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Biggest names for 2016 steer clear of Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Potential presidential candidates' recent burst of summertime Iowa visits belies this reality: No one has started to do the serious spadework of preparing for a 2016 White House run in this important state.

Sure, it's more than two years until Iowa is to begin the presidential selection process. But this is a state where presidential campaigning — including, early on, wooing state legislators, recruiting volunteers and identifying potential staff — is a near-constant undercurrent. And yet the biggest names in the 2016 speculation game are all but absent in Iowa, so well-known that they have the luxury of staying away and doing little to nothing at this early stage.

None is bigger than that of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, and she appears to be in no hurry.

"I have not heard from Secretary Clinton," said Bonnie Campbell, Iowa chairwoman of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. "I hope I do."

Iowa has, however, heard from other possible candidates, most notably lesser-known Republicans looking to position themselves from the outset in what's expected to be a crowded field.

Freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz lit up conservative audiences on two recent visits. And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has stopped in Iowa three times this summer.

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