Beto O’Rourke bolstering Iowa staff, field office operations

Beto O'Rourke. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Beto O’Rourke has hired 37 staffers to help with organizing in Iowa, boosting his team to 44 in the state that kicks off presidential primary voting and could become make-or-break for him.

Some 2020 presidential hopefuls have larger Iowa staffs, but O’Rourke now is approaching the upper tier. His campaign announced a “statewide weekend of action” featuring canvassing to begin Saturday.

The former Texas congressman and his wife, Amy, also will open a Cedar Rapids campaign office, his first outside Des Moines, on June 8.

Not counting that visit, the campaign says O’Rourke has attended 67 Iowa town halls and house parties since mid-March. He’s driven nearly 2,700 miles, usually doing so himself, and taken 200-plus “questions from Iowans.”

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O’Rourke has seen once-promising polling numbers fall, increasing pressure to perform in Iowa.