Fans packed the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to attend a rally for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, part of his campaign to push ahead of the pack in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Campaign officials said over 3,000 were in attendance, a large crowd for Iowa caucus events, and much larger than what was reported for other candidates. The event featured live music from Grammy-winning band Vampire Weekend, speeches from Michael Moore, Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Cornel West, with concession stands selling beer and reports of cannabis odor on the premises.
Sanders is known to draw large crowds as his events, which feature prominent speakers and live entertainment. This rally was particularly important as he fights to pull away from the rest of the pack for the Democratic nomination, with some polls showing him ahead of Joe Biden, his closest rival. On Monday, the caucuses begin, which is expected to exceed the turnout from 2016, where 171,000 people attended.
Sanders is expected to return to Washington on Monday, where he, Warren and Klobuchar are likely to attend the continuation of President Trump’s impeachment trial.