Who Impressed Iowans In The First Democratic Debate

Tonight was the biggest night of the year yet for the Democratic field, and hundreds of Iowa caucus-goers filled bars, coffee shops, homes and county party offices to watch the first debate. Team Starting Line deployed reporters to seven different debate watch parties throughout Iowa, speaking with voters in urban, suburban, rural, college town and blue-collar areas of the state. Here’s what Iowans had to say, both during the second half of the debate and after it was all over: Des Moines Debate Watch Party Blake Hanson, 30, Urbandale Hanson came into the night with Booker, O’Rourke and Biden as […]

Early Reactions From Iowans To The First Democratic Debate

First-in-the-nation Democratic caucus-goers gathered en masse Wednesday night to hear what one round of presidential candidates had to say during the first of two 2020 Democratic debates. Iowa Starting Line reporters joined the crowds of Democrats gathered in Ames, Winterset, Clive, Altoona, Fairfield, Johnston and Des Moines to see whether any of the ten candidates who took the stage managed to stand out. Here’s what Iowans were thinking early on in the debates: Winterset Debate Watch Party Jennifer Frye, 40, Winterset, Works in Financial Services and Insurance “There’s four candidates that feel like stood out: Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Cory […]

Iowa’s Two Medicaid Providers Are Breaking State Contracts, Iowa Auditor Says

State Auditor Rob Sand said Wednesday Iowa’s two Managed Care Organizations are breaking their contracts with the state by not providing proper care for two quadriplegic people who live in rural Iowa. Sand did not name the two people whose cases he’s looking into, but he said their provider, ComfortCare, recently gave them each a 30-day notice to terminate services. “During that 30-day period, they each personally made scores of phone calls attempted daily to ensure continuity of their care,” according to a news release from Sand. “I, too, made dozens of phone calls and sent dozens of emails to […]

Michael Franken, Retired Admiral From NW Iowa, Considering Ernst Challenge

A fourth Democrat told Starting Line Wednesday he is considering a run against Sen. Joni Ernst, in a field still taking shape to defeat the incumbent Republican. Retired Navy Admiral Michael Franken, originally of Sioux Center, a town deep in conservative Northwest Iowa, said he has talked with state and national party leaders about a possible 2020 run at Ernst’s seat. He recently moved back to Iowa and bought a home in Sioux City. If his family is on board with a campaign, Franken said he could announce his candidacy as early as next month. “I go to work day […]

Note To Candidates: Don’t ‘Forget’ Black Voters In 2020, Even In Iowa

Listen and show up. For presidential candidates working to avoid a repeat of Democratic missteps in 2016, ensuring turnout rebounds among African-American voters is key. Listen and show up. Sounds easy, right? Even with three simple words, questions instantly come to mind. Who are you listening to? Where are you showing up? If you’re looking to woo black voters, do you attend a church service and call it good? Do you talk to an African-American elected official and think you’ve learned all you need to know about that community? The 2020 presidential election is more than a year away, but many […]

How A Census Citizenship Question Would Impact Steve King’s District

The Supreme Court of the United States is expected to decide tomorrow whether the Trump Administration can add a question to the census asking about respondents’ citizenship, a decision that will impact some communities in Iowa. If the question is added to the 2020 census, households and communities with undocumented immigrants will face a hard decision. Answer honestly or decline the opportunity to be counted as part of a city’s population. In Iowa, most new immigrants are concentrated in the western part of the state where meatpacking businesses like Tyson Foods and Seaboard Triumph Foods operate and employ both documented […]

Ep108: Previewing The First Democratic Debate

Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with Erin Murphy, the Des Moines Bureau Chief for Lee Enterprise Newspapers, about how the first Democratic debate could play out.