Guest Op-Ed: Hillary Listens and Acts (for People in Iowa)

Guest post from Tracy Sefl I’ve been in political communications for years. And believe me: campaigns make plenty of noise. But the best candidates do more than just talk; they stop and listen to everyday people. If Bill Clinton was “Explainer-in-Chief,” then Hillary Clinton may well be “Listener-in-Chief.” She’s that kind of candidate—the type that learns and reacts out of full-fledged empathy. You may have spotted Hillary at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello or Fuel Espresso in Mount Vernon, or at dozens of other Iowa landmarks big and small. For the skeptics among us, it’s easy to call these appearances […]

A Look Back: Our Most Important And Telling Caucus Stories

Starting Line has gotten a huge influx of national readers in the last few weeks, coming to us for some behind-the-scenes insight on what’s going to happen in the Iowa Caucus. I first just want to say thank you to all of our great readers and social media-sharers. It’s been an incredible journey and a real joy to bring you these all of these stories from Iowa. Since there’s so many new people discovering Starting Line, I thought it would be a good idea to do a round-up of some of our most important caucus stories that you may have […]

Will Iowa Determine The Winner? Some Caucus History Background

Guest post from Andrew Deen Caucuses were the original method for selecting candidates until the primary was introduced in the early 1900’s, but this doesn’t mean caucuses lost all their importance. Fourteen states are scheduled to hold caucuses this year with the first event right around the corner on February 1st in Iowa. There cannot be enough said about the results that come out of this first caucus. Since 1976, eight of the last ten Democratic presidential candidates who have won the state’s caucus have gone on to win their party’s nomination. Similar results have been seen in the Republican […]

Nurses Boosting Bernie In Caucus For Real Change On Healthcare

While the large majority of national union endorsements have gone to Hillary Clinton this cycle, Bernie Sanders does have some very active, very visible labor groups on his side. National Nurses United was the first labor union to back Sanders. They’ve been a constant presence in Iowa since. Their red bus often shows up around the state, they’ve put up billboard ads supporting Sanders and you often see a group of red-shirted nurses at most of his events. Their members have also been working hard on the ground in Iowa in the last weeks. Starting Line sat down with National […]

Prioritizing Kids During the Iowa Caucuses

Guest post by E.J. Wallace – Starting Line has enjoyed highlighting the hard work of the many issue groups working in Iowa this cycle. Here’s a look at what Save The Children Action Network is doing:  For me, this is personal. I want all kids in Iowa to have the same opportunities that my three-year-old son has. That’s why I’m excited to be a leader in Iowa for Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), a dynamic organization working to mobilize Iowans and others across the nation around something that cannot wait – investing in our children. As the first-in-the-nation presidential […]

Scenes From The First Day Of Get-Out-The-Caucus

Campaign staffers around the state rose bright and early this morning to finish up final preparations for the launch of GOTC (Get Out The Caucus). Normally called GOTV in most elections (Get Out The Vote), the final four day stretch leading up to the Iowa Caucus is filled with non-stop activity in field offices in major cities and small regional towns. Volunteers stream in to pick up walk packets or make calls, usually during shifts starting at 9:00, noon, 3:00 and 6:00. Well, on the Democrats’ campaigns side at least. For the most part, efforts to persuade caucus-goers are largely […]

Hillary Clinton’s Final Caucus TV Ad: A Thank You To Iowans

Hillary Clinton’s final message to Iowans in the last days before the Iowa Caucus is a simple one: thank you. “I want you to know how much it has meant to me as I’ve traveled across the state to hear about people’s hopes and struggles,” Clinton says in her final television ad, released today. It appears to be a fitting coda to the different tune Clinton has sung throughout Iowa over the past nine months. Determined to not make the same mistakes her third-place 2008 Iowa campaign did, Clinton and her campaign worked hard to present a more relatable, approachable […]

How Young 20-Something Organizers Change The World In Iowa, Then And Now

Guest post from Addisu Demissie I landed at the Des Moines airport as a 22-year-old on May 31st, 2003 completely unaware of what I was getting myself into.  A month or so earlier, I had been offered a job as a Field Organizer for John Kerry in the Iowa caucuses. I knew nothing of what that meant, but working on any presidential campaign was a dream job. So I told my horrified parents, packed up my life – which, at that age, amounted to a few boxes and even fewer suitcases – and moved to the heart of the Midwest […]

Endorsement: Hillary Clinton, The Candidate Who Actually Inspires

I am a Democrat because of Socks the Cat. Okay, there’s many other reasons than that, but that’s where it started. When you’re a seven-year-old kid with a black cat and the new President has a black cat too, that’s reason enough to support a political party. As I grew up, the values I developed of fairness, compassion, equality and economic justice aligned with the Democratic Party, and I’ve stayed there since. I’ve volunteered for Democrats since age 16 and have worked on their campaigns for the last decade. The reason I bring up this story is this: if Hillary […]

Analyzing The Democrats’ Final Iowa Caucus Schedules

Here we are: the final few days of the Iowa Caucus. How a candidate spends their time in the precious waning hours says a lot about the state of the race and what each feels they still need to accomplish. The three Democrats plan on barnstorming the state, with Hillary Clinton bringing in Bill and Chelsea to help out, while Bernie Sanders plans a huge concert at the University of Iowa. Let’s take a look at each Democrats’ final schedule to see what it might mean for their caucus night strategy. (Sorry for some of the awkward formatting, I’m just […]