What Didn’t Work: Jay Inslee, Seth Moulton Withdraw

The great winnowing has begun. With the August 28 qualification deadline for the September debate fast approaching, we’re starting to see several candidates deal with the stark reality that they simply have no hope of winning this primary. Even if you can find a way to break out in the race outside the debate, missing it makes it very hard to convince your top donors to keep investing. On Wednesday evening, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee called it quits, deciding instead to run for reelection. Congressman Seth Moulton bowed out this morning, saying the race had boiled down to a […]

Bernie Sanders: Political Revolution Will Sway Senators

For Bernie Sanders, the campaign he’s built won’t end if he makes it into the Oval Office. There’s a lot he’ll still be asking of the movement he’s mobilized, though a President Sanders would be turning his supporters’ focus away from $27 donations and toward lobbying their members of Congress. “We’re trying to do things really quite differently than other presidents have done,” Sanders reiterated to Starting Line in an interview this week. The easiest path to implementing his vision for health care, the environment, worker rights and more would be with a Democratic-controlled Senate — and perhaps an elimination […]

Interview: The Only Person Who Attended Steve King’s Forum

It was early Saturday morning, and Jessica Birch didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Hungover and tired, the 21-year-old University of Northern Iowa student could easily have turned off her alarm. But the night before, she saw a Facebook event for Congressman Steve King’s town hall forum in Grundy County come across her feed, and she felt a civic duty to attend. So, Birch forced herself out of bed and headed 17 miles down the road to the Grundy Center Community Center. She arrived to peculiar scene: out of the over 12,000 people that live in Grundy County, Birch […]

After Active Shooting Training, Teacher Pleads With Joni Ernst On Guns

Questions on gun violence and the 2nd Amendment dominated a contentious town hall forum with Senator Joni Ernst in Johnston this morning. Over half the audience members who asked Ernst about various policies pressed her on her gun rights stance. Though Ernst scheduled her Polk County forum at 7:30 AM on a Saturday, a crowd of about 150 showed up to the suburban Wallace Elementary School auditorium. About two dozen Ernst supporters, decked out in campaign t-shirts, gathered in the parking lot beforehand and cheered and encouraged Ernst as she spoke. But they were considerably outnumbered by the many gun […]

Poll: Elizabeth Warren Jumps Out To Big Lead In The Iowa Caucus

Elizabeth Warren’s early investment in Iowa is paying off. A new Iowa Starting Line-Change Research poll shows the senator opening up a commanding lead in the Iowa Caucus. Warren was the top pick of 28% of likely Iowa Caucus-goers in the poll, an 11-point lead over the nearest competitor. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were both tied for second with 17% each. Pete Buttigieg came in fourth at 13% and Kamala Harris has the backing of 8%. Both Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke garnered 3% of caucus-goers’ support, while Steve Bullock, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer got on […]

What Didn’t Work: John Hickenlooper Bows Out

John Hickenlooper is giddy-uping back to Colorado after ending his presidential run today, though he has yet to decide if he’ll run for Senate. If he does, hopefully it’s a more successful venture than his White House bid, which just never really gained much traction. This is a continuation in my series of post-exit analysis of the presidential candidates (see our Eric Swalwell one here). Hickenlooper had a nice life story: a laid-off scientist who became a successful businessman later in life, then built up a track record of real accomplishments as mayor and governor. He could credibly brag that […]

Iowa Caucus Race Comes Into Focus After Exhausting Week

As the dust starts to settle following a grueling, 20-plus candidate week in Iowa, let’s take an overdue look at the interesting lessons learned from all the activity. The State Fair gauntlet began with Joe Biden’s visit last Thursday and ended with Pete Buttigieg’s trip yesterday (though Seth Moulton still remains for Saturday). It’s Not If Cory Booker Breaks Out In Iowa, It’s When Anyone who’s seen the reception that Cory Booker receives on the campaign trail in Iowa has wondered why on earth he’s still at 1% in most polls. Like several other candidates, he seems to suffer from […]

Swift, Furious Reaction To Steve King’s Rape/Incest Comments

Congressman Steve King’s comments this morning on rape and incest drew quick and widespread condemnation from across the political world. “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” the Des Moines Register reported King saying at the Westside Conservative Club this morning. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of […]

Buttigieg Rides The State Fair Bus, Meets Big Crowds, Eats A Lot

Pete Buttigieg made his to way to the Iowa State Fair the way many regular Iowans do: on a DART bus. The South Bend mayor hopped on board at the downtown shuttle stop this afternoon, much to the surprise of fellow riders. Two of the people that Buttigieg sat down next to were already planning to go watch his speech at the Fair. “Well, that answers my question if you’re up at 12:30 or 1:30,” one woman remarked (it was around 12:30 that he boarded the bus). Buttigieg introduced himself around and sat down as the bus took off on […]

Kamala Harris Wins Major Iowa Caucus Endorsement

Photo: Kamala Harris’ first visit to the Asian & Latino Coalition meeting in October 2018. Senator Kamala Harris won the coveted endorsement of the Asian & Latino Coalition of Iowa this evening, beating out the field in a very sought-after contest. It comes on the heels of Harris’ five-day, river-to-river bus tour throughout Iowa, her most time spent in the lead-off state yet — she had left the state hours earlier before the endorsement. That trip was a reflection on Harris’ doubling-down of her campaign’s investment in Iowa. They built out their ground game this summer, now numbering among the […]