In Iowa Return, Bernie Sanders Previews What Could Be A 2020 Message

The “political revolution” returned to Iowa on Friday with Senator Bernie Sanders holding two rallies in the state, but the Vermont senator would argue it never left. Stumping for his former adviser Pete D’Alessandro’s congressional campaign in Des Moines, Sanders touted the ongoing success of his brand of progressive politics and its hopes for the future. “The political revolution is sweeping this country, winning victory after victory after victory,” Sanders told a crowd of over 200 at the noontime rally in the East Village. Those victories, as Sanders explained, were a mix of electoral, policy and opinion accomplishments. “We came […]

Iowa Caucus-Goers Need To Be On Guard For Russian Tricks In 2020

The release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians charged with interfering with the American election added extra proof to what many already suspected and knew of Russia’s 2016 meddling. The 37-page indictment added plenty of new details to the far-reaching efforts of Russian operatives’ efforts to use social media to turn Americans against themselves. The most disturbing aspect of it may be just how easy it was for a small group of dedicated people with some money to implement it – and the fact that there’s little to stop them from carrying it out again in 2020. […]

Iowa Democrats Release Initial Candidate Caucus Result Numbers

The Iowa Democratic Party has released additional information and numbers from the Iowa Caucus held on February 5. While the vast majority of precincts did not break into preference groups for the governor’s race or congressional races, some did, and we now know how some of those turned out. Overall, the party reports that 4,944 delegates were elected on caucus night, 82% of which have had their names entered into the party’s database. Only 109 precincts broke out into preference groups, which account for 6.49% of all precincts. Some of those precincts were larger than others, however, and 582 delegates were […]

Why This Former Republican Attended His First Democratic Caucus

A guest post from Mark Masterson (pictured on the right) I would like to introduce myself.  I’m Mark Masterson, and Monday was my first caucus experience as a Democrat. I work as a state employee (a correctional officer) at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, and after I saw what the Republicans at the Capitol did to public employees last session, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. With that said, I’m new to being involved in politics at any level, but was excited to get the Governor’s race started and wanted to get involved so my voice was […]

Democrats Differ On Caucus Breakouts – One Caucus Site’s Story

It was, for the most part, the Cathy Glasson party last night at the Meredith Middle School caucus location in Des Moines. Although many caucus goers chose not to outwardly show support for a gubernatorial candidate, Glasson’s volunteers were well-organized, nor shy about their support for her. Glasson’s volunteers in each of the three precincts Starting Line attended at this caucus location all elected to join preference groups, seeming well-versed on the guidelines regarding the process. This process, although, wasn’t terribly popular in Des Moines’ Precinct 15. 32 adults and one soon-to-be 18-year-old sat in a small classroom, grouped together […]

Democrats Brave Blizzard For Off-Year Caucus – How Things Played Out

You might say that weather conditions for tonight’s Iowa precinct caucuses were less than ideal, but precinct caucus rooms were still packed with enthusiastic Democrats across the state. As of 11:30 p.m., with 80% of their precincts reporting, the Iowa Democratic Party had a “soft report” of 8,599 attendees. They expect that number to top 9,000 once the remaining precinct information is sent into headquarters (Starting Line will update this as more is known). That total already tops the turnout for the off-year caucuses in 2010 (about 5,000 people) and 2014 (about 6,500 people) – and those years didn’t have six […]

How Iowa Caucus Strategies Could Change With New Unity Commission Rules

The Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission voted in favor today of recommendations to the party’s nominating system, which will mean major changes to how the Iowa Caucus operates (its first place status in the process remains safe). The DNC as a whole still needs to vote on the rule changes, but most expect them to ratify the commission’s suggestions. Two big alterations to the caucus process will have a major impact on Iowa: publicizing the initial raw vote total and implementing an absentee ballot option. Here’s how I think these issues will play out. Make Initial Raw Vote Count […]

Ted Cruz Gets His Revenge On Iowa

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey already had to wait an awfully long time for his anticipated nomination to an important USDA position. Now his final appointment may have to wait even longer. Politico reported today that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has placed a hold on Northey’s nomination before the Senate Agriculture Committee, despite widespread support for the Iowan. The long-running conflict between the oil and ethanol industries was suggested to be the cause. “Northey’s name had moved out of the Senate Agriculture Committee by voice vote, but multiple sources in the refining industry told ME [Morning Energy] that […]

It Will Happen In Iowa

“There will be time for that later,” Governor Kim Reynolds said yesterday when asked if Iowa will pursue any new gun control legislation in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in American history. She was lying. There will never be a real discussion about responsible gun laws in Iowa so long as Kim Reynolds is governor and Republicans control the Legislature. If there is any debate on gun laws in next year’s legislative session, it will revolve around how Iowa can roll back oversight on who purchases guns, what types of weaponry you can purchase and make it legal […]

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 […]