Kansas Caucus: How The Heck Do You Organize A 14-County Caucus?

There are some liberals in southwestern Kansas, including those in a place actually named Liberal, the Kansas town on the Oklahoma border with a majority Hispanic population and the self-appointed home of Dorothy. But for the Liberal liberals who want to make an impact in the Democratic nomination race, they’ll have to leave early on March 5th to drive the hour and a half to their caucus site in Dodge City. Many Democrats living in the western half of the state face long drives next Saturday afternoon because Kansas Democrats organize their caucuses by senate districts, of which there are 40 in the […]

Dear Clinton Backers: For The Love Of God, Don’t Talk About Superdelegates

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9 Hillary Clinton loses big in one of the first two states? Check. Her opponent is an outsider to her left who builds a youthful movement to overwhelm Clinton’s establishment support? Check. Clinton’s message is one of pragmatism and realism versus optimism and change/revolution? Check. Oh, and just for good measure, we’re talking about the Iraq War vote? Check. We’ve seen this movie before. And since most of the same storyline is playing out once again in 2016 as […]

The Fascinating Flip In Clinton’s Iowa Support From 2008

I was excited when I saw Hillary Clinton’s final Iowa schedule. Sunday, her last day of full campaigning in the state, took her through Western Iowa, her stronghold of support from 2008. It was where I worked for her in 2008 in Council Bluffs, so I thought it would be a nice bit of nostalgia to follow along on the trip. But I was surprised at what I saw. The turnouts in Council Bluffs and Sioux City just a day before the caucus were okay, but nothing special. About 600 showed up in Council Bluffs, a place where Clinton drew […]

Hillary Clinton Takes The Iowa Caucus In Narrow Win

It took until the wee hours of the early morning, but at 2:27 AM the Iowa Democratic Party released a statement on the “historically close” results of the 2016 Iowa Caucus. Hillary Clinton had taken the lead and won the caucus with 699.57 state delegate equivalents, with Bernie Sanders totaling 695.49 state delegate equivalents. Martin O’Malley, interestingly enough, made up more than the spread with a small 7.68 state delegate equivalents. Democrats claimed a turnout of 171,109 across the state, and reports from dozens of precincts saw massive lines and volunteers running out of voter registration forms. The wave of […]

Is The Sanders Campaign Prepping A “Blame Iowa” Strategy In Case Of A Loss?

It happens every caucus cycle. A campaign worried about a disappointing showing near the end of the race starts to raise questions about the legitimacy of the caucus process. In 2008 Hillary Clinton backers famously spun bizarre theories about how Barack Obama’s campaign bused in thousands of supporters from Chicago to swamp eastern Iowa precincts. That, of course, was untrue, and would have required the greatest secretive operation in political history, in which none of thousands of caucus interlopers told anyone of their trick. The Clinton folks were rightly pilloried for pushing such nonsense. This time it appears Bernie Sanders’ […]

Nurses Boosting Bernie In Caucus For Real Change On Healthcare

While the large majority of national union endorsements have gone to Hillary Clinton this cycle, Bernie Sanders does have some very active, very visible labor groups on his side. National Nurses United was the first labor union to back Sanders. They’ve been a constant presence in Iowa since. Their red bus often shows up around the state, they’ve put up billboard ads supporting Sanders and you often see a group of red-shirted nurses at most of his events. Their members have also been working hard on the ground in Iowa in the last weeks. Starting Line sat down with National […]

Scenes From The First Day Of Get-Out-The-Caucus

Campaign staffers around the state rose bright and early this morning to finish up final preparations for the launch of GOTC (Get Out The Caucus). Normally called GOTV in most elections (Get Out The Vote), the final four day stretch leading up to the Iowa Caucus is filled with non-stop activity in field offices in major cities and small regional towns. Volunteers stream in to pick up walk packets or make calls, usually during shifts starting at 9:00, noon, 3:00 and 6:00. Well, on the Democrats’ campaigns side at least. For the most part, efforts to persuade caucus-goers are largely […]

Analyzing The Democrats’ Final Iowa Caucus Schedules

Here we are: the final few days of the Iowa Caucus. How a candidate spends their time in the precious waning hours says a lot about the state of the race and what each feels they still need to accomplish. The three Democrats plan on barnstorming the state, with Hillary Clinton bringing in Bill and Chelsea to help out, while Bernie Sanders plans a huge concert at the University of Iowa. Let’s take a look at each Democrats’ final schedule to see what it might mean for their caucus night strategy. (Sorry for some of the awkward formatting, I’m just […]

Ben And Jerry Visit Iowa, Explain “Bernie’s Yearning” Ice Cream Flavor

It’s that time in the Iowa Caucus campaign where you can easily run into a celebrity, business leader or famous political figure pretty much anywhere you go in Iowa. This Tuesday afternoon Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s dropped in to meet customers at Smokey Row Coffee shop in Des Moines on behalf of their endorsed candidate, Bernie Sanders. Sadly, they did not bring ice cream. What they did bring, however, was a message about why Iowans should get on board with Sanders’ campaign in the Iowa Caucus. “Our country needs a real political revolution,” said Ben […]

Bernie Sanders Just Passed His 50,000 Iowa Crowd Turnout Mark

Bernie Sanders has talked to a whole lot of people in Iowa. On Sunday he passed the big milestone of combined Iowa turnouts of 50,000. It happened at a notably smaller and more subdued conference room at Upper Iowa University, filled with about 300 people. But, true to form, the event was still very good for the town of Fayette, population only 1,300. The rally Sanders held right before that in Decorah may go down as one of his most impressive of the presidential campaign. In the gymnasium at Luther College stood over 2,200 people, all crammed in to see […]