DES MOINES, Iowa – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz raised the roasted turkey leg like a sword in his Iowa State Fair debut in 2014, the up-and-coming conservative joining a half-dozen other Republican presidential prospects in strolling the Grand Concourse.
Four years later, almost as many Democrats made the pilgrimage to the fair, including former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who snaked his way past tables under the Iowa Pork Producer’s tent at the annual Midwestern tribute to overindulgence.
But as the 2022 fair entered its final weekend, the 2024 traffic was noticeably light.
It speaks to the careful dance that potential presidential candidates are attempting as Democrats remain uncertain about President Joe Biden’s political future and many Republicans avoid taking on former President Donald Trump. Several would-be GOP candidates have quietly made political…