After surprising some pundits by drawing nearly 10,000 passionate supporters at a rally in Wisconsin, Bernie Sanders returned to his small-batch campaign style in Iowa. Radio Iowa reports the candidate spoke to 200 people at a morning event in Sheldon, Iowa and then 150 people at a cafe in Storm Lake, Iowa. Is the size of these crowds a campaign letdown after the big arena-size numbers in Wisconsin? Not at all. The small-batch style matches Sanders’ unique fund-raising efforts. And it’s part of his larger connect-the-dots strategy.
Sanders knows that the way the Iowa caucus process is structured, small towns like Storm Lake carry influence that nearly matches the selection power of Des Moines. Sanders is putting together the necessary infrastructure with these small town visits, and his small-batch campaign also fits thematically with his larger message of empowering disenfranchised individuals and families — giving them a dog in the fight. The infrastructure, Sanders told reporters, is “going to give us a strong chance of winning Iowa.”