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 […]

Beto O’Rourke Courts Students With Energy And An “Idealistic Vibe”

Rallies and Q&A sessions with 2020 hopefuls, depending on the candidate, typically tend to skew like the Iowa electorate does: older. But with former Congressman Beto O’Rourke choosing Iowa State University as his first stop on his second swing through the state, there were more backpacks than canes in the crowd. O’Rourke addressed the at-capacity audience, while keeping with his habit of wearing thematic baseball hats. He tackled some of the biggest issues students and young people care about: climate change and health care access, adding in his positions on immigration too. Relative to President Donald Trump’s age, O’Rourke is […]

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 […]

Marianne Williamson Returns To Iowa – Where She’ll Be

A sponsored guest piece from Marianne Williamson’s campaign. Presidential candidate and best-selling author Marianne Williamson will return to Iowa for five days of campaign events over the next two weeks. These will be her third and fourth visits to the state since declaring her candidacy. These next two trips will focus on the Central Iowa and Fairfield areas of the state. There will be two college campus visits, along with a meeting with the Asian & Latino Coalition. Williamson’s most recent Iowa visit was covered by Buzzfeed Politics. Read their full story here. An excerpt: Buzzfeed: “Here in the 21st […]

Harris Aims To Mobilize Iowa’s Campus Activism With “Camp Kamala” Training Sessions

Senator Kamala Harris is making sure they get a jump start on organizing Iowa’s college students before they head off campus after spring semester ends. Her Iowa campaign is announcing today five “Camp Kamala” youth organizing training sessions, where students will learn about how to organize their communities, how the Iowa Caucus works, and what Harris would do for young Americans as president. The trainings will be held at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Drake University, the University of Northern Iowa, and DMACC. They’re scheduled between April 16 and 18. Students, whether they’re currently supporting Harris or not, […]

Who Can Win Back Iowa’s Blue-Collar Counties?

Back during Elaine Baxter’s childhood, party loyalty was a simple matter. “When I was growing up, it would be unthinkable if you worked in a factory and were a Republican,” Baxter explained to Starting Line last week. “The two didn’t go together.” Now 86, Baxter, who served as Iowa’s Secretary of State from 1987 to 1995, has seen a sea change in her adopted hometown of Burlington, Iowa. Once a Democratic stronghold, the blue-collar Mississippi River town with a population of 25,000 became a key flip in Donald Trump’s 9-point win over Hillary Clinton in 2016. “People we know were […]

Iowa 2020 Book Club Reviews Cory Booker’s “United”

The first in a series of 2020 candidate book reviews from Iowans, led by IDP Vice Chair Andrea Phillips. I should have known when I decided to start the 2020 Book Club, where we read the books of the Democratic presidential candidates, there would be a lot of interest — Iowans take their politics and their role in vetting candidates seriously. 550 people joined. We’re tackling the books in alphabetical order (and yes, every announced candidate has a book), so we started with Senator Cory Booker’s book. The Senator will be joining us online Thursday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. […]

On The Trail: Key Moments From A Busy Iowa Caucus Week

In what was one of the busiest caucus weeks yet, five presidential candidates fanned out over Iowa recently, mostly in the eastern half of the state, to woo potential caucus-goers. Starting Line was on the road for seven days straight, covering the visits of Beto O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, and Cory Booker. Whenever there’s this many back-to-back events, plenty of interesting, telling moments get left out of the larger news coverage. For myself, anyway, that’s often due to simply being too tired by the time I get back to the hotel room or home at the end of the […]

Booker, Gillibrand Talk Trans Rights In Iowa

Democratic candidates running for president are increasingly talking about the rights of transgender Americans while out on the campaign trail. Two contenders who traveled through Iowa this past week – Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand – both had extended discussions at events in Davenport about their past support for the LGBTQ community and future plans. Part of what’s driving the conversation is Donald Trump’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military, which goes into effect next month. Booker said the ban was “ridiculous, insulting, un-American.” State issues are cropping up as well. An Iowa Supreme Court decision earlier […]