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As the year concludes, 2020 Democrats look to Iowa and beyond

Candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are closing out 2019 the same way they spent the past several months -- on the campaign trail. While some focus on Iowa, the first state to hold primary voting, others are conducting broader, long-term efforts. Their policy positions vary, but the candidates agree President Trump's reelection is a scenario to avoid. Judy Woodruff reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the final days of 2019, the Democratic presidential candidates hit the campaign trail, hoping to head into the new year with new momentum from last week's debate, before voting begins, just six weeks away.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.:

    Senator Bernie Sanders.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The crowded field crisscrossing the country.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:

    This is a campaign of the working class of this country,

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was joined by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez out West.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    The history of change in America always, always takes place from the bottom on up.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    While Senator Elizabeth Warren returned to Oklahoma City, where she was born and raised.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.:

    Hello, Oklahoma!

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Riling up her supporters with calls for cleaning up government corruption.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren:

    When you see a government that works great for those with money and is not working so well for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple. And we need to call it out for what it is.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And a late edition to the race, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, headed to Pennsylvania.

  • Michael Bloomberg:

    I can't imagine another four years of Donald Trump. We just have to find a way to beat him in November.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Jumping in just a month ago, Bloomberg has shot up in recent polls, after spending millions of his personal fortune on campaign ads.

    The others in the race spent a lot of time in Iowa, hoping to sway voters who remain largely undecided, with just six weeks before the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden traveled across the Hawkeye State, knocking on doors and talking to voters at a local Christmas tree farm. Speaking at a town hall, he focused on the importance of unity.

  • Joseph Biden:

    Our democracy, I think, is in trouble. And we are at breaking point. And I think we need a president who can rise above the personal attacks and actually reach out and try to heal.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is leading recent polls in Iowa, picked up the endorsement of more than 200 foreign policy and national security professionals, a policy area that Biden has long touted as his area of expertise.

  • Pete Buttigieg:

    Some folks on TV starting to use the word front-runner to describe our standing right here in Iowa.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Fellow Midwesterner Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has also seen a surge in Iowa, as she prepares to finish her tour of the state's 99 counties.

    Low polling numbers kept New Jersey Senator Cory Booker off the debate stage last week. Instead, he took his bus tour across Iowa, hoping to take advantage of the lack of a clear front-runner in the state's ever-changing field.

  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.:

    My whole campaign is based on this idea that we need a revival of civic grace in our country, we need more courageous empathy for each other.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, President Trump was also out speaking to his supporters at a conservative conference in Palm Beach, Florida.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Generations of patriots before us didn't work, fight, and sacrifice so that we could surrender our country to a raging left-wing mob. They don't know if they're down the middle, if they're far left. They're fighting with each other.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The 15 Democrats still fighting have just a few weeks left to make their case to voters.

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