll came out later that day. It showed Warren besting Biden for the first time here. Many Iowans planning to caucus are now really starting to winnow the field in their heads, and it was evident at the steak fry, like mother and daughter Shannon and Taylor Adams. Shannon says Harris is her favorite, but she has a top four.

SHANNON ADAMS: Elizabeth Warren, Kamala, Beto and Pete.

MASTERS: She's referring to former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Taylor has it down to two, Warren and Harris.

TAYLOR ADAMS: They both just have a certain, like, I guess, like, spunk that I don't feel from the other candidates. I feel like they could take on Trump.

MASTERS: The calendar now says fall, and the Democratic candidates hope their months of Iowa organizing pay off as they kick into high gear. For NPR News, I'm Clay Masters in Des Moines. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.