Hillary Clinton‘s celebrity squad is expanding.
The 23-year-old singer kicked off the night with her hit single “Confident,” a song title which she thinks perfectly suits the Democratic presidential hopeful.
“I don’t think there is a woman more confident than Hillary Clinton,” Lovato told the crowd of 1,700 people gathered inside an auditorium at the University of Iowa. “I am voting for her because of her beliefs, her strength and the fact that she completely embodies the concept of women empowerment. I am voting for her because I truly believe that there is nobody more qualified to run this country – our country – than our secretary of state.”
Clinton greeted Lovato with a warm hug and thanked the singer for “talking about issues that people sometimes find hard to talk about.” “I want to thank her for how brave she is, how confident she is, because she is using her voice, not only to sing and inspire us through that, she is using her voice to reach out to so many people who need a little of help themselves, who have some challenges,” Clinton added. “She is determined to help people find their way through and I appreciate that.”
Lovato, who has been open about her own struggles with bipolar disorder, met with legislators last year in her fight for comprehensive mental health reform, a topic Clinton has frequently discussed on the campaign trail.
But as new polls show Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the former secretary of state in Iowa and New Hampshire, others are growing less “confident” than Lovato in Clinton’s chances – even her husband, Bill Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea Clinton.
Bill has become increasingly more involved in his wife’s campaign, and has reportedly urged her to shift her focus from the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire to the March primaries, according to Politico. A source tells the news outlet that the former president has been calling campaign manager Robby Mook almost daily to address concerns about the campaign’s plans for March voting states.
Clinton donors and supporters share Bill’s concerns. “Iowa matters a ton, but it seems to be the campaign’s only focus,” one person close to the campaign’s operations in a March state tells Politico. “It’s going to be a long primary, and the campaign seems less prepared for it than they were in 2008.”
A high-ranking Clinton campaign source tells PEOPLE, however, “It’s all about Iowa right now. We’re working 24/7.”
Chelsea shared her concerns about the tightening of the race when she spoke at a meeting with supporters in New York this week, anonymous sources close to the campaign tell the Associated Press.
Most Democrats who spoke with the AP say they still believe Clinton will win the nomination, but they worry that “a months-long primary campaign could create lasting damage for their party” – and that Clinton’s campaign hasn’t effectively handled the threat of Sanders.
“They didn’t take him seriously enough because they thought they had a gadfly,” says John Morgan, a Florida attorney and Clinton donor. “The gadfly wasn’t a gadfly – he was a lightning bug. And people have been following that lightning bug all over America.”