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Photo gallery: For presidential hopefuls at the Iowa State Fair, it's all about pork, politics and pumpkins

Over the 11 days of the Iowa State Fair, 18 presidential candidates are expected to travel to Des Moines to press the flesh, make speeches and sample some of the 75 foods on a stick.

The fair "is the epitome of retail politicking," Christopher Rants, a former speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives from Sioux City, told the New York Times. "It's rural Iowa wrapped up and stuck into Des Moines."

If the hopefuls are not admiring the famous cow made of butter, they can most likely be found behind the grill at the Iowa Pork Producers Pork Tent.

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., works the grill in the Iowa Pork Producers Tent with Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, right, during a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday.

Associated Press

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, talks with Dana Wanken, right, as he works the grill in the Iowa Pork Producers tent during a visit to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 14.

New York Times

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican presidential hopeful, works a grill at the Iowa State Fair on Monday.

Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina greets fairgoers at the Iowa Pork Producers Pork Tent during the Iowa State Fair on Monday.

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson flips a pork burger at the Iowa State Fair Sunday, in Des Moines..

Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich looks at a giant pumpkin as he tours the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday.

Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, takes a selfie with a fairgoer.

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump eats a pork chop on a stick at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday in Des Moines.

Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a Pork Chop on a Stick as she tours the Iowa State Fair on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, greets supporters at the Des Moines Register Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 15.

Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley, is interviewed as he walks the grounds at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 13. And yes, he is eating a pork chop on a stick.

Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, speaks to fairgoers during the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 17.

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee watches while pork chops are taken off a grill while visiting the Iowa Pork Tent at the Iowa State Fair on, Aug. 13 in Des Moines.

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