Crawford, who has led presidential campaigns in Iowa for almost three decades, acknowledges Clinton could easily stumble out of the gate if sometimes contrarian Iowans believe they are being force-fed an unlikeable candidate.
And Crawford, principal in Donegal Racing, a thoroughbred partnership, knows a lot about front-runners and dark horses.
Iowa’s caucus season is a personality contest, and the constant challenge of both Democrats and Republicans here every four years is to find new blood. The heavy bruising Democrats took in the midterms cinched the need for a deep bench.
“Democrats are worried,” said Jack Hatch, the veteran Democratic state senator from Des Moines who sputtered in his bid to take on four-term Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. “I’m very worried.”