Beto O’Rourke Courts Students With Energy And An “Idealistic Vibe”

Rallies and Q&A sessions with 2020 hopefuls, depending on the candidate, typically tend to skew like the Iowa electorate does: older. But with former Congressman Beto O’Rourke choosing Iowa State University as his first stop on his second swing through the state, there were more backpacks than canes in the crowd. O’Rourke addressed the at-capacity audience, while keeping with his habit of wearing thematic baseball hats. He tackled some of the biggest issues students and young people care about: climate change and health care access, adding in his positions on immigration too. Relative to President Donald Trump’s age, O’Rourke is […]

Hickenlooper Pitches Working Together Vision To Stand Out In Iowa

Former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper was back in Iowa, and now it’s official – he’s a candidate for president. He joins 11 others who have filed, including other moderate candidates like Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Representative John Delaney. Dividing and conquering is Trump’s schtick, and Hickenlooper is hoping Iowans come away from his visits viewing him as the antithesis to that method of governing. “Well, my top priority is to get people to work together,” Hickenlooper said in Des Moines on Friday to a crowd of about 100. “I don’t think we’re going to get any of these […]

‘Pragmatic Idealist’ Michael Bennet Visits Iowa, Considers Presidential Run

Voters might find themselves Googling his name, or they may recognize him from a recent viral video of a blistering Senate floor speech against colleague Ted Cruz. Colorado’s Senator Michael Bennet dropped into Iowa this past weekend to meet with and listen to Iowa voters as he considers joining a crowded Democratic field. Stopping at house parties in Waukee, Johnston and Winterset, Startling Line estimates Bennet had face time with over 200 Iowans across those three events. The former superintendent of Denver’s public schools, Bennet got frequent questions on education at his Waukee stop. The father of three daughters, part […]

Andrew Yang Hopes UBI Pitch, “Cheap” Donors Lift Campaign In Iowa

Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang joined the Johnston Area Democrats for breakfast Saturday, his eighth visit to the state. It was part of a three-day tour around Iowa. Yang spent a lot of time emphasizing that, from his experience and career as an entrepreneur, he sees his unique campaign platform to provide each and every American adult $1,000 per month as a critical next step for the country. Universal basic income (UBI) is Yang’s flagship policy proposal. Yang says this policy idea, which he calls the “Freedom Dividend,” has resonated with voters more because of the mentality behind […]

John Hickenlooper Serves Up Beer And A Pragmatic Persona

Former Colorado Governor and craft beer aficionado John Hickenlooper made the most of his stop at Court Avenue Brewing Co. on Sunday. He kissed a baby, poured a craft beer for a voter (and then himself) and got to introductions. Inevitably, one of the first questions Hickenlooper received from a voter was regarding how the state, under his watch, rolled out one of the nation’s first recreational marijuana policies. Polling in recent years shows increasing support in Iowa for both recreational and medical marijuana. This topic strayed from the standard 2020 campaign issues Democrats have addressed on their stops in […]

Democrats Differ On Caucus Breakouts – One Caucus Site’s Story

It was, for the most part, the Cathy Glasson party last night at the Meredith Middle School caucus location in Des Moines. Although many caucus goers chose not to outwardly show support for a gubernatorial candidate, Glasson’s volunteers were well-organized, nor shy about their support for her. Glasson’s volunteers in each of the three precincts Starting Line attended at this caucus location all elected to join preference groups, seeming well-versed on the guidelines regarding the process. This process, although, wasn’t terribly popular in Des Moines’ Precinct 15. 32 adults and one soon-to-be 18-year-old sat in a small classroom, grouped together […]

Legislative Democrats Roll Out Main Themes For 2018 Agenda

Iowa Democrats rolled out a four-part plan this week called “Putting Iowans First,” outlining what they want for the future of the state. Democrats hope to focus on what Iowans have said are their biggest concerns. The plan to improve “lives for everyday Iowans” includes bringing higher-paying jobs to the state, rejuvenating rural towns across Iowa, prioritizing better education and making Iowa the No. 1 place to live. Representative Liz Bennett, who is up for re-election this year in Cedar Rapids, says these priorities were discovered through face-to-face discussions with constituents and through polling. “People are getting really sick of […]