Postcards from the Iowa State Fair

By Landon Nordeman for CNN

Published 10:54 PM ET, Sat August 15, 2015
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a picture with a woman and child at the 2015 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday, August 15. Presidential candidates of every stripe were at the fair this weekend, mingling with voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, taking questions on the Des Moines Register Soapbox and, of course, chowing down on some deep-fried food. Photographer Landon Nordeman traversed the fair in search of presidential candidates and interesting people. These are his photographs from the first three days of the event. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Trump poses with supporters' children before taking some of them on a free helicopter ride. He arrived at the fair shortly after 1 p.m. in grand fashion, landing in his private helicopter with "TRUMP" emblazoned on its side. The fair wouldn't let Trump's helicopter take off from the fairgrounds, so he used a nearby parking lot to make the flights. Landon Nordeman for CNN
After a short chat with the media, Trump enters the fairgrounds, where he was mobbed by hundreds of fairgoers who wanted to shake his hand or just snap a photo of him. He was closely guarded by a half-dozen security guards and another 10 police officers, a mix of local cops and state troopers. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets the press. She was introduced by former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who endorsed Clinton earlier this week. She was immediately asked about the swirling controversy over her use of a private email server while she headed the State Department. Friday night, Clinton joked about why she loves the social media app Snapchat, saying, "those messages disappear all by themselves." Landon Nordeman
Trump supporters watch as his helicopter takes off. Landon Nordeman for CNN
NBC News correspondent Kelly O'Donnell is among the media waiting for Clinton to speak. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Democatic hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, right, speaks to journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Trump and Clinton may have drawn large crowds, but according to CNN's Eric Bradner, Sanders drew the largest crowds of the afternoon. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to journalists on Friday, August 14. The former Florida governor got grief over the Iraq War launched by his brother. One of the fair-goers asked Bush whether he was being advised by Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush's deputy secretary of defense and the architect of his Iraq War policy. Bush said Wolfowitz was providing some advice, but he insisted he was his "own person" and pointed the audience to the foreign policy speech he gave earlier this week in California, saying that was where he articulated his policies if spectators wanted more information. Landon Nordeman for CNN
A reporter uses a cracked smart phone to record Bush. The Republican presidential candidate has become widely known for his weight loss on the "Paleo" diet. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Bush prepares to throw a baseball in front of a crowd. Landon Nordeman for CNN
A woman riding a chairlift waves at Bush. Landon Nordeman for CNN
A sheep from Wisconsin is seen at the fair. There are lots of opportunities to check out animals at the fairgrounds. This year, there is a "Pig Place," "Animal Learning Center," "Sheep Stop," "Horse Haven," "Cattle Corner" and more, according to the fair's official website. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Ty Redman, 28, a farmer from Leon, Iowa, attends the fair. He has yet to decide whom he will vote for in the upcoming election. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Brian Bolton, a Republican from Creston, Iowa, participates in a Cowboy Mounted Shooting competition. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Caroline Kramer, 18, is from Stanwood, Iowa. She has yet to decide whom she will vote for in the upcoming election. Landon Nordeman for CNN
A man in a cowboy hat stands inside the office of the Horse Barn. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Shelby Heston, 16, from Fairfield, Iowa, gets prepped for the Cowgirl Queen competition. Her mother, Krista Heston (right), says she is voting Republican no matter who gets the nomination. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Fairgoers vote for presidential candidates with corn kernels on Thursday, August 13. Landon Nordeman for CNN
A dairy cow named Ginger. Landon Nordeman for CNN
There are 19 rides at the fair, according to the fair website. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks to the crowd. He offered a counter to Jeb Bush's promise to bring the economy back to 4% growth: 6%. "I believe we can get it to 6 or higher with a fair tax. I'm convinced," Huckabee told a crowd of potential caucus-goers at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday. "I guarantee you we will goose the economy if you bring $11 trillion of working capital back to this country." Landon Nordeman for CNN
Two options for french fries. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Nyabiay Jieng, 17, from Des Moines, said she has yet to decide whom she will vote for in the upcoming election. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Retired farmer Glenn Kasper, a conservative, is attending the fair with his wife. He has not picked a candidate yet, he says. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Big Mac is a 1,166-pound big boar champion. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Democtratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley speaks to the audience. The former Maryland governor is Bernie Sanders' foremost progressive challenger for the party's nomination. Landon Nordeman for CNN
County Fair Queens pose for a picture. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Twins Quinn and Emerson Eastman, 7, competed in the Twins, Triplets and More Contest. Landon Nordeman for CNN
Ron Carnegie attends the state fair as George Washington before heading to an Iowa Cubs minor league baseball game. Photographing him there was photographer Landon Nordeman's favorite moment: "I mean, really, how American can you get?" As for his second favorite moment, Nordeman says: "I got to milk a cow." Landon Nordeman for CNN