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Friday night’s training at the Trump Victory Field Office in Des Moines featured an enthusiastic group of Republicans eager to get to work in an effort to re-elect President Donald Trump.

Wes Enos was one of those individuals in attendance. Enos said on Thursday night, about a dozen people were helping stuff envelopes and prepare for the county convention. Friday night there were another dozen volunteers who showed up for the training.

“I feel like there’s a lot more enthusiasm than there’s been in a long time,” Enos said. “We went through 2018 and it was pulling teeth to get even five people out to things. There’s excitement. It’s building.”

That excitement is only continuing to build since the record-breaking Republican caucus. Enos said the first Polk County Republican central committee meeting after the caucus had 200 people in attendance.

“Usually we have 35-40 people,” he said. “A lot of people are fired up. They’re looking for what they can do. We get emails coming into Polk County all the time asking what’s going on and how they can help. We’re doing trainings all across the state. We’ve had a fantastic number of people who are just pouring out of nowhere wanting to be part of this. I think it’s amazing.”

Statewide, Enos said, Democrats should be getting concerned.

“If I’m a Democrat in this state, I’m getting really nervous,” Enos said.

While the Democrats had a high turnout for their caucus, he said it was not unexpected. With so many candidates on the ballot and some Republicans who may have crossed over to take part in Operation Chaos (an effort to help Bernie Sanders receive the nomination), there’s a huge difference in enthusiasm.

He prepared for 40 people to show up at the three-precinct caucus in Bondurant. But on caucus night, 120 people showed up.

“I didn’t expect that,” he said. “People were coming through that door and I didn’t have the volunteers set up because I didn’t think we needed them.”

And in Polk County specifically, well, Enos is hopeful there as well.

“They’ve dominated Polk County for a very long time,” Enos said. “But the energy for Republicans just seems so much higher than it is for Democrats. The Democrats seem to be retreating back, they’re worried about their nominee, there’s party strife. Meanwhile, Trump is surging.”

Enos is seeing a surge in the Third District congressional race as well as the U.S. Senate seat. He’s also energized by some of the local candidates running for the state legislature.

“I’m not even 100 percent sure they’re going to even try to challenge Brian Lohse,” he said. “Up until a couple of years ago, that was a Democrat stronghold. Not only have we broken that stronghold, but we’ve also held it for three terms, we’ve transferred it from one representative to a new representative.”

Lohse started his campaign with just two months left to go. His opponent for that seat campaigned for a year. Lohse won with a 12-point margin.

“The energy is there and I’m excited,” he said. “I like the energy. I like President Trump at the top of the ticket. I like the way our ticket is structuring and I like the way the board is set for us.”

Author: Jacob Hall