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Iowa jump starts 2016 presidential campaign

The Hawkeye state is still hot when it comes to presidential politics. It doesn’t matter that the next election is more than three years away.

Republicans are ready to test the presidential waters. That means stops in Iowa over the weekend.

Folks saw familiar faces like Donald Trump in Des Moines.

“The people of Iowa are hard working people,” he said.

And at the Iowa State Fair, former senator Rick Santorum was making the rounds.

“We’re obviously very excited to be here,” he said.

At Monday’s Scott County Republican Women’s meeting in Davenport, it’s not too early to start thinking about 2016.

“There’s a point at which voters start to look for a change,” said Carol Crain, Scott County Republicans. “I think with some of the things happening in this administration, people are beginning a little earlier.”

Just a year ago this Thursday, President Obama campaigned in the Village of East Davenport.

“Don’t look for quick fixes,” he said.

It wasn’t that long ago.

That appearance helped to fuel his bid for a second term. And now, Democrats aren’t wasting any time getting ready for 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden is the latest addition.

“We will lead the world again,” he said, during a stop in Davenport in 2012.

He’s set to speak at Sen. Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry in September. It’s the same event that got Barack Obama sizzling seven years ago.

Hillary Clinton supporters are preparing for a possible run. They’re getting support from Missouri colleague, Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“We all get to say Madam President,” she said.

And there’s a lot of new names you’ll be hearing about, like Democrat Julien Castro and Republican Ted Cruz.

“We get a chance to see these people pretty close and up front,” said Tom Engelmann, Scott County Democrats.

Engelmann says that Iowans take that role seriously.

“We tend to ask hard questions and try to demand answers,” he said.

With more than three years to go, there should be plenty of answers for both parties in Iowa.

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