Time For New Leadership In The Polk County Democrats

The first, second and third priority of any county party is to build an organization that can turn out Democrats to the polls to get Democratic candidates elected up and down the ballot. The Polk County Democrats failed miserably at that mission on Saturday. In fact, they likely damaged Democrats’ chances in November. For that and many other reasons, it is time for new leadership in the Polk County Democrats. To start that process, Tom Henderson should step aside from his longtime role as chair of the party. Over 1,000 people attended the Polk County Democrats convention at Valley High School in West Des Moines. […]

Polk County Democrats Convention Turns Into A Total Disaster

On Saturday Polk County Democrats held their county convention to select delegates to go on to the district and state convention. It was an utter catastrophe. The county convention started at 9:00 AM, with many attendees arriving much earlier. The proceedings did not finish until close to 8:30 PM. During that time delegates and alternates from caucus night sat through repeated recounts, credential checks and platform plank discussions. Rules were poorly explained, both Sanders and Clinton supporters yelled at one another and the county party, accusations of cheating swept through both sides, a Sanders supporter at one point jumped onto the […]

Clinton Maintains Iowa Delegate Win In County Conventions

Hillary Clinton’s campaign fought off a tough effort by Bernie Sanders’ operation in county conventions throughout the state to determine the next round of delegates that eventually end up at the national convention. At the end of the day, Clinton stood at 704 state delegates and Sanders had 700. That’s a slight improvement for both from caucus night’s final results, when Clinton had 700.47 and Sanders received 696.92. The big prize both campaigns sought was the 5th statewide delegate. In addition to assigning national delegates by congressional district, Iowa also has 9 statewide delegates. Because of Clinton’s narrow win on […]

Iowa’s Not Over Yet: Fight For Delegates Continues At County Conventions

Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans on passing out buttons celebrating their candidate’s glass ceiling-breaking win in the Iowa Caucus at the party’s county conventions this Saturday. But to ensure that narrow record-setting victory Clinton achieved back on February 1 sticks, her supporters will need to turn out for the March 12 county conventions tomorrow for the next step in Iowa’s delegate process. Thanks to the closeness of the final results, Bernie Sanders has a good chance of picking up an extra national delegate. All 99 Democratic and Republican county parties will hold conventions on Saturday to bring together the county-level delegates […]

Iowa’s Not Over Yet: Fight For Delegates Continues At County Conventions

Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans on passing out buttons celebrating their candidate’s glass ceiling-breaking win in the Iowa Caucus at the party’s county conventions this Saturday. But to ensure that narrow record-setting victory Clinton achieved back on February 1 sticks, her supporters will need to turn out for the March 12 county conventions tomorrow for the next step in Iowa’s delegate process. Thanks to the closeness of the final results, Bernie Sanders has a good chance of picking up an extra national delegate. All 99 Democratic and Republican county parties will hold conventions on Saturday to bring together the county-level delegates […]

Mark Chelgren To Drop Out Of 2nd District Race

Multiple Republican sources confirmed to Starting Line that State Senator Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa plans on dropping his bid to challenge Congressman Dave Loebsack in the 2nd District. Chelgren had not yet officially filed his nominating papers for the seat, but had made clear his intention to run. He apparently hadn’t raised much or any money yet, as he did not file a campaign finance report with the FEC. Republicans within the 2nd District heard that the reasoning revolves around Chelgren wanting to focus on legislation in the State Senate and that his business would take up too much time […]

Rob Hogg Pushes Back On Judge Run, Looks To Rally Progressives

While the Iowa political world was abuzz late last week about former Lt. Governor Patty Judge jumping into the race to unseat Senator Chuck Grassley, the three other Democrats in the race reminded people that they’ve been running for quite some time too. State Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids released a new list of endorsers on Monday to emphasize that the Democratic primary will be a closely contested one. 30 former legislators were on Hogg’s list of new endorsements, including Jack Kibbie, Polly Bukta, Jack Hatch, Staci Appel and Tyler Olson. Hogg already had the backing of 63 of the 68 […]

Sanders Wins Nebraska Caucus, Clinton’s Absentees Keeps It Close On Delegates

Bernie Sanders won the Nebraska Caucus on Saturday, defeating Hillary Clinton here 57% to 43% with 9% of locations reporting. It was a much-needed win that should buoy Sanders’ supporters as the nominating race stretches on as a fight for delegates. While it was a commanding victory for Sanders in the Cornhusker state, it wasn’t quite enough to rack up lopsided delegate wins. Sanders won by about 8% in the 2nd Congressional District (Omaha), which meant he and Clinton got a 3-3 split there. Sanders did, however, get a 3-2 split in the 3rd District in Western Nebraska. Overall, Sanders came […]

Patty Judge Gives Democrats A Real Chance To Beat Chuck Grassley

Only a few weeks ago Democrats’ dreams of up-ending Chuck Grassley in his reelection campaign was just that: a hopeful, unrealistic dream. But now Grassley finds himself in the middle of the national firestorm over the looming Supreme Court nomination battle that promises to paint him as an obstructionist and extremist to Iowa voters. Today the other shoe dropped with word that Patty Judge plans on launching a bid tomorrow for the U.S. Senate seat. Democrats now have a candidate who could legitimately beat Grassley in November. Let’s be clear: defeating the six-term Senator is still a monumental challenge. But he’s facing some serious […]

How Donald Trump Could Affect Down-Ballot Iowa Races

Time to throw out the old campaign playbooks for 2016. With Donald Trump the likely nominee for the Republicans, and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, we’re entering the most unpredictable election year in a very long time. As such, campaigns in Iowa need to be very aware of the shifting electoral landscape. Trump is speaking to a different type of voter than your average Republican candidate, and he’s also turning off many voters who would otherwise vote Republican. Those voters may turn against the rest of their party, or may even skip voting in down-ballot races. In 2016 you can’t […]