Only 3 Years to Go: GOP Hopefuls Hitting Iowa Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump make appearances By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Aug 12, 2013 11:20 AM CDT 134 comments Comments Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa, Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth) (Newser) – The campaign season, it seems, has already begun—for 2016. With a scant three years to win over voters, Rick Santorum, Sen. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and other potential GOP presidential hopefuls have been making themselves known in Iowa, the Wall Street Journal reports. Santorum, Cruz, and Trump all dropped by an evangelical event in Ames, Iowa, this weekend; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently visited Des Moines for a gathering run by a donor. "We always get candidates who come out early to dip their toe in the water, but it's nothing like the intensity this time around," says a leading conservative figure in Iowa. As for Democrats, things are a little quieter—but not much. Some are waiting to hear whether Hillary Clinton will run before they make a move, the Journal notes. But Joe Biden will speak at Sen. Tom Harkin's yearly steak fry this year, the Des Moines Register reports. The Sept. 15 event has a reputation for drawing in presidential hopefuls, including Barack Obama, Clinton, Biden, and a host of rivals in 2007.