Boy, Sure Would Be Nice If Democrats Got To Debate Like That

It was an exercise in endurance slogging through the three-hour GOP debate last night, but no one could possibly look away. The Republican debates this year have quickly become must-watch TV, drawing in record audiences. The viewership from last night is estimated at 22.9 million, “NFL-level ratings” as they’re calling it, CNN’s most-watched program ever. It’s not hard to see why. Besides the crazy entertainment factor Donald Trump has brought to the race, the first debate had a huge impact on several candidates’ rises and falls. This one was no different. Carly Fiorina’s star rose ever higher with a commanding […]

Clinton/Sanders Messaging Poll Goes Through Iowa

About 15 minutes before the main Republican debate on CNN last night I got a poll call testing various messaging points on both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They only said it was from a “national data collection firm,” and I somehow forgot to inquire further at the end of the call which company was doing the polling. However, it was from the same Michigan area code that I’ve received previous Clinton-sponsored polls from. Between that and the questions asked, I’m assuming it was another poll from her campaign. It was pretty loud where I was at, so these questions […]

The Barack Obama We Need To See More Of

It was a relatively ho-hum affair for most of President Barack Obama’s visit to North High School in Des Moines, where he briefly laid out new college affordability proposals before taking questions from the audience. With Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, Obama fielded a wide variety of issues from students and parents, including some touching queries like what advice is he giving to Malia as she prepares for college. The President gave the students mostly generic advice, interacted in a humorous and authentic way with them, defended and promoted some of his administration’s accomplishments, but it was, all-in-all, […]

Monica Vernon Adds Christie Vilsack, More Labor Endorsements

Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack has thrown her support behind Monica Vernon for the 1st District Democratic primary today, as have two new labor unions in the last week. It’s a few more additions to the long list of public endorsements Vernon has received, who may soon run out of well-known Iowans to back her. “Northeast Iowa needs Monica Vernon in Congress,” Vilsack said in a press release. “I know Monica will go to Washington and be a strong advocate for early childhood education and stand up for Iowa’s families. We need someone who knows how to get things […]

Is The Sanders Campaign Missing An Opportunity in Iowa?

Senator Bernie Sanders has gained on, or maybe even caught, Hillary Clinton in Iowa as in the rest of the country. The Selzer poll showed Clinton with a seven point lead and most recently a Quinnipiac poll showed Sanders ahead by one in Iowa. In contrast, other late August Iowa polling shows Clinton with a 25+ point lead in Iowa. So, the picture is not entirely clear, but certainly it is reasonable to believe Sanders has dramatically improved his polling in Iowa. Is Sanders running a good campaign in Iowa? At this point, I think the answer is no. Senator […]

Iowa GOP Senator Says War Refugees Want Invasion, “Free Stuff”

The increased calls for America to accept more refugees fleeing from terror and violence in the Syrian civil war really got one Iowa Republican State Senator’s blood boiling this week. Senator Jason Schultz from Western Iowa went on Jan Mickelson’s radio show on Thursday to blast Senator Chuck Grassley’s recent suggestion that Iowa could take in some refugees, suggesting that doing so would encourage an “invasion” of Muslims who want to spread Sharia law. “That just made me furious,” Scultz said he felt upon reading Grassley’s comments this week. “This isn’t our problem, we’re already broke.” Many politicians have recently […]

Key Storylines To Watch – Democratic Caucus

Now that we’re past the Labor Day holiday, often used as a marker for both voter interest and campaign phases, let’s pull out our crystal ball and predict what key factors and storylines will affect caucus night for the Democrats: Is Sanders’ Campaign The Howard Dean Of 2004 Or The Barack Obama Of 2008? Insurgent campaigns have both succeeded and faltered in the Iowa Caucus. What type is Sanders? Every cycle the winning campaign typically brings out a large group of people who haven’t caucused before. “They don’t look like caucus-goers,” is what the Clinton campaign said to reassure themselves […]

Check Out John Forbes’ Solar-Powered Pharmacy

If you’re looking for a prescription to combat the ills of climate change, climb on up to the top of John Forbes’ pharmacy in Urbandale to see the 90 solar panels he’s installed to power his business. Once it comes online next week, the panels should power 80% to 85% of his Medicap Pharmacy electricity needs. It will also end up making him money in the long run, as the investment should pay for itself in about eight years, and end up gaining the business approximately $63,357 over the life of the solar facility. “We’re very excited to be able […]

Odds & Ends: O’Malley Bar Strategy, Sanders’ Coalition, Refugee Comments

After five days on the road with the top three Democratic presidential candidates, I’m back at home decompressing and sorting through all the interesting tidbits that didn’t make it into my main posts. Here’s some good odds and ends of what I saw out at eight Sanders events, four Clinton events and an O’Malley one: Martin O’Malley’s Policies and Pints Strategy For a candidate who has yet to break above 7% in an Iowa poll, O’Malley certainly continues to draw good crowds on the Iowa Caucus trail. Several of those nice turnouts have come in local Iowa bars, as the […]

Senator Rich Taylor Is Martin O’Malley’s First Iowa Legislator Endorsement

Update 9/8: The O’Malley campaign released a list of 17 Iowa endorsements the day after Labor Day, framing it as part of their entrance into a new phase of campaigning in the Iowa Caucus. A handful of these names were already known from a while ago (well, to me anyway), but there’s several important new ones. Senator Rich Taylor joins Representative Dan Kelley as his first two endorsers from the Iowa Legislature. Nathan Blake, an Assistant A.G., school board member and well-known Des Moines Democrat is now on board. So is Bev Strayhall, one of Eastern Iowa’s most important activists. […]