End Citizens United To Candidates: Talk Campaign Finance Reform

From gun control legislation to immigration reform and health care policy, presidential candidates have no shortage of issues to talk with Iowa voters about as they traverse the state ahead of February’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. End Citizens United, a nationwide organization dedicated to ridding politics of corporate financing, has a different, top-line issue on its mind: campaign finance reform. Not only does the group want candidates to emphasize their agenda in Iowa and the Democratic primary, they want it carried out in the White House. “We’ve called on the entire presidential field to make comprehensive anti-corruption reform legislation the very first […]

Poll: Elizabeth Warren Jumps Out To Big Lead In The Iowa Caucus

Elizabeth Warren’s early investment in Iowa is paying off. A new Iowa Starting Line-Change Research poll shows the senator opening up a commanding lead in the Iowa Caucus. Warren was the top pick of 28% of likely Iowa Caucus-goers in the poll, an 11-point lead over the nearest competitor. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were both tied for second with 17% each. Pete Buttigieg came in fourth at 13% and Kamala Harris has the backing of 8%. Both Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke garnered 3% of caucus-goers’ support, while Steve Bullock, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer got on […]

What Didn’t Work: John Hickenlooper Bows Out

John Hickenlooper is giddy-uping back to Colorado after ending his presidential run today, though he has yet to decide if he’ll run for Senate. If he does, hopefully it’s a more successful venture than his White House bid, which just never really gained much traction. This is a continuation in my series of post-exit analysis of the presidential candidates (see our Eric Swalwell one here). Hickenlooper had a nice life story: a laid-off scientist who became a successful businessman later in life, then built up a track record of real accomplishments as mayor and governor. He could credibly brag that […]

Iowa Caucus Race Comes Into Focus After Exhausting Week

As the dust starts to settle following a grueling, 20-plus candidate week in Iowa, let’s take an overdue look at the interesting lessons learned from all the activity. The State Fair gauntlet began with Joe Biden’s visit last Thursday and ended with Pete Buttigieg’s trip yesterday (though Seth Moulton still remains for Saturday). It’s Not If Cory Booker Breaks Out In Iowa, It’s When Anyone who’s seen the reception that Cory Booker receives on the campaign trail in Iowa has wondered why on earth he’s still at 1% in most polls. Like several other candidates, he seems to suffer from […]

Bernie Sanders: Medicare For All Must Cover Abortion Services

Medicare for All has been a central part of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns since he launched his first national bid in 2015. Since then, the health care conversation in the United States has focused increasingly on reproductive services, as Republican-controlled state governments across the country limit abortion access and Supreme Court justices are appointed to help overturn Roe v. Wade. On Saturday in Des Moines, Sanders took part in a town hall hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America, a national organization that opposes restrictions on abortion. There, Sanders said, “We are here today to say as loudly and clearly as […]

Buttigieg Rides The State Fair Bus, Meets Big Crowds, Eats A Lot

Pete Buttigieg made his to way to the Iowa State Fair the way many regular Iowans do: on a DART bus. The South Bend mayor hopped on board at the downtown shuttle stop this afternoon, much to the surprise of fellow riders. Two of the people that Buttigieg sat down next to were already planning to go watch his speech at the Fair. “Well, that answers my question if you’re up at 12:30 or 1:30,” one woman remarked (it was around 12:30 that he boarded the bus). Buttigieg introduced himself around and sat down as the bus took off on […]

New Themes, Familiar Lines; Candidates’ Changing Iowa Messages

This weekend, most of the field of Democratic candidates returned to Iowa to connect with voters in the first caucus state. The last time so many were in the state at one time was in early June, at the Hall of Fame Dinner in Cedar Rapids. Candidates went to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, appeared at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding and a handful showed up to the Passport to Victory in Central City out in Linn County. So, did they say anything new? The answer is mixed. Many candidates, even the well-known ones, took time at the […]

A Tale Of Two Candidates; The Old And New In Burlington Visits

At the outset of his speech last week in Burlington, former Vice President Joe Biden told the crowd his remarks would be different than planned. “I planned on coming … to talk about agriculture policy, unions, rural policy, etc.,” said Biden, at a barn-themed event space in rural Burlington. “But too much has happened in the recent past, and I have prepared for me, what is a speech that I hope will set a marker for what we should be doing.” For some in the audience, comprised in part by local party leaders and labor union officials, Biden’s speech sounded […]

Kamala Harris Wins Major Iowa Caucus Endorsement

Photo: Kamala Harris’ first visit to the Asian & Latino Coalition meeting in October 2018. Senator Kamala Harris won the coveted endorsement of the Asian & Latino Coalition of Iowa this evening, beating out the field in a very sought-after contest. It comes on the heels of Harris’ five-day, river-to-river bus tour throughout Iowa, her most time spent in the lead-off state yet — she had left the state hours earlier before the endorsement. That trip was a reflection on Harris’ doubling-down of her campaign’s investment in Iowa. They built out their ground game this summer, now numbering among the […]

How Iowa State Fair-Goers Narrowed Their Candidate Options

The list of Democratic presidential candidates who attended the Iowa State Fair was so long this weekend it forced undecided voters to choose which of the 20 candidates they wanted to see speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox the most. Tom Steyer made Wes Boldt’s list. Boldt, of Des Moines, said he likes that Steyer is a business man and said he has a good way of getting his message out to everyone. It was the first time Boldt watched Steyer speak in person, and he thought he was “excellent.” “This guy versus Biden would be a great […]