The venue was packed with more than a thousand people waiting to see Pete Buttigieg, and a chant had broken out for the Democratic presidential candidate a few minutes before he took the stage.
Kasey Peters, inside the hall, did not chant along. He did not hold up a sign for the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, like some around him, or outwardly applaud Buttigieg’s remarks. The 31-year-old compliance analyst was there just to listen.
The Saturday event was only Peters’ second time seeing a candidate in person this Iowa caucus cycle. He saw Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts nearly a year ago, when she first announced her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Peters had effectively tuned out the crowded race since then, and he’s still undecided.
Things will change in the weeks ahead, as Peters goes to other candidate events and reads up on policy proposals.
“Now that we’re getting closer to caucus, I’m diving in,” he said.
With a month to go before the Feb. 3 caucuses, Iowans like Peters appear to be everywhere. Multi-candidate events draw large turnouts from fervent supporters, but there are also those in the first-in-the-nation caucus state who are not sure which candidate to support. They’re only now beginning to venture out to see the candidates in person, despite the inundation of political ads on television and nearly 2,000 public events candidates have hosted in Iowa in 2019.