Few Republicans Try To Close The Deal At Big GOP Event

The Republican Party of Iowa’s Growth And Opportunity event on Saturday was meant as a sort of replacement for the Iowa Straw Poll, and judging from many of the candidates’ speeches you’d think they were still in that August mindset. Few of the White House hopefuls deviated from their typical stump speeches. Despite being a mere three months from the Iowa Caucus, many contenders’ pitches remain in the introductory stage. That seemed odd considering most of the 2,000 attendees at the event were involved party activists who have seen all of these people at events or watched them online. The […]

Jeb Bush’s Terrible Internal Iowa Numbers

Usually when a campaign puts together a memo for their top donors you try to highlight your accomplishments and project momentum. Perhaps that’s what Jeb Bush’s top advisers thought they were doing with the internal campaign briefing that got leaked to U.S. News and World Report yesterday, but even a brief look at their Iowa numbers show extremely troubling signs for Bush’s viability in the the caucus. The most jarring number is their amount of identified supporters. Bush hopes to garner about 18% in the Iowa Caucus, which their projections show requires a vote goal of 23,716. So far they […]

Key Takeaways From A Week Of Caucus Events

Starting Line has been out on the Iowa Caucus trail a lot recently, hitting up both Democratic and Republican events, mostly in central Iowa the last week and a half. There’s always something interesting to take out of each candidate’s visit, though oftentimes not enough to fill a full post (or I’m just too tired by the time I get home). So here’s a collection of observations and analysis of a number of caucus visits I’ve been to recently. (Also, if you’re not following me on Twitter, you’re missing out on about 50% of the reporting Starting Line does). Trump […]

Mental Health Closures Destroying Branstad Approval, New Poll Shows

PPP Polls released two extremely interesting Iowa-focused polls on Monday and Tuesday, taking a look both at the presidential race and Iowa issues. The first poll surveyed candidates’ favorables within their party and how they compare for the caucus. The second poll looked at potential matchups for the general, but also took a fascinating look at several Iowa politicians and issues. Here’s some key takeaways I noticed: Branstad Brand Badly Damaged It turns out kicking disabled Iowans out of their professionally-run care facilities is an unpopular thing to do. Who knew? Branstad’s overall approval numbers continue to nosedive after the […]

Republicans Aren’t Just Appealing To Racism, They’re Actively Fostering Its Growth

“We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.” That’s what RNC Chair Reince Priebus said back in 2013 after the party’s second-in-a-row presidential election defeat. They determined their standing among minority communities was badly tarnished and Priebus vowed to address it. We’re only several months into the 2016 primary season and that plan has already been completely derailed. In just a week’s time Donald Trump did more damage to Republicans’ appeal to Hispanic voters than any single person in recent history with his “rapist” and “drug dealer” lines in his […]

Why Rick Santorum’s Loss Should Be Jeb Bush’s Gain

After 2012, Rick Santorum’s world fell apart. As set out in Politco, Santorum’s 2011-12 team – the team that got him the 34 caucus votes that made him a contender – has broken up. Not Simon and Garfunkel sometimes-we-still-do-shows-together broken up, Taylor Swift we are never, ever, ever getting back together broken up. Santorum’s former campaign driver (or talking point prop), Chuck Laudner, is now attending to Donald Trump. Santorum’s former campaign managers are with Rand Paul. Important Santorum cheerleaders like former Sec. of State Matt Schultz have Cruz’ed away, while others, like Northwest Iowa powerhouse Sam Clovis, refuse to […]

GOPers Brag of Flying Flag for Ag in Hopes of Rural Vote Snag

It felt like caucus season once again this weekend with multiple likely Republican candidates and the entire national press showing up in Des Moines for the Ag Summit. Bruce Rastetter, in an obvious attempt to make himself a caucus kingmaker, hosted the event and did a Q&A with every White House hopeful, while other speakers gave prepared remarks at the podium. On the issues, there was very little disagreement outside of immigration and the Renewable Fuel Standard. All the Republicans were against EPA regulations, opposed trade with Cuba while supporting trade with China, and criticized GMO labeling. No two candidates […]

The Republican Bachelor – Who’s In Iowa for the Right Reasons?

Just as the Republican presidential race heats up in Iowa, the state’s own Chris Soules will be ending his much-hyped run on ABC’s The Bachelor. Sorry to disappoint, Democratic ladies, but Chris is a big Republican. He’s already met several of the presidential hopefuls, and Starting Line strongly believes that Chris will publicly endorse in the Iowa Caucus. Don’t discount him as just some reality TV star. He’s the most popular leading man The Bachelor has had in years, particularly in his native Iowa. An endorsement could grab attention from a large base of young people who aren’t typically engaged […]