DES MOINES, Iowa (KXAN) -- Hundreds of volunteers for Senator Ted Cruz are battling the celebrity status of Donald Trump. The campaign creeps toward 1,000 people on the ground in these last days before the Iowa caucus.
Ken Brolin leads this early morning prayer and team huddle in front of a handful of volunteers. They will soon head into Des Moines neighborhoods to knock on doors. With hundreds of them on the ground in Iowa, the campaign rented two former college dorm buildings housing around 100 at a time, dubbed "Camp Cruz".
Forty years ago, Ken was an assistant residential advisor at Central Connecticut University. He says he's found himself back in that role. "We make sure everyone knows what's going on, which of course is a challenge when there's 20 new people coming and going every day," said Brolin.
There are snacks, a washer and dryer, no posters of models or movie stars, just of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The average age: over 65. They know it's crunch time. "We have two, no three days, and it will be time," said Maggie Wright, who drove up from Texas in early December and only briefly returned south for Christmas.
"We love meeting new friends from all over: California, Colorado, New York, Florida. Our strike force is far and wide," said Wright.
She says she left a picture of Ted Cruz for volunteers to hang on their Christmas tree because some stayed through the holidays. Up in Iowa, Cruz volunteers aren't just dedicated - they're actually living with the campaign.
The Cruz campaign tells me they also have "Camp Cruz"s in New Hampshire and South Carolina, the next two primary states.