Dave Loebsack’s Retirement Plans Puts Iowa At Top Of 2020 House Map

Congressman Dave Loebsack will retire after his current term comes to an end, reported the Quad Cities Times this afternoon. He has served in Congress since his 2006 election when he won in a surprise upset, and was Democrats’ lone federally-elected member from Iowa for four years after 2014. An open seat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District will almost certainly shoot to the top of both parties’ targeted races. Donald Trump carried the Southeast Iowa-based seat by four points in 2016, a sharp reversal from when Barack Obama won it in 2012 by 13 points. However, Democrats began to make […]

Kamala Harris Lifts Up Other Women Looking To Run During Iowa Swing

Senator Kamala Harris is running for president, but an event of hers in Des Moines yesterday was focused on other candidates – women running or thinking of running for local offices. She spoke with a group of about 125 women at an Emerge Iowa house party, where she acknowledged the many barriers women run into when considering a run. “It’s not your turn, it’s not your time, no one like you has done this before, it will be too hard and difficult to do,” Harris said of what they’ll often hear. Don’t let that discourage you, Harris urged. “I like […]

Ep95: Online Vs Offline Democrats, 2020 Fundraising Numbers

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with State Representative Lindsay James about early fundraising numbers for the 2020 field, how “very online” Democrats differ from the rest of the party, how Democrats should handle the “socialism” label, and what’s left to watch up at the Statehouse this year.

Ep94: Beto O’Rourke Interview & Ever-Expanding Dem Field

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard sits down with Beto O’Rourke during his recent Iowa trip to talk about his generational pitch, how he’s adjusted to the media onslaught, and what kind of “normal” he wants to bring to D.C. Plus, I talk about the ever-expanding Democratic presidential field and why everyone feels they have a shot.

What A Jam-Packed Beto O’Rourke Campaign Day Is Like

Above photo via Joe Crimmings. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is well-known for his energetic, non-stop campaigning style, and that was certainly on display during his ambitious Polk County schedule on Saturday. He held six house parties, spread out across the Des Moines metro, an interesting strategy that brought out more than just the usual Democratic activist crowd. About 800 in all attended the six events. Starting Line spent a full 12 hours with O’Rourke this Saturday as he hopped from stop to stop. Sometimes, seeing a candidate that often can get rather monotonous, as you hear much of the same […]

Abby Finkenauer Appointed To Key Infrastructure Subcommittee Spot

Iowa will now have a bigger say in how the nation’s infrastructure needs are addressed. Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer has been appointed to the role of Vice Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. That subcommittee handles the planning for construction and maintenance of highways and transit facilities, as well as the regulation for commercial vehicles. A new surface transportation reauthorization bill will assign hundreds of billions of dollars for highway, transit, and bridge projects. It’s a noteworthy position for a freshman legislator to hold. Finkenauer’s past service in the Iowa House’s Transportation Committee helped in […]

If You Like Elizabeth Warren’s Policy Proposals, Here’s An Idea

I conducted a fun little experiment yesterday. After noticing many people expressing frustration on political Twitter that Elizabeth Warren wasn’t getting enough media coverage for her policy ideas, I wondered, are those same people sharing her policy proposals themselves? So, I searched on Twitter for “Elizabeth Warren policy” and scrolled through the results for those complaining about the lack of coverage. They often framed it in terms of other candidates, especially Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg, receiving attention while Warren was doing policy roll-outs. Then I looked through those individual Twitter users’ previous tweets to see if they had ever, […]

Is Tom Steyer Reconsidering A Run?

While Tom Steyer announced back in January that he would not make a presidential run in 2020, a poll going around Iowa raises new questions on whether he might be reconsidering that option. A Starting Line reader received a polling call yesterday afternoon in which various messages on a possible Steyer candidacy were tested. Steyer has spent the past several campaign cycles leading his NextGen Climate organization and, more recently, his Need To Impeach effort. He had built out extensive political operations in Iowa with those two groups, although many of the staff involved in those efforts have since signed […]

Ep93: How Democrats Are Talking About Rural Iowa

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by Robert Leonard of Knoxville’s KNIA Radio-AM, a frequent writer on rural issues, to recap this weekend’s Heartland Forum in Storm Lake. We discuss how Democrats have started to change how they talk about rural Iowa.

House Democrats Hire New Director To Retake Chamber

The Iowa House Democrats have hired Emily Waggoner as their new caucus director for the 2020 campaign cycle. She’ll be tasked with running the political operation to pick up at least five House seats to retake the majority for Democrats. “We’re excited to ramp up our team to regain the majority in the Iowa House,” said Iowa House Democratic Leader Todd Prichard. “Iowa Democrats are dedicated to fighting Republican attacks on our healthcare and local schools. It’s time to improve the lives of everyday Iowans again.” Waggoner most recently served as the executive director for the Missouri Democratic Party. Before […]