We have two and a half weeks until Nov. 8 arrives, the flood of presidential campaign events ends and voters give a final verdict. Since the time the nominees were officially tapped in national conventions in July, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have had some events in Iowa.
Trump came on the heels of the Republican Party Convention, with stops in Davenport and Cedar Rapids on July 28. Clinton arrived to Iowa by Aug. 10 in Des Moines, and vice presidential nominees have been in the state too.
If you notice the cities chosen for events above, they don't include Sioux City. The stops have been bigger cities to the east and central parts of the state.
So here's the question: Will Trump or Clinton come in the next 17 days before the election to Sioux City, the state's fifth largest city?
Trump's campaign in Iowa did not respond to a Journal inquiry on whether such a city stop may happen. Clinton's Iowa campaign communications director Yianni Varonis said Iowa is important to Clinton, but did not specifically address if a city event may get planned.
Clinton campaigned in Sioux City five times from 2015 to January 2016, and Trump was in the city three times, plus made another stop in nearby Sioux Center. They essentially drew their campaigning before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses to a close in Sioux City, when Trump and Clinton on Jan. 30 made overlapping stops downtown on the evening. It was a big night for Sioux City.
But since then, no Clinton, no Trump.
Why should they come?
(1) Iowa remains a battleground state. An analysis I saw two months ago placed Iowa as one of only two true swing states in the race to nab 270 electoral votes and seize the presidency. Another analysis this week had Iowa as the sole battleground state, although some see it leaning for Trump.
(2) There is a precedence for a last-hour visit by one of the presidential nominees. In November 2004, President George W. Bush filled up the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City the very day before the election. Bush won re-election, over Democrat John Kerry, a day later. (He also became just the fifth sitting president to make a stop in Sioux City. Barack Obama became the sixth with a September 2012 event.)
(3) Trump in particular may want to schedule an appearance. As has been recounted time and again, Northwest Iowa is very prime turf with Republican voters. Making a Siouxland stop could drive turnout for Trump. If some Northwest Republicans are wary about Trump given some controversial statements, he may be able to use a rally to deliver them to his camp.
For sure, the campaigns are looking strategically, based on polls and other factors, at which states must get visits in the precious few last days.
Here's the view of Clinton's spokesman Varonis: "Hillary Clinton is committed to running hard in Iowa and our supporters and volunteers are encouraging Iowans to cast their votes early in this historic election. Early voting shows that Iowans are rejecting Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies in droves."
It takes a few days to finalize a campaign stop. Sometimes the candidates' teams block out venues in case a stop happens. Unfortunately, the Sioux City official who oversees the larger city-owned facilities is out of the office, unable to answer if some places are being held.
The campaigns also could be working with Morningside College, which could pull off a stop that could hold 2,000.