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Trump holds rally in Iowa days before first 2020 voting contest

Donald Trump rally — Iowa
President Trump arrives for a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Getty

President Trump rallied his supporters in Iowa on Thursday, just four days before Democrats caucus in the first voting contest of the presidential race. Several of the Democrats running against him for the presidency have been absent from the campaign trail because they're participating in Mr. Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate.

At the rally, Mr. Trump looked ahead to the 2020 election and said "we're gonna win the great state of Iowa" and "it'll be a historic landslide."

But he also warned of what would happen if he lost the election. "You have no choice, you have to vote for me. Otherwise, everything that you've built in your entire life will be gone," Mr. Trump said. He added that Iowa farms are "going to hell" if a Democrat wins in November.

The president also touched on the widespread coronavirus outbreak, saying the U.S. is continuing to work with other countries on containing the highly-contagious disease "so it doesn't get out of hand." He also slammed the impeachment trial, noting he has given the U.S. its "best years ... and I just got impeached. That's not gonna work."

Later in Mr. Trump's speech, he invited Governor Kim Reynolds to the podium and said Iowans are ready to caucus.

In 2016, Mr. Trump placed second to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses. This time around, he has minimal competition, with only long-shot candidates Congressman Joe Walsh, of Illinois, and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.

Nonetheless, the Trump campaign will have a substantial presence in place — it's dispatching 80 surrogates to caucus sites around Iowa next week, even though most of the focus will be trained on the Democrats, who are locked in a close race.

Mr. Trump beat Hillary Clinton by about nine points in Iowa in the general election.

Peter Martinez, Mike Knoller, and Arden Farhi contributed to this report.

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