New Iowa Caucus Poll Has Opportunities, Warning Signs For 2020 Dems

A private poll was commissioned last month on likely Iowa Caucus-goers’ early thoughts on the 2020 race, and the results give us some fascinating clues as to where each White House contender may start off in the lead-off caucus state. Starting Line got a look at it today. The David Binder Research poll was commissioned by the Focus on Rural America organization and surveyed 500 Democrats who said they would definitely or probably attend the caucus in 2020. It ran from September 20th to the 23rd. Download the full poll here. Vice President Joe Biden tops the list of candidates […]

John Delaney Expands Caucus Staff With Experienced Iowa Operative

Congressman John Delaney is building out his Iowa team this week with the hiring of Greg Hauenstein as their new digital director. Hauenstein, a longtime digital media producer for Iowa campaigns, adds to Delaney’s early caucus operation as the Maryland congressman continues to get a head start on organizing over the rest of the 2020 field. “We are thrilled to welcome Greg to our team. Greg and his work are well respected by political professionals in Iowa and around the country,” said Monica Biddix, Delaney’s Iowa communications director. “He not only brings his skills and talents to our operation but […]

Cory Booker To Headline Major Iowa Democratic Party Event

Senator Cory Booker will headline the Iowa Democratic Party’s biggest event of the year in early October, the party announced this afternoon. He’s the featured guest for this year’s Fall Gala (formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner), which will be held on Saturday, October 6. It’s the New Jersey senator’s first trip to Iowa this election cycle, and it comes just as Booker’s national profile is larger than ever for his role in the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearings. Booker drew headlines this week for clashing with Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley and releasing documents on Kavanaugh from the Judiciary Committee that […]

Ep53: New Caucus Rules & Julian Castro Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with former IDP executive director Norm Sterzenbach about the DNC’s changes to caucus states and superdelegates. And we sit down with Julian Castro to discuss his potential 2020 run and what he sees as key to Democrats’ success.

A Looming 2020 Litmus Test: Lock Him Up?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in national politics over the past several years, it’s that the issues we think will matter to voters are not always the ones that do come the election. Media firestorms can change the public attention’s at any moment, while new policy ideas can catch on fast. Medicare-for-all was hardly discussed before catching on in recent years with a significant part of the Democratic Party. Abolishing ICE had a quick rise on the left. And Donald Trump brought back talk of trade policy in a way others hadn’t for years during the 2016 campaign. So, […]

A Look At How A Julian Castro Run Could Play Out In Iowa

For an initial Iowa visit to test the presidential waters, Julian Castro hit all the usual marks last week. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary spent his three days in the lead-off caucus state meeting activists, touring the State Fair and introducing his life story and overall vision for the country. But many of his specific stops – and the warm receptions he got at them – pointed to the strategy he may use if he does throw his hat in the 2020 ring. At age 43, Castro is more accomplished than many of the potential White House hopefuls […]

Avenatti: Trump “Inflaming Racial Tensions,” Should Let Tibbetts Family Grieve

Michael Avenatti in Des Moines tonight warned against anyone in politics using the recent death of Mollie Tibbetts as a campaign issue, and he criticized President Donald Trump for a long history of inflaming racial tensions for political gain. “The family has asked that that not be politicized,” Avenatti said when asked by reporters about the recent news. “They issued a statement that I thought was very moving. I think everyone on the right and the left should respect the family’s wishes and refrain from politicizing that young woman’s death.” Tibbetts’ disappearance last month while jogging in the small Iowa […]

Why The 99 County Tour Still Matters

The steady march of White House hopefuls visiting Iowa for the State Fair this past week and a half has finally ended. They got their corn dogs, made their speeches, did a few press hits and chatted with activists. But how many made a lasting impact on their chances for Democrats’ presidential nomination in 2020? Iowans are used to early visits by out-of-state politicians with national ambitions, though this cycle got started particularly early. While several potential candidates were making their first appearance in Iowa this past week, already-candidate John Delaney was on his 14th journey to the lead-off caucus […]

Eric Swalwell Stands Out In Iowa With Role In Russian Investigation

Iowa Democrats should follow California Congressman Eric Swalwell for the special role he plays as a member of the House Intelligence Committee investigating the Trump/Russian connection. In the interview below he presents a compelling case for the relationship between Trump and Trump’s family with the Russians. As a former prosecutor, Swalwell provides an inside look at the mounting evidence linking Trump to the Russians. Swalwell has already established himself as a leading Democratic spokesman in the investigation. He’s become a regular contributor on CNN, MSNBC and FOX news. When and if this investigation blows up on Trump, Congressman Swalwell has […]

Where Are The 2020 Women At? Governing, Mostly.

Here they come. A deluge of potential 2020 presidential candidates is set to make appearances throughout Iowa over the next few weeks. The lead-off caucus state has seen its fair share of White House hopefuls make the rounds here since the 2016 election, but the upcoming gauntlet of the Wing Ding Dinner, the State Fair Soapbox speeches and the coming announcement of September’s Steak Fry guests marks a new phase. August will essentially be the unofficial kick-off of full 2020 caucus campaigning. But a lot of folks have pointed out in recent days that there’s one thing missing from all […]