Marco Rubio’s Iowa return dampened by thunder, on-and-off showers

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The latest from the presidential candidates as they meet and greet voters at the Iowa State Fair (all times are local):

10:40 a.m.

On-and-off downpours are dampening Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio‘s return to Iowa after about a month away from the lead-off caucus state.

Rubio thanked a huddled, umbrella-covered audience for “braving the rain” at the fair’s Political Soapbox, a regular attraction sponsored by The Des Moines Register.

The Florida senator has lost ground in national polls since billionaire Donald Trump entered the race in June. Rubio attributes his slip in national polls and recent absence from Iowa and lead-off primary state New Hampshire to duties in the Senate, fundraising and visiting other states.

“We love coming to this state. We were here last night,” Rubio said, describing his evening of midway rides and a funnel cake with his wife and children at the fair.

Pledging to try to win in Iowa, Rubio told reporters, “We look forward to coming back quite often, especially as we get closer to the caucuses,” scheduled for Feb. 1.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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