Top 10 Caucus Moments From The Iowa State Fair

It’s going to be hard to ever top the past four days of politicking at the Iowa State Fair. About 20 presidential candidates in all roamed the fairgrounds from Thursday to Sunday, jumping into the media spectacle that is Iowa Caucus campaigning. Only Pete Buttigieg and Seth Moulton’s trips to the Fair remain. Starting Line was on hand for all the festivities. Here’s our top ten political moments from the 2019 Iowa State Fair so far: The Massive Crowds The most striking political visual over the first four days of the State Fair didn’t come from the candidates tossing fastballs […]

Early Scenes From The Busiest Political Fair Day Ever

Innocent Iowans who merely wanted to attend their State Fair to eat some corndogs and drink lemonade in peace had to constantly dodge presidential candidates and their enormous press entourages today. Nine Democratic candidates in all are making their way around the fair, grabbing fried food, giving speeches and shaking hands. Team Starting Line is on hand. Here’s some of the fun scenes from the first half of the day. So far, we’ve chased around Jay Inslee, Kamala Harris, Tim Ryan and Amy Klobuchar. Tim Ryan And Family Search For Fair Food Some candidates just do quick hits at the […]

Kamala Harris: All In For Iowa In Caucus, General Election

In case you weren’t sure whether Kamala Harris was in Iowa this week, her gigantic bus, emblazoned with her name on the side that rolled through towns’ main streets was a helpful reminder. Harris is on a five-day tour of the lead-off caucus state, traversing the full length of Iowa from Sioux City to Burlington, hitting up the Iowa State Fair today. Her tour guides for the fair will be her newest endorsers — Sue and Bob Dvorsky, a former state party chair and former state senator, respectively. During her travels, Harris is being met at major events with a […]

Klobuchar On Gun Violence: Cool Rhetoric, Fund Local Law Enforcement

In a week that many candidates had planned to talk agriculture plans in Iowa, the latest mass shootings over the past weekend quickly shifted the debate. At individual campaign events, multi-candidate gatherings, the State Fair and now a hastily-assembled forum in Des Moines, the Democratic contenders are pitching their plans to halt the violence. Senator Amy Klobuchar brought it up at the start of her speeches at major events this week, and spoke briefly with Starting Line in Spirit Lake about it. “I feel like it’s Groundhog Day, it just keeps getting more and more sad, and these weapons get […]

Hitchhiking With The Candidates: Day 2, Gillibrand And Warren

While the State Fair kicked off in Des Moines yesterday, I continued my hitchhiking trek across Western Iowa with the presidential candidates. In case you missed my first story, I discovered this week that several of the candidates’ events line up just perfectly where you can catch a ride from each to the next stop of someone else. After getting dropped off by Amy Klobuchar’s team in Storm Lake late Wednesday night, my Thursday started early (well, as early as I could force myself out of bed) to finish up some writing before Kirsten Gillibrand rolled into town. I had […]

Hitchhiking With The Candidates: Day 1, Delaney And Klobuchar

It’s the first week of the Iowa State Fair, which means every single presidential candidate is flocking to Iowa. Even if you live outside Des Moines or Clear Lake, you may have chances to see four or five candidates around your hometown over just a few-day span. Which got me thinking. Could you literally just catch a ride with different candidates, jumping on and off their RVs, vans and busses at various stops and join up with the next one coming through town? Turns out, the answer is yes. So, from Wednesday to Friday, I’m hitchhiking with the campaigns across […]

Ross Wilburn Wins, Brings Diversity To House Beyond Just Himself

Democrat Ross Wilburn scored a crushing victory in today’s special election for the Ames-based House District 46. It helped, of course, that he ran unopposed. After taking 97.4% of the vote tonight, Wilburn will join the Iowa House for next year’s legislative session, which will bring the number of Iowa’s black legislators up to five. But while Wilburn will improve the limited diversity of the Iowa Statehouse by his mere presence, he’s also helping expand it in his mindset and job experience. “My name is Ross Wilburn. My preferred pronouns are he, him and his,” Wilburn led off with in […]

Iowa Republicans Need To Stop Immigrant Fear-Mongering

Enough already. In yet another weekend where it seems like the country is coming apart, terrorist gunmen in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio massacred innocent people. Details are just starting to emerge about the Dayton murderer, but we already have a disturbing — and all too familiar — profile of the El Paso killer. A 21-year-old white male, Patrick Crusius drove nine hours from his Dallas metro home to intentionally seek out and murder Hispanic people. Authorities believe a manifesto posted online before the massacre is, in fact, his, one in which he makes clear his racist intentions. “This […]

The Peculiar, Surprisingly Effective Campaign Of Joe Sestak

Retired admiral Joe Sestak’s presidential campaign announcement was noticed almost by accident. Explaining his entrance into the crowded field in a June 23 video on a campaign website few knew existed, word of the then-24th Democratic candidate slowly spread through political journalist Twitter. No major profile pieces, media roll-outs or cable news tours accompanied it. Sestak had arrived in Iowa the day before, telling only a handful of former campaign and congressional aides three days ahead of time about his plans. He worked with an old acquaintance from Iowa to build his presidential website. Unbeknownst to any media, Sestak’s first […]

Cedar Rapids’ Political Clout On The Rise

Two weekends ago, Cedar Rapids held its second major multi-presidential candidate in as many months. The national press swarmed the streets of Iowa’s second-largest city, over a thousand Democratic caucus-goers braved the overwhelming heat and candidates themselves tried out the vibrant NewBo culinary scene. That day, 11 candidates seeking the White House attended. A month prior, 19 Democratic contenders packed the Double Tree Hotel downtown for a state party fundraiser. In the time between, Democrats have lined up to talk climate change solutions in Cedar Rapids with State Senator Rob Hogg. It’s all been scenes from a city on the […]