With Zach Wahls And More, Iowa Dems’ Future Is On The Ballot In 2018

Few elections have ever held more longterm consequences for a state than the upcoming 2018 races in Iowa. A few of the issues at stake: the survival of public unions and Planned Parenthood, the existence of mental healthcare services, and the state’s own political identity as a purple or red state. Iowa could soon become the next Kansas for decades to come, or a Democratic wave could return balance to the Statehouse. But for the Democratic Party here, 2018 presents one more opportunity that could outlive all of those outcomes: the chance to vote into office a raft of young […]

It’s Time For Iowa Republicans To Start Panicking

The 2018 election may still be a long ways off in a political climate that can change rapidly on a daily basis, but all the data points for a good Democratic year in Iowa are starting to stack up. A string of special elections for state legislative seats have consistently seen massive margin swings to Democrats, culminating in last night’s Northwest Iowa race where a Democrat pulled within ten points in a district Donald Trump won by 41 points. Add that to the national political mood with a deeply unpopular president, a stunning victory by a Democrat in Alabama and […]

Ed Fallon’s IDP Fall Gala Criticism Was Ridiculous Garbage

After an enjoyable evening of seeing fellow Democratic friends, watching the seven gubernatorial candidates speak and laughing at Alec Baldwin’s jokes, the IDP’s Fall Gala attendees likely left the event thinking to themselves, “Now, I wonder what Ed Fallon thought of all this.” Fortunately for them, the former legislator chose to share his thoughts on the matter the next day. Unfortunately, his take was utter garbage and filled with outright inaccuracies and misnomers. It is no surprise, of course, that Fallon did not view the state party’s biggest event in years in a positive light, calling it a “colossal failure.” […]

Who Stood Out At Iowa Democrats’ Fall Gala Event

Iowa Democrats had their biggest night of the year on Monday, both in terms of importance and size. Around 3,000 people turned out to see Alec Baldwin and the seven Democrats running for governor, an encouraging sign of excitement and resolve for the party hoping to regain power in 2018. If Democrats are successful next year in ousting Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, they may look back on this night as a major turning point. (Side note: apologies for getting this write-up done so late, my schedule got blown up yesterday.) The evening also served as one of the last big […]

Early Rally Scenes At Iowa Dem’s Big Fall Gala

It’s the biggest night of the year for Iowa Democrats as activists and donors gather for the state party’s annual Fall Gala event (formerly the JJ Dinner) in Des Moines. Alec Baldwin’s booking for the event, combined with a hotly contested seven-way gubernatorial primary, boosted ticket sales into the thousands. The evening is also one of the last big opportunities for the candidates for governor to show off their organizational strength in front of the party faithful. Many campaign went all out to bring in supporters, rally ahead of time and march to the convention hall to demonstrate the enthusiasm […]

In Iowa, Tulsi Gabbard Urges End To Party Infighting

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard keynoted Democratic barbecues this Sunday in Ames and Iowa City, hitting themes of party unity, love and anti-war in well-received speeches. Gabbard has visited Iowa before for local party events in 2015 and 2016, but has not come to the caucus state nearly as often as other well-known Democrats and rising stars have. She noted that her trip this weekend was thanks to a “very patient and persistent” former Bernie Sanders activist that invited her to the Ames event. Gabbard began her speech with describing the “Aloha spirit” and how its idea of interconnectedness applies to […]

Scenes From The Polk County Democrats Steak Fry

The Steak Fry returned to Iowa in style today, with perfect weather greeting about 1,500 Democrats to Des Moines Water Works Park. The Polk County Democrats pulled off a successful revival of the Tom Harkin tradition, recreating the feel of the annual event that often attracted national speakers and press. The white tents were pitched, candidates flipped steaks, a giant American flag flew behind the stage and campaigns marched noisy supporters into the event. A trio of national rising stars in the Democratic Party – Congresspersons Tim Ryan, Cheri Bustos and Seth Moulton – keynoted the event. And candidates for […]

Progressives Get Look At Future Leaders, Medicare-For-All Pitch At Corn Feed

Under a hot September sun, progressive activists, Democrats and issue advocates gathered this weekend for the third annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed. Three prominent out-of-state leaders keynoted the event: Center For American Progress president Neera Tanden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Merkley and Buttigieg’s profiles have been on the rise in Democratic politics recently. Merkley has been a leader on a new Medicare-for-all plan in the Senate, and is rumored to be considering a presidential run. Buttigieg, a 35-year-old mayor, unsuccessfully ran for DNC chair and has traveled the country recently to promote his new […]

O’Malley Backs Boulton; Will Other 2020 Hopefuls Endorse?

Frequent Iowa traveler Martin O’Malley lent Nate Boulton a hand this week in his gubernatorial bid, endorsing the senator on Tuesday and holding a fundraiser for him in Des Moines on Friday tonight. It was an expected move for the 2016 presidential candidate, who was supported by Boulton during his Iowa Caucus bid. But will O’Malley’s endorsement be the first of many of White House hopefuls choosing a side in Iowa’s many large primary fields? It depends. The O’Malley and Boulton connection is unique: O’Malley had a tight-knit, fiercely loyal groups of supporters during the Iowa Caucus, Boulton among them. […]

They’re Back: Chances To See Potential 2020ers This Week

What does the future leaders of the Democratic Party and issue advocacy look like? Iowans will get several chances in the coming weeks to get a glimpse of a few possibilities. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigeg will headline Progress Iowa’s annual Corn Feed fundraiser this Saturday, along with Center For American Progress President Neera Tanden. Merkley and Buttigeg have both been mentioned as potential 2020 presidential candidates in the wide-open Democratic primary. Merkley’s stock in some progressive circles has been on the rise after he was the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders […]