Iowa Pole Position: How Democrats Set Up Caucus Runs with 2014 Visits

The midterms before the Iowa Caucus provide an excellent opportunity for potential presidential candidates to visit the First in the Nation state. Early trips to Iowa can connect candidates with grass-top activists, pique interest in local and national media, and build up political favors that can be cashed in on later. 2014 was no different. Republican hopefuls came en masse, while a smaller contingent of Democrats dipped their toes in the early speculation water. Hillary’s shadow looms large here, even in a state known for upending front-runners (including her). What did each Democrat gain with their visits?

Mother. Soldier. Vice President?

Is the GOP Grooming Joni Ernst for the VP Nomination? Later tonight, recently sworn-in Senator Joni Ernst will grace television screens and live-streams nation-wide as she gives the official Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union. It’s a heady task for the freshman Senator. And one that has some wondering about whether Republicans may be setting her up for something bigger.

McGuire Wins 4-Way Race to Lead Iowa Democrats

On an unseasonably warm Saturday that felt like a spring thaw, top Democratic activists from around the state looked to shake off the cold reality of their 2014 losses and chart a new course forward to victory. The party’s state central committee met in Des Moines to choose a new state chair out of a field of four candidates. A competitive race for party chair is extremely rare, and there was intense behind-the-scenes campaigning in recent weeks to win over the 44 voting members, to the point where some members apparently stopped answering their phone. Dr. Andy McGuire touted her […]

Vernon’s In. Former SNL Actor and More May Join Race for Congress in IA-01

Less than three months after Rod Blum’s election to Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, Democrats are lining up to get another crack at the Democratic-leaning seat. Cedar Rapids businesswoman Monica Vernon announced her second bid on Thursday. Vernon enters the race in a much stronger position than she did last time, when she was a little-known city councilwoman facing questions about her past Republican affiliation. Her presence on the Democrats’ statewide ticket quieted that narrative, and it also introduced her to activists and donors around the state.

Welcome to Iowa Starting Line!

Welcome to the brand new Iowa political news site, Iowa Starting Line!  I (Pat Rynard) am very happy you’re here and I hope you’ll join us on a daily basis to find news on the Iowa Caucus and Iowa politics. What will you find here? Iowa is about to take center stage as the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates descend upon us once more, eager to win over the caucus-goers that could catapult their campaign to the front of the pack. I hope to give readers an Iowan’s and insider’s perspective on what’s really happening on the ground. Which candidates […]