On grounds just east of here Saturday, several of the umpteen Republicans with eyes on the presidency grilled pork ribs, played lawn games and gave speeches to rally support for the 2016 Iowa caucuses.
Quick, Kim Meek of Boone, how many of the candidates can you name?
“I couldn’t,” said Meek, an independent voter selling embroidery earlier in the week at a farmers market. “Rick Santa-something? Rick Sanitarium. And the guy with the hair, Trump.”
OK, it’s crazy early in the caucus campaigns. But Meek and others at the farmers market reflected Iowans already feeling dizzy and daunted by the task of sizing up a presidential field never, by some accounts, so packed on the GOP side.
The crowded field has party officials concerned as well and thinking of new ways to approach Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential contest, which for Republicans culminates Feb. 2.