O’Malley supporters hold house parties

Former+Governor+Martin+O%27Malley+gives+a+speech+during+the+Iowa+Democratic+Party+Awards+Dinner+at+Des+Moines%2C+Iowa%2C+on+Friday%2C+April+10%2C+2015.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FPeter+Kim%29
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O’Malley supporters hold house parties

Former Governor Martin O'Malley gives a speech during the Iowa Democratic Party Awards Dinner at Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, April 10, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Former Governor Martin O'Malley gives a speech during the Iowa Democratic Party Awards Dinner at Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, April 10, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Former Governor Martin O'Malley gives a speech during the Iowa Democratic Party Awards Dinner at Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, April 10, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Former Governor Martin O'Malley gives a speech during the Iowa Democratic Party Awards Dinner at Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, April 10, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

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At the top apartment of 118 N. Johnson St., sprawled on the living room floor, 13 University of Iowa students gathered to listen to former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley — who happened to be more than 1,000 miles away.

Thirty house parties were held across the state Wednesday evening that O’Malley called for an approximately five-minute speech. The 52-year-old called in from New Hampshire after traveling across the state to several different house parties.

During the call, O’Malley told supporters attending the various house parties that he has slowly risen in polling, starting at 1 percent, then going up to 7 percent. He said, however, there is still much to do and encouraged his supporters to continue to campaign for him.

In a Suffolk University poll released Tuesday, 4 percent of voters surveyed said O’Malley would be their first choice if the Democratic election was held now. With a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points and 500 likely caucus-goers surveyed, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the poll with about 54 percent.

“I’m looking forward to marching with you in the battle of democracy,” O’Malley said in the call. “We’re Americans; we make our own destiny.”

UI freshman Mitchell Dunn said he has seen O’Malley five times in person and has volunteered for his campaign several times. Dunn submitted paperwork Wednesday to the UI to help create Hawkeyes for O’Malley, a student group to support O’Malley’s campaign.

O’Malley will appear at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., on Aug. 30 as part of a two-day visit to the state in which he will have five stops.

Ben Kramer, the Iowa City O’Malley for Iowa organizer, encouraged the house-party attendees to go out to the upcoming event, even if some have not committed to caucus. He also said maybe O’Malley will bring out his guitar to play.

“He’s done what progressives want done,” Kramer said. “There is no guessing with him on where he stands.”

— by Rebecca Morin

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