Push 2020 Dems On Their Rural Plan, Vilsack And Caucus Group Urges

Don’t let Democrats running for president get through the Iowa Caucus without developing a real message for rural America, Tom Vilsack and a rural-focused issue group is suggesting to Democratic leaders in the state. “Every one of us should be taking this mantra to every single one of these candidates,” Vilsack encouraged a group of about 30 Democratic legislators and party leaders and staff at a reception last week. The organization Focus On Rural America hosted the group as part of their efforts to press the 2020 field about how they’ll talk to – and win – rural Midwestern voters. […]

Cory Booker Expands Iowa Team Ahead Of Visit

Senator Cory Booker is beefing up his caucus operation in advance of his first trip to Iowa as an official presidential candidate. He’s secured several additional experienced Iowa operatives to his team, and the previously-announced staff now have official job titles. Perhaps most notably, they’re already hiring regional field organizers a year out from the Iowa Caucus. That signals both a strong investment in competing in the caucus in general, and that Booker could have an extensive field operation up and running before most others. Michael Frosolone, who led the Iowa House Democrats’ efforts the past two cycles and picked […]

Love, Reparations, And Fighting Back: A Marianne Williamson Iowa Tour

She’s the presidential candidate that you may not have heard about, but millions of others outside the usual political circles have. Marianne Williamson, who has over 2.6 million Twitter followers, a collection of best-selling books, and frequent guest appearances on shows like Oprah’s, crisscrossed Iowa this week as part of her official White House run kick-off tour. The author of many spiritual and self-help books like A Return To Love, Williamson knows her candidacy doesn’t follow the traditional route, but in a wide-open year like 2020, that’s not deterring anyone. “I know there will be 1,736 people who will be […]

Andrew Yang Hopes UBI Pitch, “Cheap” Donors Lift Campaign In Iowa

Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang joined the Johnston Area Democrats for breakfast Saturday, his eighth visit to the state. It was part of a three-day tour around Iowa. Yang spent a lot of time emphasizing that, from his experience and career as an entrepreneur, he sees his unique campaign platform to provide each and every American adult $1,000 per month as a critical next step for the country. Universal basic income (UBI) is Yang’s flagship policy proposal. Yang says this policy idea, which he calls the “Freedom Dividend,” has resonated with voters more because of the mentality behind […]

Steve Bullock Places Staff In Iowa To Lay 2020 Groundwork

Montana Governor Steve Bullock has placed at least one staffer in Iowa for preparation for a possible presidential run, Starting Line has confirmed with multiple sources. It would be the latest sign that Bullock is still headed toward a 2020 bid after he visited the lead-off caucus state four times in 2018. His team is scheduling a return trip for the governor in about two weeks. Megan Simpson, a native of Dubuque, is headed back to Iowa to begin laying the groundwork for a Bullock organization in the state. She will serve as the organizing director for Bullock’s Big Sky […]

How Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend Could Help Keep Me In Iowa

A guest post from Iowan Charlie Bell on why he’s supporting Andrew Yang for president. Peggy Whitson (the astronaut) once said, “I started out as a farm girl in Iowa, and I dreamed of being an astronaut and an explorer. And I made it.” Now, at first glance, this probably seems like it’s a wonderful thing and, in some aspects, it is. However, it also highlights an issue that has been haunting us in Iowa for years: brain drain. According to a 2015 article in the Des Moines Register, around 50 percent of the students graduating from Iowa State University […]

Cory Booker Sets Iowa Trip Details For 2020 Announcement Tour

Senator Cory Booker will travel to Iowa for a two-day campaign swing a week after his announcement that he’s running for president. Next Friday and Saturday, Booker plans to visit Mason City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Marshalltown, and Des Moines as part of an “Iowa Rise Tour” (see details at the end of this story). It’s the first stops on his presidential campaign kick-off; he visits South Carolina and New Hampshire afterwards. The New Jersey senator made official his run for the White House this morning, releasing a launch video that pitched an optimistic vision for America’s future. I’m […]

John Hickenlooper Serves Up Beer And A Pragmatic Persona

Former Colorado Governor and craft beer aficionado John Hickenlooper made the most of his stop at Court Avenue Brewing Co. on Sunday. He kissed a baby, poured a craft beer for a voter (and then himself) and got to introductions. Inevitably, one of the first questions Hickenlooper received from a voter was regarding how the state, under his watch, rolled out one of the nation’s first recreational marijuana policies. Polling in recent years shows increasing support in Iowa for both recreational and medical marijuana. This topic strayed from the standard 2020 campaign issues Democrats have addressed on their stops in […]

What Kirsten Gillibrand Thought Of Her First Iowa Trip

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made her inaugural visit to Iowa this weekend, forging through a snowstorm to meet local Democratic activists here for the first time. She delivered an impassioned speech at the Iowa Women’s March, shared a beer with Des Moines caucus-goers at a brewery, and hosted meet-and-greets in coffee shops in Sioux City, Boone and Ames. Starting Line sat down with Senator Gillibrand this afternoon for an interview. The following is the highlights of what we spoke about, along with a couple photos from today’s events.   You’ve only been in Iowa a day and a half, […]

Off We Go: John Delaney Opens First Iowa Caucus Office

The campaign for Democratic candidate John Delaney opened their first official Iowa Caucus offices today, including one in Des Moines on Ingersoll Avenue. If Delaney wanted you to take one thing away from this latest event in Iowa, it’s that he’s got a plan. He has a policy proposal and a pitch for everything curious Iowans threw at him. Questions from many of the 50 people in attendance represented nearly the full gambit of issues for Democratic voters: gun control, the separation of church and state, climate change, immigration reform, healthcare, Citizens United and gerrymandering. In an interview with Starting […]