DES MOINES -- At a debate-watching event hosted Thursday night by the state party, Iowa Republican voters conveyed a mixture of intentions just four days from the caucuses.
Some are locked in to a candidate, but many remain undecided.
“They’re all really good people,” said Tom Britt, of Le Mars, who said he plans to caucus on Monday but said he has not yet decided for whom.
Most polls on the GOP field in Iowa show a close race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio is a consistent third, but well behind the front-runners.
Britt and his son Dave, also of Le Mars, said before Thursday night’s debate that the event taking place just blocks away in downtown Des Moines may go a long way toward informing their choice at the caucuses. Neither has seen a candidate in person, they said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them both live (on television),” said Dave Britt, who said he has narrowed his choices to Rubio and Cruz. “There’s no big deciding issue between them that I have. Just kind of personality, more or less.”
Tom Britt said he feels one candidate is disqualified for him: Trump, who skipped Thursday night’s debate over his objection to Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and instead held a campaign event at Drake University in Des Moines.
“I think he should be here to represent himself if he wants us to vote for him,” Tom Britt said. “He’s a big boy. He should be able to stand up to Megyn Kelly.”
Sean Loporto and Sydnie Duty, both of Fort Dodge, said they, too, are having a difficult time picking a candidate.
Loporto said he likes both Cruz and Rand Paul, although he fears Paul cannot win Iowa.
Duty said she likes Cruz and Ben Carson, who surged in the polls over the summer and at one point led but has since faded.
“I just listen to what they have to say and see what makes more sense,” Duty said.
These undecided Iowa Republicans are not alone. Polls published this week suggested 30 percent to 40 percent of GOP caucus-goers could still change their mind before casting their secret ballot Monday.
Katie Funk, of Des Moines, has no such issue. Funk, who also attended the debate-watching event, said she is firmly in Marco Rubio’s camp.
“I like the man. He’s trustworthy,” Funk said. “It’s all about feeling. I feel like they are all similar and they all have their strong points, but Marco Rubio is a good guy.”