Almost 20 Democratic presidential candidates are gathering in Iowa Sunday in an effort to demonstrate early support in the kick-off caucus state.

In what amounts to an afternoon-long political talent show, 18 of the 24 declared Democratic hopefuls are scheduled to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual summer fundraiser.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads in polls of Iowa Democrats, is not attending, giving the event the look of an audition for the national and Iowa frontrunner’s key challengers.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, right, poses for a selfie during the Capital City Pride Fest, Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, right, poses for a selfie during the Capital City Pride Fest, Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Some candidates who have been traveling to Iowa for months, such as Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, are planning for a strong showing of backers outside the convention center in Cedar Rapids in hopes of projecting momentum eight months ahead of the 2020 caucuses.