Democrats Gather This Weekend To Address Rural Issues

Cracking the rural code by finding a successful message is essential to Democrats’ future elections.  It’s not only critical in Iowa, but in much of the so-called red flyover country of the heartland. Iowa Democrats understand that they can’t win majorities in the Iowa House and the Senate or statewide elections without finding a message that appeals to rural voters. They are making serious efforts at rural outreach and that begins with determining the needs of the voters in these areas. Local Democrats will hold a Reaching Rural Voters Forum this Saturday, April 27, 9:00 am to 12:00 in Stuart, […]

Bernie Sanders Adds Top Iowa Operative To Team

Bernie Sanders is bringing on Jessica Vanden Berg, a well-known veteran of Iowa and national campaigns, to his caucus team. She will serve as a senior advisor for their Iowa operation. As the AP reported last month, Vanden Berg was approached by Joe Biden’s team for a top role in his eventual campaign in Iowa. Biden is expected to announce his presidential bid this week or next. There is a quickly-shrinking pool of experienced Iowa talent that could steer a major caucus campaign. Vanden Berg ran Christie Vilsack’s 2012 congressional campaign, worked for former Congressman Leonard Boswell, and served as […]

Cory Booker Lands Second Iowa Legislative Endorsement

The second public legislative endorsement of the Iowa Caucus goes to the same candidate who received the first: Senator Cory Booker. State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights made her choice of Booker known today in a short video message. “Cory is exactly what our country needs right now,” Konfrst said. “He has the perfect mix of heart and fight, and he has policy positions that will lift our country up and unite us as a nation.” I’m thrilled to endorse @CoryBooker for President of the United States because he has the heart, fight, and plans to unite our country and […]

Want To Do An Iowa Caucus Sight-Seeing Trip? Plan It Now.

Iowa is heaven on earth for political junkies, especially so for the Democratic activists who are closely following this year’s historically large field of candidates. But if you live outside our great state, do you ever watch the TV clips of presidential contenders stumping in coffee shops and diners across Iowa with just a little bit of envy, wishing you too could experience this all up close? Well, Iowa does typically get its fair share of political tourists. The problem is that so many of them wait right up until the media hype around Iowa hits its peak, making an […]

In Rural Iowa, “Socialism” Skepticism May Boost John Delaney

Places like Iowa Falls feel a long way away from the national discussion on the Democratic primary. An Iowa town of 5,000 people, it’s a long drive away from any county that even used to vote regularly for Democrats, and the kind of place where Fox News is the default channel running on the TV in every local small business. Situated in the middle of Central Iowa’s farm country, Iowa Falls’ Hardin County was one of many rural counties to vote lopsidedly for Donald Trump in 2016. Hillary Clinton received only 33% of the vote here. That’s where presidential candidate […]

2020 Campaigns Build Out Their Iowa Teams

As presidential candidates fan out across Iowa to woo caucus-goers, their campaigns are staffing up to build the organizing infrastructure to bring home a win on caucus night. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most recent top staff hires for the Iowa campaigns. You can see Starting Line’s full tracking list of all the campaign organizations here. John Hickenlooper The former Colorado governor has brought on Des Moines activist Kimberley Strope-Boggus as their state political director. She’s been heavily involved in nearly every major Democratic event and campaign in the Polk County area for several cycles now. Strope-Boggus […]

What I’m Listening For On Child Care Policy From 2020 Candidates

Guest post from Tiffany Welch of the Save The Children Action Network organization. My husband and I moved to Iowa from the West Coast in April, 2007. Moving to Iowa was a wonderful decision for many reasons, and I have especially loved participating in Iowa presidential politics. I had my first taste of Iowa caucus excitement when we met the Obama family at an I-Cubs game on July 4, 2007. I have enjoyed meeting presidential candidates from various political persuasions up close over the caucus cycles. I studied human development for my bachelor’s degree, so many of my top priorities […]

The Most Powerful Tech Innovation 2020 Campaigns Aren’t Yet Using

A guest post from Rose Clouston, the Director of Online Training at the National Democratic Training Committee. With a new Democrat announcing their presidential campaign every week, the primary election is shaping up to be a long, drawn-out process. To have any realistic hope of emerging as the nominee, you have to scale from a small team of senior staff to a national movement with thousands of staff and volunteers in a matter of months. Most people assume presidential campaigns operate with endless financial and staffing resources. The truth is every campaign, even the most well funded, has limited time, money, and […]

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 […]

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.