DES MOINES, Iowa -- There were a lot of Democratic presidential candidates (17), far more members of the media (325), plenty of umbrellas (too many to count) and a record crowd (12,242) that turned out for the Polk County Democrats' Steak Fry at Water Works Park in Des Moines on Saturday.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, demonstrated her appeal by posing for selfies with a few hundred people who waited in line.
Hours after the event ended, a new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll showed that Warren--for the first time--claimed the top spot in the state among Democrats.
Other candidates found themselves in much different positions. U.S. Senator Cory Booker, of New Jersey, put out a warning that his campaign needed money or it may not continue. "I just had to have a real gut check and a real moment of transparency with our campaign," Booker said, "...if we don’t raise that $1.7 million, we will have to make the tough decisions. Because if you don’t have a pathway to win, you should get out of this race."
Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand, a Democrat, posted a video on Twitter that urged people to donate to Booker, although he added that the video was not an endorsement of the campaign.
Melissa Gaul, a Democrat from Coralville, hadn't made up her mind about which candidate she will back. This was her first time at the Steak Fry and she wants to find a candidate who can accomplish one important thing to her. "I want to know who can beat the president that we have," Gaul said.