Marianne Williamson moves to Des Moines in bid for Iowa caucuses

Candidate hopes to garner votes from new neighbors

By Donald Judd, CNN
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Marianne Williamson

Long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson may be facing an uphill battle in the early caucus state of Iowa, but that hasn't stopped the spiritual adviser and author from taking her pitch to the Hawkeye State in an unusual way.

Though 53% of likely caucus-goers told Monmouth University they hadn't heard of Williamson in an April poll, Williamson's campaign told CNN she moved to Iowa this spring in the hopes of garnering some votes from her new neighbors.

Williamson's move was first reported by the eastern Iowa Gazette. Her campaign indicated that the candidate has claimed a Des Moines condominium as her residence for nearly three months.

"Marianne has moved to Des Moines and our campaign is fully committed to the Iowa caucus process," Brent Roske, Williamson's Iowa chair, told CNN in a statement Thursday, "as well as to the other early states including New Hampshire where former US Representative Paul Hodes is our State Director."

Williamson has raised eyebrows with her campaign platform that love is the best way to win the White House in 2020, telling CNN's Dana Bash in an April town hall, "I think it's the only thing that can win the White House. I think far more people love than hate."

"The problem is those who hate, hate with conviction. Conviction is a force multiplier," Williamson told CNN in April. "Those who hate today, those who fear, are reflective. They are organized and convicted. Those of us (who) love need to become convicted and organized."

Still, Williamson's campaign has touched a nerve: in May, Williamson became the 19th candidate to qualify for the Democratic National Committee's primary debates, and she has since hit both the 65,000 unique-donor threshold and the polling threshold set by the DNC.

As for what will become of her Des Moines residence after the Iowa caucuses in February, Williamson's campaign remained coy, telling CNN in a statement, "Of course after the caucuses we will be planning on moving to Washington DC :-)."

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