CHICAGO — When you think of important early voting states, Illinois is not top of mind. But 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have their sights set on winning the Land of Lincoln’s delegates.
In Iowa Friday night, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot is interviewing South Bend Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg. While it’s not an endorsement, the Buttigieg campaign hopes it will improve the perception that the Midwest mayor doesn’t connect well with African American voters.
Other Democratic hopefuls have recently visited the city. Last weekend, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied supporters at Broadway Armory on the North Side.
"Only in Chicago is the big Saturday night entertainment politics!” Warren said.
Warren and other campaigns are making major investments in Illinois ahead of the March 17 primary.
Former state senator and candidate for governor, Daniel Biss, has signed up for the Warren campaign.
"Her staff now is building an incredible ground operation to know on doors and make sure that we are not only prepared for the Iowa caucus but to win the Illinois primary anymore,” Biss said.
All year long, top tier Democrats have visited the Windy City. Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped by Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH.
"If I get elected president, I will be a president who stands against racism,” Biden said.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders stood with striking Chicago teachers.
"If you love America, you love the children of America,” Sanders said.
Republicans also get Chicago’s importance. President Trump attended a fundraiser here last month.