How to survive the Iowa State Fair

(CNN)The Iowa State Fair is a must-see stop on the campaign trail for presidential candidates looking for an edge in the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

While this Hawkeye State tradition presents a major opportunity for White House contenders to make their case to voters hungry for personal interaction, past candidates have stumbled while navigating the grounds.
As a helpful guide to candidates who don't want their campaigns to end at the fair, CNN Politics recruited veteran Iowa operatives to show us just how to make it through unscathed.

1. Dress casual. Fred Thompson arrived at the fair in fancy leather shoes.

    Fred Thompson's shoes at the Iowa State Fair in 2007. (Getty)

    2. There are lots of fried foods on sticks. Eat them! But stay away from the corn dogs.

    Then-Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) shows off her foot-long corn dog as photographers take her picture at the Iowa State Fair August 12, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa.

    3. When you visit the beer tent, don't shut down the whole place like Obama did in 2012.

    For more tips, watch the video above.