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Iowa in January? You bet, says 21-year-old political volunteer

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Natalie Shaw, 21, has made several volunteer trips
Natalie Shaw, 21, is a student at Augsburg College in Minneapolis who has made several trips to volunteer for the Clinton campaign in Iowa, as she did here on Jan. 16.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

"Hi. My name is Natalie. I'm knocking on some doors in the area for Secretary Clinton. Do you know if you'll be supporting her at the Feb. 1 caucus?"

Augsburg College student Natalie Shaw had those lines down pat during a recent freezing winter day as she knocked on doors for Hillary Clinton. While she could have been a lot warmer, she could not have been more stoked to be in Iowa in January.

Natalie Shaw picked up campaign materials.
Natalie Shaw picked up Hillary Clinton campaign materials at the local campaign office in Ankeny, Iowa just north of Des Moines on Jan. 16.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

Shaw, 21, is among thousands of volunteers pressing Iowans in person as the Feb. 1 caucuses near. It's the kind of crucial but unglamorous work vital to Clinton, her Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders and all the other presidential candidates hoping for an early boost for their campaigns. 

Tagging along with her for a day opens a window onto the political passion of those who back their candidates with more than a vote. As Shaw makes her way from house to house, most doors do not open. But that's just part of the gig. When someone does answer, they're almost always polite and accommodating, regardless of who they support.

"Iowans are just such amazing people," Shaw said. "You call them up and you're like, 'Hey, I'd love to talk to you about the election, you know hear the different things that are important to you.' And they're like, 'Oh yeah, come over, have dinner.'"

Click on the player above to hear more from Shaw as she made her way in sneakers on a day meant more for snow boots.