The 2020 Iowa Caucus is closer than you think, so we’re already seeing plenty of ambitious national Democrats making multiple trips out to the lead-off state well ahead of time. With no clear front-runner waiting in the wings, all number of Democratic elected officials have shown up in Iowa, meeting with activists and keynoting major party fundraisers. Some are clearly thinking about presidential runs (or, in Congressman John Delaney’s case, is already running), while others are simply using it as a chance to boost their profile.

Starting Line is launching a simple tracker of sorts to catalogue each potential 2020 candidate’s visits here since the 2016 election. We’ll include anyone who seems to be actively considering the party’s presidential nomination, as well as those who have been mentioned for it often. I personally doubt half of the people in our initial list will launch a 2020 bid, but it’s good to keep track of their Iowa stops all the same. I’ll also keep the trips for people like Jason Kander, who seemed to be considering a 2020 bid before deciding to run for Kansas City mayor, at the end of this list.

I will update this as much as possible as Democrats announce future visits. Shoot me an email if you can think of any visits since November 2016 I missed.

NOTE: I’m including the upcoming trips and putting those in the total trip count. Please check the dates to see how many times they’ve been here to this point.


John Delaney, Maryland Congressman/announced presidential candidate – 16 trips

8/18/17 – Planning trip. Des Moines

9/24/17 – 9/25/17 – Campaign swing, headlined Audubon County Democrats fundraiser. Audubon, Council Bluffs

10/14/17 – 10/16/17 – Campaign swing, headlined Central Iowa Democrats Fall BBQ and Third District Hall of Fame Dinner. Newton, Hiawatha, Des Moines, Ames, Waterloo, Charles City, St. Angsar, Mason City, Hampton, Fort Dodge

10/21/17 – Headlined Woodbury Democrats’ Harry Hopkins Dinner. Sioux City

12/2/17 – 12/3/17 – Campaign swing through Central and Southeast Iowa. Davenport, Muscatine, Wapello, Fort Madison, Keosauqua, Ottumwa, Pella, Ankeny.

2/2/18 – 2/3/18 – Campaign swing through Eastern Iowa, fundraiser with Abby Finkenauer. Tipton, Dubuque, Welton, Elkader, Manchester, Maquoketa, Davenport.

2/17/18 – 2/19/18 – Campaign swing through Central Iowa, spoke at county Democratic fundraisers for Marion, Monroe and Warren counties. Des Moines, Winterset, Chariton, Knoxville, Albia, Bloomfield, Corydon, Indianola.

4/5/18 – 4/6/18 – Campaign swing through Central and Southeastern Iowa. Spoke at Iowa County Democrats Soup Supper, toured solar project in Lisbon. Grinnell, Sigourney, Washington, Amana, Fairfield, Mt. Pleasant, Lisbon.

4/9/18 – Spoke at 3rd District Dems forum. Des Moines.

5/2/18 – 5/3/18 – Campaign swing through Western Iowa. Harlan, Denison, Ida Grove, Sioux City, Onawa, Logan.

5/14/18 – Campaign swing through Northwest Iowa. Storm Lake, Spencer, Arnold’s Park, Sibley, Sheldon.

6/29/18 – 6/30/18 – Campaign swing through Northeast and Northern Iowa. Independence, Waverly, Oelwein, Waukon, Decorah, Cresco, New Hampton, Northwood, Forest City, Garner, Algona, Humboldt, Clarion, Iowa Falls.

8/1/18 – Campaign swing through Northwest Iowa. Le Mars, Orange City, Rock Rapids, Arnolds Park.

8/8/18 – 8/12/18. Campaign swing through Southern, Southwest, Western Iowa. Speaks at Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner. State Fair Soapbox speech. Completes 99 County Tour. Osceola, Lamoni, Ringgold, Bedford, Clarinda, Sidney, Red Oak, Glenwood, Corning, Atlantic, Greenfield, Panora, Jefferson, Des Moines, Clear Lake, Rockwell City, Pocahontas, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Marcus, Sac City, Carroll.

8/27/18 – 8/28/18 – Rolled out 2030 presentation. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids.

9/28/18 – Speaks at Polk County Democrats Steak Fry. Des Moines.

Eric Swalwell, California Congressman – 10 trips

2/23/17 – 2/24/17 – Headlined Polk County Democrats event and a Future Forum with Dave Loebsack. Des Moines, Davenport

8/11/17 – 8/12/17 – Headlined Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner, campaigned for Abby Finkenauer, spoke with Pottawattamie County Democrats. Clear Lake, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs

9/4/17 – Headlined Labor Day picnics. Sioux City, Council Bluffs

11/20/17 – Held events for Abby Finkenauer and Polk County Democrats. Dubuque, Des Moines.

4/5/18 – 4/8/18 – Headlined events for Story County Democrats, Linn County Phoenix Club. Spoke to after-party for College and Young Democrats of Iowa. Ames, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine.

4/16/18 – Keynoted Scott County Democrats fundraiser. Davenport.

5/6/18 – Spoke at party events Winnishiek and Polk counties. Decorah, Des Moines.

5/28/18 – 5/29/18 – Campaigned with Abby Finkenauer.

7/31/18 – 8/1/18 – Headlined Dickinson County Democrats’ Summer Sizzler fundraiser, campaigned with J.D. Scholten. Arnolds Park.

8/10/18 – 8/12/18 – Events with Progress Iowa and Abby Finkenauer. Fundraiser for State Rep. Scott Ourth. State Fair Soapbox. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Indianola.

Martin O’Malley, former Maryland Governor – 7 trips

12/18/16 – Campaigned for Jim Lykam senate special. Davenport

1/28/17 – Campaigned for Monica Kurth house special. Davenport

3/4/17 – Headlined fundraisers for Nate Boulton and Iowa Citizen Action Network, spoke at Drake University, headlined Story County Dems Soup Supper fundraiser. Des Moines, Ames.

9/9/17 – Headlined fundraisers for Senate Democrats and Dubuque County Democrats’ Hall of Fame Dinner. Davenport, North Liberty, Dubuque

2/12/18 – 2/13/18 – Campaigned for State House candidate Kenan Judge, did water quality events at Drake University, Grand View University. Des Moines

7/15/18 – Campaigned for Sec. of Agriculture candidate Tim Gannon. Des Moines.

9/2/18 – Campaigned for J.D. Scholten and Democratic candidates. Council Bluffs, Sioux City.

Tim Ryan, Ohio Congressman – 6 trips

6/24/17 – 6/25/17 – Gave commencement speech at Maharishi University, Polk County Democrats event. Fairfield, Des Moines

9/30/17 – Headlined Polk County Democrats Steak Fry. Des Moines

5/3/18 – Campaign for Pete D’Alessandro’s congressional primary campaign. Des Moines

8/10/18 – 8/11/18 Speaks at Democratic Wing Ding Dinner, launches canvass for Democratic candidates. Clear Lake, Nevada, Ankeny.

9/16/18 – Headlines Story County Democrats’ fundraiser. Ames.

10/5/18 – Headlines Woodbury County Democrats’ Harry Hopkins Dinner. Sioux City.

Jeff Merkley, Oregon U.S. Senator – 6 trips

9/10/17 – Headlined Progress Iowa Corn Feed. Des Moines

6/9/18 – 6/10/18 – Spoke at local Democratic fundraisers. Iowa City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines.

7/20/18 – 7/21/18 – Small events and meetings, spoke at fundraiser for Phil Miller and Stacey Walker. Des Moines, Fairfield, Cedar Rapids, Davenport.

8/18/18 – Headlines Flip It Iowa fundraiser for Kristin Sunde, speaks at Woodbury County Democrats event. Des Moines, Sioux City

9/2/18 – Campaigns for Democratic candidates. Waukee.

9/28/18 – Speaks at Polk County Democrats Steak Fry. Des Moines.

Tom Steyer, California Businessman – 3 trips

5/8/18 – Held Need To Impeach events. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids.

8/14/18 – State Fair Soapbox. Des Moines.

9/20/18 – Town hall. Des Moines.

Steve Bullock, Governor Of Montana – 3 trips

4/6/18 – Headlined Polk County Democrats event, did a fundraiser for Tom Miller and held a roundtable in Jasper County. Des Moines, Newton.

7/27/18 – Headlines Iowa House Democrats fundraiser and a Rob Sand fundraiser. Held local activist meet-and-greets. Dubuque, Decorah, Davenport, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids.

8/16/18 – State Fair Soapbox, campaign for local Democrats. Des Moines.

Bernie Sanders, Vermont U.S. Senator – 3 trips

7/15/17 – Headlined Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement convention. Des Moines

8/31/17 – Book Tour. Iowa City

2/23/18 – Rally for Pete D’Alessandro, Not One Penny Rally. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids

Seth Moulton, Massachusetts Congressman – 2 trips

9/30/17 – Headlined Polk County Democrats Steak Fry. Des Moines

9/20/18 – Campaigns for Cindy Axne. Des Moines

Michael Avenatti, New York attorney – 2 trips

8/10/18 – Headlines Northern Iowa Wing Ding Dinner. Clear Lake.

8/22/18 – Spoke to Democratic county officials group, toured Marshalltown. Des Moines, Marshalltown.

Andrew Yang, New York entrepreneur – 2 trips

8/10/18 – 8/14/18 – Headlines Northern Iowa Wing Ding Dinner. State Fair Soapbox. Asian & Latino Coalition event. Clear Lake, Des Moines.

9/3/18 – Spoke at Labor Day rally. Fairfield.

Ro Khanna, California Congressman – 2 trips

5/20/18 – Headlined Pete D’Alessandro fundraiser. Des Moines.

7/28/18 – 7/29/18 – Speaks at Asian & Latino Coalition, headlines state party’s Back to Blue event, fundraiser for Stacey Walker and Zach Wahls, event for Deidre DeJear. Des Moines, Creston, Newton.

Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota U.S. Senator – 2 trips

5/7/17 – Headlined Polk County Democrats Spring fundraiser and Linn County Phoenix Club. Des Moines, Marion

8/31/17 – Headlined Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics event. Ames

Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Senator – 1 trip

8/26/18 – Headlines Iowa Democrats’ Back To Blue Women event. Dubuque.

Julian Castro, former HUD secretary – 1 trip

8/17/18 – 8/18/18 – Speaks at Asian and Latino Coalition, headlines Flip It Iowa fundraiser for Heather Matson. State Fair Soapbox. Des Moines, Iowa City.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles – 1 trip

4/13/18 – 4/14/18 – Headlined Scott County Democrats fundraiser, visited local leaders. Davenport, Des Moines, Altoona, Waterloo.

Jay Inslee, Washington State Governor – 1 trip

6/23/18 – 6/24/18 – Campaigned for Fred Hubbell. Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids.

Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana Mayor – 1 trip

9/10/17 – Headlined Progress Iowa Corn Feed. Des Moines

Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Congresswoman – 1 trip

10/15/17 – Headlined county party fundraisers. Ames and Iowa City

Bill De Blasio, New York City Mayor – 1 trip

12/19/17 – Headlined Progress Iowa Holiday Dinner. Des Moines

John Kerry, former Secretary of State – 1 trip

12/1/17 – Headlined Attorney General Tom Miller fundraiser. Des Moines.

Jason Kander, former Missouri Secretary of State – 16 trips

12/20/16 – Headlined Progress Iowa fundraiser. Des Moines.

6/17/17 – Headlined 2nd District Democrats Hall of Fame event. Ottumwa.

8/11/17 – Headlined Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner. Clear Lake.

10/10/17 – Spoke at American Constitution Society events at Drake University and the University of Iowa. Des Moines, Iowa City.

10/13/17 – Spoke at New Democracy event. Des Moines.

10/21/17 – Headlined Democratic events. Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids.

11/30/17 – Headlined Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker fundraiser. Cedar Rapids.

2/7/18 – Meet and greet, fundraiser for Rob Sand. Ottumwa, Des Moines.

2/12/18 – University of Iowa Democrats event. Iowa City.

3/6/18 – Iowa Democrats’ Back To Blue event. Burlington.

3/13/18 – Iowa Democrats’ Back To Blue event. Sioux City.

3/23/18 – 3/24/18 – Headlined Zach Wahls event, visited county conventions, attended March for Our Lives rally. Coralville, North Liberty, Hiawatha, Tama, Des Moines.

4/3/18 – Held Let America Vote reception for legislators. Des Moines.

4/26/18 – Headlines Dallas County Democrats fundraiser. Adel.

5/22/18 – Headlined Polk City Democrats kick-off. Polk City.

6/16/18 – Spoke at Iowa Democrats’ state convention. Des Moines.



by Pat Rynard