A New Iowa Partnership To Help 2020 Candidates Go Viral

In every presidential campaign cycle, candidates in a crowded primary field are always looking for that “breakout moment.” The clever debate stage quip that gets replayed endlessly on cable news. The powerful speech at a major state party fundraiser that wows the crowd. But one method that may surpass the potential of all those this year is a viral moment caught on camera at an event or in an interview, one that could happen at literally any moment. With so much of the active Democratic voter base getting their news about the candidates from stories that pop up in their […]

Iowa Is Ready For Sherrod Brown To Run

Guest post from Nan Whaley, the mayor of Dayton, Ohio and the co-chair of the Committee to Draft Sherrod Brown for President 2020. She visited Iowa last week. When my friend Sherrod Brown was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, he joked that his new chamber was full of “99 people who wanted to be President.” Sherrod’s mindset has always been different – focused on the work at hand and the Ohioans he represents, not his advancing his own career. In the years since, Sherrod has pieced together an impressive string of accomplishments, much to the chagrin of […]

The New Sights, Players, And Hang-Out Spots Of The 2020 Iowa Caucus

For those who have been involved in multiple caucus cycles, you know that the campaign process in Iowa often takes on its own unique character. Every cycle, there are a new group of key local players, issue groups, favorite hang-out spots, and campaign strategies that all make frequent appearances on the caucus campaign trail. We’re only in the early stages of the official 2020 caucus campaign season here in Iowa, but Starting Line has already started to notice several developing trends. Here’s some of the Iowa places that candidates will often visit, the people and groups everyone will meet, and […]

Right-Wing 2020 Smears Already Seeping Into Iowa Media Coverage

Does Cory Booker want to ban the eating of meat? No, of course not. And it’s such a preposterous suggestion, most people would roll their eyes and ignore it. But that didn’t keep a local Iowa TV station from running a story based on the fake controversy that generated from an online right-wing freakout over an old Booker interview. KCCI put out a story after Booker’s first trip to Iowa about the online chatter over the Veg News interview where the senator talked about his veganism choices. In the station’s defense, it didn’t repeat some of the more ridiculous conservative […]

Soup, Spaghetti, And Lots Of Democrats

Iowa Democrats get their first taste of some multi-candidate caucus events during the next two weeks, served up with sides of soup and spaghetti. Three Democratic county parties will host at least two to three presidential candidates at their local fundraisers in Central and Southern Iowa. The Monroe County Democrats will hear from Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, and Eric Swalwell this Sunday in Albia at their annual Spaghetti Supper fundraiser. It’s one of the Minnesota senator’s first events in Iowa since her campaign announcement last weekend. Swalwell is expected to kick off his presidential bid sometime soon. Just up the […]

How Iowa’s Caucus Reform Will Change Campaign Strategies

The Iowa Democratic Party unveiled their long-discussed plan to reform the Iowa Caucus process yesterday, laying out what would be the most significant changes to the caucus since its creation. They included a new virtual caucus option, an important tweak to viability procedures, a new reporting system for the raw vote, and a recount option. A 30-day comment period will now commence before a final vote is taken by the state party on implementing the new plan. All together, the IDP’s proposal greatly expands access and options for Iowans who can’t or don’t want to attend their local precinct caucus […]

Why This Iowan Is Caucusing For John Delaney

A guest post from Paula Meyer of St. Ansgar, Iowa. She’s one of John Delaney’s Iowa campaign co-chairs. I first heard John Delaney speak in Washington, D.C. in 2013 about his ideas to create and fund an infrastructure bank that would pay for over $1 trillion of infrastructure without raising taxes. I came home and told my husband I had heard a leader with practical, innovative ideas to solve the intractable problems we face in American. I became a fan of John Delaney. In 2017 and again in 2018, we had the opportunity to host John Delaney in our home […]

Comparing The Democrats’ Iowa Caucus Event Styles

It’s a little under a year out from the Iowa Caucus, and presidential candidates are already inundating the state to make their pitch to local activists. What’s particularly fascinating from these initial visits is that the Democrats’ campaigning and event styles are just as diverse as the field itself. You can already start to see hints of how each candidate’s strategy in the caucus will play out by how they structure their first trips. Starting Line thought it would be helpful to compile all our brief observations on the candidates’ approaches into one piece. With a field this large, unless […]

Cory Booker’s Unity Message Will Test Whether Twitter Is Wrong

For a man who drew national fame in part because of his clever use of social media while mayor of Newark, Cory Booker’s message for his 2020 bid most certainly does not match the mood of today’s political Twitter. In his first journey to Iowa after his presidential campaign announcement, Booker stuck to an optimistic and aspirational homily, inviting the audience to join him in a fight to make America a more loving and caring place again. It’s the philosophy of public service that has driven Booker’s entire life, from his years trying to mentor gang members while living in […]

The Other Way That Pete Buttigieg Stood Out In Iowa

Even in an incredibly crowded 2020 field, there’s plenty of ways that Pete Buttigieg, mayor of a mid-sized Midwestern city, stands out: he’s young, gay, and an Afghanistan War veteran. But his first appearances in Iowa after his presidential campaign announcement were noteworthy in a much more simple way: how bluntly and honestly he answered questions. The South Bend, Indiana mayor kicked off his well-attended events in Ames and Grinnell on Friday with a very short stump speech (possibly too short, actually, for this early in the race for a little-known contender) before diving right into questions. The party activist […]