Meet Iowa’s Next Crop Of Rising Young Political Reporters

Coming soon to a byline near you… Student journalists got a front row seat to national politics during this past year’s Iowa Caucus. The access and opportunities they had to interview presidential candidates and break news on the most fascinating campaign in decades was unmatched around the country, and many Iowa college students took full advantage. A number of student reporters at Iowa universities stood out in their coverage of both the Iowa Caucus and Iowa politics as a whole. And just like in the political operative world, there’s nothing better than having Iowa on your resume. So Starting Line thought […]

Men Comprise 82% of Ted Cruz’s Delegate Haul From Iowa Districts

In the fight to stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination, opponents often point to his awful polling numbers in a matchup against Hillary Clinton. Historically terrible numbers among female voters are driving Trump’s theoretical thrashing in the November election. So it was perhaps a bit odd to see such a male-heavy slate of delegates come out of the district conventions, which were dominated by Ted Cruz supporters. Cruz backers handily won 11 of the 12 delegates up for grab at the district conventions on Saturday, which will badly damage Trump’s chances if the national convention goes to a […]

Trump Incompetence Lets Cruz Sweep Iowa’s 3rd District Delegates

Is it really that difficult to find three solid supporters for your candidate in an entire Congressional district? If you’re the Donald Trump campaign, the answer is yes. A clear contrast developed early between the Ted Cruz and Trump delegate operations at Iowa Republicans’ 3rd District convention in Creston on Saturday. Matt Schultz, a key Cruz endorser and on the campaign’s official slate of delegates, greeted attendees as they entered the building and had promotional materials on hand. Two of the three delegates on Trump’s initial official slate wouldn’t even commit to support Trump. Republicans from the district that covers […]

Some Big Questions For Democrats’ Iowa Caucus Review Committee

Late last week the Iowa Democratic Party released the list of members of its long-awaited caucus review commission, formed to take a look at how to improve the Democrats’ caucus process. The party says it’s part of their tradition in finding ways to better the caucus, but the scale of the effort is clearly in response to the considerable criticism laid on the IDP following the close contest on February 1st. The first big question is just whether this commission will accomplish real changes, or if it’ll simply serve as a face-saving measure for the IDP and Andy McGuire. There’s some […]

Clinton’s Iowa Caucus Win Looks More Impressive In Retrospect

The Clinton campaign celebrated their Iowa Caucus victory back on February 1st, but they had certainly hoped for a larger margin. Nearly two months later, however, that win is looking better and better after a string of blowout defeats to Bernie Sanders in other caucus states. Sanders finally made up a bit of the delegate gap between him and Clinton on Saturday with large margins of victories in the Washington (73%), Alaska (82%) and Hawaii (70%) caucuses. He still faces a nearly insurmountable task in overtaking Clinton’s national lead, but it was yet another day in which caucus states gave the […]

Polk County Democrats Convention Turns Into A Total Disaster

On Saturday Polk County Democrats held their county convention to select delegates to go on to the district and state convention. It was an utter catastrophe. The county convention started at 9:00 AM, with many attendees arriving much earlier. The proceedings did not finish until close to 8:30 PM. During that time delegates and alternates from caucus night sat through repeated recounts, credential checks and platform plank discussions. Rules were poorly explained, both Sanders and Clinton supporters yelled at one another and the county party, accusations of cheating swept through both sides, a Sanders supporter at one point jumped onto the […]

Clinton Maintains Iowa Delegate Win In County Conventions

Hillary Clinton’s campaign fought off a tough effort by Bernie Sanders’ operation in county conventions throughout the state to determine the next round of delegates that eventually end up at the national convention. At the end of the day, Clinton stood at 704 state delegates and Sanders had 700. That’s a slight improvement for both from caucus night’s final results, when Clinton had 700.47 and Sanders received 696.92. The big prize both campaigns sought was the 5th statewide delegate. In addition to assigning national delegates by congressional district, Iowa also has 9 statewide delegates. Because of Clinton’s narrow win on […]

Iowa’s Not Over Yet: Fight For Delegates Continues At County Conventions

Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans on passing out buttons celebrating their candidate’s glass ceiling-breaking win in the Iowa Caucus at the party’s county conventions this Saturday. But to ensure that narrow record-setting victory Clinton achieved back on February 1 sticks, her supporters will need to turn out for the March 12 county conventions tomorrow for the next step in Iowa’s delegate process. Thanks to the closeness of the final results, Bernie Sanders has a good chance of picking up an extra national delegate. All 99 Democratic and Republican county parties will hold conventions on Saturday to bring together the county-level delegates […]

Iowa’s Not Over Yet: Fight For Delegates Continues At County Conventions

Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans on passing out buttons celebrating their candidate’s glass ceiling-breaking win in the Iowa Caucus at the party’s county conventions this Saturday. But to ensure that narrow record-setting victory Clinton achieved back on February 1 sticks, her supporters will need to turn out for the March 12 county conventions tomorrow for the next step in Iowa’s delegate process. Thanks to the closeness of the final results, Bernie Sanders has a good chance of picking up an extra national delegate. All 99 Democratic and Republican county parties will hold conventions on Saturday to bring together the county-level delegates […]

Much Of Caucus Criticism Misplaced Or Misunderstood

Guest post by John McCormally The Register’s recent editorial “Something smells in the Democratic Party,” perpetuates misinformation about the historically close Iowa caucuses. Here’s the truth: The results were really close. When the results are so close, every little thing seems like a big problem. In reality, problems were minimal. There were 1,681 caucuses, and the overwhelming majority ran smoothly. Only the tightness of the race is unusual. The Register’s editorial seems rooted in a misunderstanding of the Iowa caucuses. As someone who actually chaired a precinct caucus and also spent significant time in the Iowa Democratic Party reporting center […]