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Want to Hold Your Own 2020 Caucus? Now You Can (if You’re an Iowan)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Iowa Democrats will allow some voters to organize their own presidential caucuses in 2020, part of a plan to make the state’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest more accessible for people who cannot attend one of the party’s 1,678 designated caucus sites.

The state party’s plan, which the Democratic National Committee’s rules committee sanctioned on Friday, is designed to assuage concerns that Iowa’s caucuses are exclusionary and depress turnout because they require in-person participation at a midwinter evening event.

The plan will allow Iowans to apply to hold their own ad hoc caucuses Feb. 3 wherever there are groups of Democrats who wish to participate. These satellite caucuses could take place at locations like factories, restaurants or group homes, or at overseas or out-of-state military installations where Iowans are posted, party officials said.

The onus will be on people who cannot attend the regular caucuses to apply to hold their own gatherings. A state party panel would then approve or reject the satellite caucus locations. Satellite caucus results would be reported through an app, officials said.

When are the primaries and caucuses?
2020 Presidential Election Calendar
The election may still be hundreds of days away, but the 2020 primary process is already underway. Here’s a calendar of key dates.

May 13, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 2020-election-calendar-promo-1556746196379-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 Want to Hold Your Own 2020 Caucus? Now You Can (if You’re an Iowan) Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party democratic national committee

“Iowa Democrats have worked incredibly hard to bring more voters into our party, and a satellite caucus system is the best solution for us to build on that work while increasing participation on caucus night,” Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, said in a statement.

The party’s proposal came after more than a year of debate about how to increase accessibility for the caucuses. In a state of more than three million people, the most that have participated in a presidential caucus was about 240,000 for the 2008 Democratic contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

[Which Democrats are leading the 2020 presidential race this week?]

In August 2018, D.N.C. members voted to adopt new rules for the 2020 presidential primary that encouraged states that held caucuses to switch to primaries and required remaining caucus states to allow for a form of participation that did not require attending an event. Other reforms included reducing the power of the party’s superdelegates.

Iowa Democrats had worked for months to design and implement a “virtual” caucus system, which would have allowed participation through a dial-in phone system. The D.N.C. rejected that proposal last month after party security officials said it was vulnerable to hacking.

Iowa Democrats also considered mailing absentee paper ballots, but feared such a system would be considered a primary by New Hampshire officials, who are bound by their state Constitution to hold the nation’s first primary and could have tried to leapfrog Iowa on the presidential calendar.

Mandy McClure, an Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman, said Iowa and New Hampshire officials had communicated about the latest Iowa proposal. “We’ve been partners with New Hampshire,” she said.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter hosted by Lisa Lerer and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

The satellite caucuses must take place at the same time as Iowa’s regularly scheduled caucuses, which are set to begin at 7 p.m. Central time on Feb. 3. That could require some groups of overseas caucusgoers to hold middle-of-the-night gatherings and could still hinder participation by shift workers and restaurant employees who work in the evenings.

“Voting by mail for all those who sign affidavits saying they are working that night or physically unable to caucus would be a much simpler and more equitable solution,” said Larry Cohen, a D.N.C. member from Maryland who played a leading role in developing the party’s rules and guidelines for the 2020 primary process.

In 2016 the party allowed four satellite caucus locations after permitting groups who “demonstrated a clear need” to petition to hold their own caucuses. The new plan for 2020 will be “moved into full compliance after further review by D.N.C. staff,” the committee said Friday.

Democratic officials in Iowa and Washington said they did not have an initial estimate of how many people would participate in the satellite caucuses, and by Friday morning the presidential campaigns had not been briefed on the specifics of how they would operate.

Matt Stevens contributed reporting from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Want to Hold Your Own 2020 Caucus? Now You Can (if You’re an Iowan)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Iowa Democrats will allow some voters to organize their own presidential caucuses in 2020, part of a plan to make the state’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest more accessible for people who cannot attend one of the party’s 1,678 designated caucus sites.

The state party’s plan, which the Democratic National Committee’s rules committee sanctioned on Friday, is designed to assuage concerns that Iowa’s caucuses are exclusionary and depress turnout because they require in-person participation at a midwinter evening event.

The plan will allow Iowans to apply to hold their own ad hoc caucuses Feb. 3 wherever there are groups of Democrats who wish to participate. These satellite caucuses could take place at locations like factories, restaurants or group homes, or at overseas or out-of-state military installations where Iowans are posted, party officials said.

The onus will be on people who cannot attend the regular caucuses to apply to hold their own gatherings. A state party panel would then approve or reject the satellite caucus locations. Satellite caucus results would be reported through an app, officials said.

When are the primaries and caucuses?
2020 Presidential Election Calendar
The election may still be hundreds of days away, but the 2020 primary process is already underway. Here’s a calendar of key dates.

May 13, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 2020-election-calendar-promo-1556746196379-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 Want to Hold Your Own 2020 Caucus? Now You Can (if You’re an Iowan) Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Iowa Democratic Party democratic national committee

“Iowa Democrats have worked incredibly hard to bring more voters into our party, and a satellite caucus system is the best solution for us to build on that work while increasing participation on caucus night,” Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, said in a statement.

The party’s proposal came after more than a year of debate about how to increase accessibility for the caucuses. In a state of more than three million people, the most that have participated in a presidential caucus was about 240,000 for the 2008 Democratic contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

[Which Democrats are leading the 2020 presidential race this week?]

In August 2018, D.N.C. members voted to adopt new rules for the 2020 presidential primary that encouraged states that held caucuses to switch to primaries and required remaining caucus states to allow for a form of participation that did not require attending an event. Other reforms included reducing the power of the party’s superdelegates.

Iowa Democrats had worked for months to design and implement a “virtual” caucus system, which would have allowed participation through a dial-in phone system. The D.N.C. rejected that proposal last month after party security officials said it was vulnerable to hacking.

Iowa Democrats also considered mailing absentee paper ballots, but feared such a system would be considered a primary by New Hampshire officials, who are bound by their state Constitution to hold the nation’s first primary and could have tried to leapfrog Iowa on the presidential calendar.

Mandy McClure, an Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman, said Iowa and New Hampshire officials had communicated about the latest Iowa proposal. “We’ve been partners with New Hampshire,” she said.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter hosted by Lisa Lerer and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

The satellite caucuses must take place at the same time as Iowa’s regularly scheduled caucuses, which are set to begin at 7 p.m. Central time on Feb. 3. That could require some groups of overseas caucusgoers to hold middle-of-the-night gatherings and could still hinder participation by shift workers and restaurant employees who work in the evenings.

“Voting by mail for all those who sign affidavits saying they are working that night or physically unable to caucus would be a much simpler and more equitable solution,” said Larry Cohen, a D.N.C. member from Maryland who played a leading role in developing the party’s rules and guidelines for the 2020 primary process.

In 2016 the party allowed four satellite caucus locations after permitting groups who “demonstrated a clear need” to petition to hold their own caucuses. The new plan for 2020 will be “moved into full compliance after further review by D.N.C. staff,” the committee said Friday.

Democratic officials in Iowa and Washington said they did not have an initial estimate of how many people would participate in the satellite caucuses, and by Friday morning the presidential campaigns had not been briefed on the specifics of how they would operate.

Matt Stevens contributed reporting from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kamala Is All-In On Iowa, Why Won’t She Talk About A Key Issue For Their Voters?

With current polls putting her at around five percent, Kamala Harris is pinning all of her hopes on Iowa.

Politico reports that Harris “is planning to make weekly visits to the state and nearly double the size of her 65-person ground operation” after being absent from the state since her 17-stop bus tour in August.

Then there are completely candid moments  like that that she definitely didn’t expect the press to report on, while being completely aware that their job is to follow her around and report on what she says.

Amazing that the press just happened to catch that, isn’t it? What luck!

If Iowa is her last hope, there’s one big thing missing from her messaging- corn. Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the United States year after year (and the United States is the largest producer of corn in the world). So, why isn’t she talking about ethanol?

She’s in a tough spot.

Ethanol isn’t environmentally friendly and, as such, is very anti-Green New Deal, who was an original co-sponsor of the Sen. Markey’s original legislation. We know that the environment is a huge issue for Democrat party voters- CNN even held a 7-hour townhall on that alone, something they haven’t done for any other single issue.

Harris could court those voters by talking about wind, for example. It’s now more cost-effective than many fossil fuels, and it even matters to Iowa. As one of the largest wind-producing states in America, it is fueling their new tech industry. She’s not talking about that either, though, just going after fossil fuels.

Still, Iowa is farm country, and they rely on corn. She could still win Iowa if she took on a stance that supported free trade, since other countries like Brazil are happy to buy our ethanol. Ted Cruz won Iowa while running against Renewable Fuel Standards (the EPA’s requirement that fuel contain renewable fuels like ethanol) so it’s possible, but you have to stand for something.

Kamala won’t commit to anything, and that’s the real problem here.

The post Kamala Is All-In On Iowa, Why Won’t She Talk About A Key Issue For Their Voters? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Kamala-Harris-TH-300x153 Kamala Is All-In On Iowa, Why Won’t She Talk About A Key Issue For Their Voters? Uncategorized Iowa Caucuses Iowa Caucus Iowa Front Page Stories Featured Story farm ethanol democratic nomination democrat caucus agriculture 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kamala Is All-In On Iowa, Why Won’t She Talk About A Key Issue For Their Voters?

With current polls putting her at around five percent, Kamala Harris is pinning all of her hopes on Iowa.

Politico reports that Harris “is planning to make weekly visits to the state and nearly double the size of her 65-person ground operation” after being absent from the state since her 17-stop bus tour in August.

Then there are completely candid moments  like that that she definitely didn’t expect the press to report on, while being completely aware that their job is to follow her around and report on what she says.

Amazing that the press just happened to catch that, isn’t it? What luck!

If Iowa is her last hope, there’s one big thing missing from her messaging- corn. Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the United States year after year (and the United States is the largest producer of corn in the world). So, why isn’t she talking about ethanol?

She’s in a tough spot.

Ethanol isn’t environmentally friendly and, as such, is very anti-Green New Deal, who was an original co-sponsor of the Sen. Markey’s original legislation. We know that the environment is a huge issue for Democrat party voters- CNN even held a 7-hour townhall on that alone, something they haven’t done for any other single issue.

Harris could court those voters by talking about wind, for example. It’s now more cost-effective than many fossil fuels, and it even matters to Iowa. As one of the largest wind-producing states in America, it is fueling their new tech industry. She’s not talking about that either, though, just going after fossil fuels.

Still, Iowa is farm country, and they rely on corn. She could still win Iowa if she took on a stance that supported free trade, since other countries like Brazil are happy to buy our ethanol. Ted Cruz won Iowa while running against Renewable Fuel Standards (the EPA’s requirement that fuel contain renewable fuels like ethanol) so it’s possible, but you have to stand for something.

Kamala won’t commit to anything, and that’s the real problem here.

The post Kamala Is All-In On Iowa, Why Won’t She Talk About A Key Issue For Their Voters? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Kamala-Harris-TH-300x153 Kamala Is All-In On Iowa, Why Won’t She Talk About A Key Issue For Their Voters? Uncategorized kamala harris Kamala Iowa Caucuses Iowa Caucus Iowa Front Page Stories Featured Story farm ethanol democratic nomination democrat caucus agriculture 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Is Kamala Harris still campaigning?

Westlake Legal Group k-2 Is Kamala Harris still campaigning? The Blog south carolina poll New Hampshire nbc kamala harris Iowa hillyard early states

Per NBC, the answer appears to be “technically yes but actually no.” She’s not out of the race, she’s just … doing other stuff right now.

Much of that stuff is fundraising, I realize, but the flaw in doing that instead of hitting the trail is that dollars tend to dry up once your polling lands in the toilet because no one in the early states ever sees you anymore. Money follows popularity in political campaigns, not vice versa.

Maybe Harris is running the ol’ Giuliani 2008 strategy of skipping all of the early states and focusing entirely on Florida.

When Harris returns to Iowa this weekend for the Polk County Democrats’ Steak Fry, it’ll be her first trip to the state in over a month. She’s visited just 18 of Iowa’s 99 counties so far.

It’s been more than two months since her last visit to South Carolina, where Harris, who is African American, is counting on a robust showing among black voters who make up the majority of the state’s Democratic primary voters.

And Harris has been in New Hampshire just once in the last two months.

Old Man Biden’s made seven trips to the early states in the past six weeks or so and has already visited more counties in Iowa than she has despite having entered the race much later. Someone drag Officer Harris out of the donut shop and tell her to get back on the beat.

Or don’t. It’s already too late. Let her enjoy her cruller.

Kamala Harris’ support is plunging in Iowa, where she’s seen a 13-point drop since July, according to a new poll.

Notably, the survey, commissioned by Focus on Rural America and taken after the third presidential debate in Houston, was conducted by Harris’ chief pollster, David Binder

The new survey, conducted Sept. 14-17, shows Harris sliding into sixth place at 5 percent, with Biden at 25 percent retaking the lead he lost over the summer. Harris recently embarked on a statewide bus tour and was the first in the field to run ads in Iowa. The Harris campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Between this and yesterday’s NBC survey, there’s a distinct “Scott Walker 2016” stench coming off of her right now. But I think she’ll soldier on, believing that she could rocket into the top tier again at any moment if Biden has a lethal rhetorical stumble of some sort and black voters in South Carolina are suddenly in play.

If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see how she uses her time at the next few debates. Her only big moment of the race to date came at Biden’s expense at the first one but trying to reprise that would be perilous for her. Realistically, Harris should be playing for a VP spot at this point, and realistically, the only type of nominee whom she’d “balance” demographically on the ticket is a white male, i.e. Bernie Sanders or Biden himself. The obvious strategy for her now is to go easy on Joe to ingratiate herself to him and maybe even start carrying his water by trying to damage Elizabeth Warren on his behalf. That’s risky too, though, since Warren is probably the “true” frontrunner — she outpolls Biden when Dem voters’ first and second choices are combined, she’s the only candidate in the race drawing very enthusiastic crowds, and the overwhelmingly white electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire play to her demographic strengths. Harris won’t be VP to Warren (I think?) since Democrats would worry how an all-woman ticket would be received, but Attorney General in a Warren administration, God help us, seems feasible.

As long as she doesn’t hit Warren too hard on the stump this fall, that is. So what does Harris do?

Anyway, she’s leaving the donut shop soon:

While you mull that, via the Free Beacon, here’s NBC not sugarcoating the state of her campaign. “Rather bleak, rather uncertain” about sums it up.

The post Is Kamala Harris still campaigning? appeared first on Hot Air.

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California adds another state to its “no travel” list

Westlake Legal Group newsom-campaign California adds another state to its “no travel” list travel The Blog Iowa Gavin Newsom California ban

Back in 2016, California passed a new law (Assembly Bill 1887) establishing a naughty list of states that don’t conform to their high moral standards. The bill created a travel ban, forbidding state-funded or endorsed travel to states that failed to provide “protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” They quickly began adding states to the list, including Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kentucky. (Clever readers are probably noticing a pattern already.)

This week, California’s woke Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, broke out his sharpie and added another name to the list. This time it was Iowa, selected for failing to have Medicaid pay for transgender surgical procedures. (Sacramento Bee)

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday extended California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to an 11th state, adding Iowa to the list based on the Midwestern state’s passage of a law that removed gender protections under Medicaid.

Becerra’s order means public employees and college students may not travel to Iowa under provisions of a 2016 California law.

Twelve years ago, Iowa’s Legislature made gender identity a protected characteristic under its Civil Rights Act, which prohibited refusing service to or discriminating against people based on their gender identity preferences.

Iowa had previously passed muster in California’s eyes because of their state Civil Rights Act. But this spring, the state Supreme Court ruled that the law had to be applied to transgender surgery paid for by Medicaid. That didn’t sit well with the locals and Iowa’s governor quickly signed a bill barring the use of Medicaid funds for such procedures. That led to California’s decision this week.

Obviously this is a state-level matter and both Iowa and California can do as they wish. But the question of taxpayer-funded medical procedures is a valid one to consider. What was Iowa really doing when they modified that law?

One way to look at this is to consider what was supposed to be one of the foundational, guiding principles in the medical field. Primum non nocere, or “first, do no harm.” California obviously feels that Iowa’s decision was discriminatory, but that requires you to accept the belief men can actually be women and vice versa. If you hold to the scientifically established fact that there are only two genders, each required for the propagation of the species, then so-called “transition” surgery is nothing more than the permanent mutilation of an otherwise perfectly healthy body.

Is that something the taxpayers should be on the hook for? Clearly, their elected officials didn’t think so. And now California is sitting in judgment over them and banning official travel to that state, along with quite a few others.

Of course, that California law is something of a joke to start with. It’s only enforced when politically convenient to show how woke they are. They still allow the college athletic teams to travel to “banned” states when there are major bowl games and tournaments to attend. It’s all brushed aside as a sort of prosecutorial discretion. We’ll enforce the law when we feel like it, suckers.

The post California adds another state to its “no travel” list appeared first on Hot Air.

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CBS poll: Biden now trailing in New Hampshire and Nevada, barely ahead in Iowa

Westlake Legal Group jb CBS poll: Biden now trailing in New Hampshire and Nevada, barely ahead in Iowa warren The Blog south carolina sanders poll New Hampshire Nevada Iowa frontrunner CBS biden

Just how soft is Biden’s frontrunner status? Pretty soft even according to people who support him. Politico reported this weekend that a top state senator in New Hampshire who’s backing Grandpa Joe was so concerned about his low-energy campaign events in the state that he drove more than an hour to meet Biden in hopes of staging an intervention. Another piece up at the site today has Biden cheerleader Ed Rendell acknowledging fear among colleagues that his lead may be fragile, a house of cards that’ll eventually collapse under the weight of his gaffes and age-related concerns:

“There’s a clear worry among Biden supporters that he can’t be the front-runner from June of 2019 through July of 2020 … that eventually, the gaffes will pile up and he’ll come down,” said Ed Rendell, a former Pennsylvania governor and one of Biden’s most vocal supporters…

“It’s a deceptive lead, because it really doesn’t get tested until we get down to a narrower race in which, at some stage, people are going to have to say, ‘Is he our guy or not?’” said Paul Maslin, a top Democratic pollster who worked on the presidential campaigns of Jimmy Carter and Howard Dean…

Biden’s appeal to Democrats is so tightly tied to his perceived ability to defeat Trump that if he appears likely to suffer an early loss, one veteran Democratic strategist in Iowa said, “if you take any drop in [polling] support, you might bleed.”

Right, essentially Biden’s edge in the race is self-reinforcing. He’s the “electable guy”; the evidence of his electability is his lead in the polls (and head to head against Trump); but perceptions of electability are themselves contributing to his polling. If Warren or Sanders starts to outpoll him and air begins leaking out of the Biden “electability” balloon, how much might it deflate? An unnamed Dem who works for a rival campaign pointed Politico to Hillary’s sudden collapse in South Carolina in 2008 after Obama shocked the party by winning Iowa. She went from a huge lead to a blowout loss practically overnight, once it became clear to voters there that her nomination wasn’t inevitable. Once the balloon was punctured in the early states, it couldn’t hold air anymore.

Which brings us to the new early-state polls from CBS:

South Carolina is the one early state with a majority-black primary electorate and, not coincidentally, it’s the one state where Biden continues to run rings around the competition. He’s in trouble everywhere else, though — three points ahead in Iowa, behind in Nevada and New Hampshire. In every state except SC, Bernie is within three points of him or less. In fact, if not for Kamala Harris’s collapse, Biden might not have an edge on Bernie. He picked up 15 percent of Harris’s supporters since the last CBS poll (Elizabeth Warren picked up 29 percent!), helping to buoy him up against Sanders.

How long can that last, though? What if Harris has another good debate on Thursday night, or Biden a bad one? Certainly Warren’s going to come hard at him too. CBS went on to note that if you aggregate its polling from all four early states, including South Carolina, it’s not Joe who leads overall. It’s Warren, with 26 percent to Biden’s 25. She’s way ahead of him too when early-state voters are asked if they’d be enthusiastic if she/he became the party’s nominee, 46/29,

What kind of “frontrunner” is actually behind among the voters who matter most?

The standard dismissal of a survey like this one is that It’s Just One Poll and that other early-state results for Biden are better. Yes and no. It’s true that most polling in the early states shows Biden with a lead, but it’s also true that his leads there tend to be smaller than his national lead is. He leads by 11.7 points today at RCP in the national average but in Nevada his lead is closer to six points and in New Hampshire he’s actually down by less than a point in a three-way race with Warren and Sanders. The three polls of Iowa since July have each had him up, but two of those placed him in the three- to five-point range. If he were strong on the stump, you might treat all of those numbers as promising, with room for growth. For a candidate who’s weak on the stump, they seem tenuous.

Maybe the real takeaway from the CBS numbers is how resilient Bernie is in the early states. Biden, Warren, and Harris have gotten all the hype over the past few months, the first because of his frontrunner status, the second because of her steady polling rise, the third because of her collapse. But there’s Bernie, plugging away, poised for victory in every state except South Carolina. If he surprises the field by out-organizing everyone in Iowa and wins there, then leverages that momentum for victory in New Hampshire, he might cause a stampede of voters from Warren to him as the new progressive hope, giving him a commanding lead in the race. That’s the bind he and Warren are in right now — since it’s plausible that either one of them could win early and consolidate the other’s support, there’s no incentive for either to get out and endorse the other. They’re going to split progressives. The only question is whether Biden can capitalize.

Exit quotation from Warren, referring to persons who shall not be named: “We can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared.”

The post CBS poll: Biden now trailing in New Hampshire and Nevada, barely ahead in Iowa appeared first on Hot Air.

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Low-Polling Democrats Soldier On

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Dozens of reporters and photographers descended on the Hawkeye Downs speedway, all waiting for one man to appear at a local Labor Day picnic.

That man was not Michael Bennet.

“We’re having a great Labor Day in Iowa,” said Mr. Bennet, the Colorado senator and still a presidential candidate, showing up suddenly to address the scrum that gathered 20 minutes earlier for the arrival of Joseph R. Biden Jr. “And here comes the vice president! So let me get out of his way.”

Life isn’t easy these days for bottom-tier Democratic presidential candidates. Not many people know who they are. Fewer come to their events. No reporters cover them regularly.

The indignities don’t stop there. On Saturday, an Iowa Democrat approached a Wall Street Journal reporter and asked if he was Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana. “I don’t even have cowboy boots on,” the reporter, John McCormick, wrote on Twitter about the encounter. Mr. Bullock’s campaign didn’t have yard signs for a house party on Sunday, so it borrowed signs used by Andy McGuire in Iowa’s 2018 primary for governor and taped “Bullock” placards on them. (Ms. McGuire, who placed fourth in the primary, has endorsed Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota for president.)

The real problem with obscurity, though, is not securing enough donors, or high enough poll numbers, to make the debates. And it becomes something of a vicious cycle: Democratic voters and activists tend to see debate qualification as a litmus test of viability, but candidates can’t increase their viability unless they make the debate in the first place.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160077759_74f2261c-b07a-4417-a59e-094487e9afa4-articleLarge Low-Polling Democrats Soldier On United States Politics and Government Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Bullock, Steve Bennet, Michael Farrand

Steve Bullock’s jury-rigged yard sign was displayed in Manchester, Iowa, on Sunday.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

It’s a political hamster wheel that for half the field of White House-seeking Democrats has proved nearly impossible to escape.

“It’s not helpful in the sense that it can become a proxy for not having a successful campaign,” said Mr. Bennet, who won’t be one of the 10 onstage for the debate next week. “I’m committed to fight through that.”

Four candidates last month chose to jump off the wheel, bowing to the reality that their campaigns hadn’t caught fire and most likely wouldn’t without the oxygen of a national audience. None had qualified for the debate in Houston on Sept. 12.

CNN, which is hosting a seven-hour climate town hall event Wednesday, had time only for candidates who met the Democratic National Committee’s debate standard. The gun control organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords invited only the onstage debaters to a forum it is hosting in October.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York discovered this summer just how unforgiving the bottom tier can be, after trying an array of strategies to boost the amount of attention she received from cable news and voters.

She held a town hall event on reproductive rights in St. Louis on the eve of a Missouri state ban on abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy, but no national reporters attended. Last month she held the first 2020 event with former Senator Tom Harkin, a beloved figure among Iowa progressives. It drew two national reporters, both of whom came to speak with Mr. Harkin, not Ms. Gillibrand. She spent more than $1 million on early-state TV ads. But she couldn’t meet the debate thresholds, and so she dropped out of the race last week.

Gov. Steve Bullock speaking to a group in Manchester, Iowa, on Sunday. On Saturday, an Iowa Democrat approached a Wall Street Journal reporter and asked if he was Mr. Bullock.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

“It was harder to get booked on cable shows that months before were asking us to be on,” said Glen Caplin, a senior adviser to Ms. Gillibrand. “The last month was considerably harder to drive national coverage than it was before.”

[Read more about how Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential aspirations unraveled.]

Locked out of the September debate, and with little evidence that they will qualify for the debates in October and beyond, the low-pollers find themselves campaigning like it’s 1992 or 2004. They even invoke the 1976 run by Jimmy Carter, the patron saint of Democratic presidential long shots, whose retail politicking across Iowa propelled him on the way to the White House.

Yet there are a few disclaimers to this kind of wishcasting. Bill Clinton skipped Iowa in 1992 and focused all his attention on New Hampshire. In 1976 Mr. Carter actually placed second in Iowa to “no preference.” Just 38,000 Democrats participated in the caucuses that year, about one-eighth of the expected turnout next February. And the modern political and social media ecosystem, so reliant on cable news exposure, means voters in Dubuque are getting the same message as those in Dallas.

Take Mr. Bullock, who has built his political identity around being the only Democrat in the 2020 race who won a state President Trump carried in 2016. Outside his house party Sunday night in Manchester, Iowa, he sought to justify his decision to press on.

“Look, I mean, John Kerry was at 4 percent 31 days out,” Mr. Bullock told the assembled press corps, which amounted to three reporters, only one of whom was old enough to vote when Mr. Kerry won the 2004 Iowa caucuses and swept to the nomination. “Al Sharpton was beating John Kerry.”

But Governor, came the response, you haven’t been at 4 percent in any poll. “We still have a long way to go from that perspective,” Mr. Bullock replied.

Neither Mr. Bullock nor Mr. Bennet has reached even 2 percent in any D.N.C. qualifying poll this year. Of the seven qualifying polls in August, Mr. Bennet reached 1 percent in one of them, and Mr. Bullock in three.

They are hardly the only ones locked out of the debates who continue to campaign, arguing that there are valid reasons for staying in the race through at least the February caucuses.

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire who with one more 2 percent poll showing could make the October debate, held his own climate town hall event Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who could make the October forum with two more qualifying polls, also stumped across Iowa at Labor Day weekend picnics and parades. Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio campaigned in South Carolina.

Raygun, a store, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, sells shirts making references to the campaigns. CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

“We might not have qualified for September’s debate, but we won’t sit by and twiddle our thumbs,” Mr. Ryan wrote in a fund-raising appeal Tuesday.

Despite pleas to run for the Senate, Mr. Bullock dismisses chatter about switching races and hasn’t had any conversations about it with Democrats in Washington. He now has 30 Iowa staff members and last week announced a new slate of policy advisers and four new endorsements in the state.

Mr. Bennet dismissed Mr. Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as “soft” front-runners.

“My own polling tells me that the front-runners’ support in this race, front-runners with an apostrophe at the end of the ‘s,’ and not just Joe Biden but others as well, is very, very soft except for Bernie,” Mr. Bennet said in an interview at Raygun, an Iowa T-shirt shop, referring to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Joe and Elizabeth, they’ve got softer support than I would have expected.”

And the campaign manager for the self-help author Marianne Williamson was defiant in a weekend fund-raising appeal. “Marianne is not exiting this race, not now,” Patricia Ewing wrote. “Why would she step off a train that’s accelerating?”

But none of the nondebaters gathered a speck of the attention paid to the race’s higher-polling candidates in the state last weekend: Mr. Biden, Ms. Klobuchar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. CNN sent more reporters, four, to watch Mr. Buttigieg walk across a Cedar Rapids bridge Monday than the entire press corps who went to see Mr. Bullock the day before.

The Iowa Democrats who showed up to see Mr. Bennet and Mr. Bullock last weekend said they appreciated the candidates’ ideas, but also conveyed a sense of empathy for a beleaguered campaign.

“I just want to help out,” said John Hernandez, a retiree who brought sound equipment to Mr. Bennet’s appearance in case it was needed. There was already a sound system in place, but Mr. Bennet stopped using it when it was clear the three dozen people in the room could hear him just fine without it.

David Hennessy, a retired college professor from Ryan, Iowa, said he was impressed with Mr. Bullock’s candor but didn’t think it was likely he would still be in the race come caucus time.

“If you’re not engaging more than 5 percent of the public, you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting anywhere,” Mr. Hennessy said.

Despite pleas to run for the Senate in Montana, Mr. Bullock dismisses chatter about switching races and hasn’t had any conversations about it with Democrats in Washington.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

Deb Lechtenberg, a retired postmaster from Dundee, Iowa, said the three candidates she was considering were Ms. Warren, Mr. Bullock and “Mark Bennet.”

While offering the usual platitudes that it’s up to the voters to decide, the leading candidates are becoming more willing to give a shove to the those in their rearview mirror.

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As 2020 Candidates Struggle to Be Heard, Their Grumbling Gets Louder

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“We see the field winnowing for a reason,” Mr. Buttigieg told a clutch of reporters after speaking to 800 people in an Iowa City park Monday. “We’re entering a whole different stage of the campaign, where people are beginning to decide where they’re going to commit.”

Asked if she would be doing better if candidates who didn’t make the debate dropped out, Ms. Klobuchar replied with one word: “Sure.”

Mr. Biden said he would rather have a debate stage with fewer than 10 candidates.

“I’m looking forward when you get to the place, assuming I’m there, that we have a real debate, like I had with the vice-presidential candidate, or like we had when we tried to get the nomination in ’08,” he said.

For the low-pollers, there’s always hope around the next bend in Iowa that a new wave of support might propel them into the next debate. “Sure, I hope I will be,” Mr. Bullock said when asked about the possibility. “Yeah.”

To many Iowa political veterans, though, the winnowing is a natural stage of the nomination process.

“This has been going on since the day after the 2018 election,” said Bret Nilles, the party chairman in Linn County, which includes Cedar Rapids. “Every day it’s going to get harder for the candidates at the bottom. People are starting to figure out who they support.”

Mr. Bennet speaking in Cedar Rapids last month. He says not making the debate stage is “not helpful” because it can be viewed as a “proxy” for not being successful.CreditRachel Mummey for The New York Times

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Life Off the Democratic Debate Stage: Sparse Crowds, Daily Indignities

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Dozens of reporters and photographers descended on the Hawkeye Downs speedway, all waiting for one man to appear at a local Labor Day picnic.

That man was not Michael Bennet.

“We’re having a great Labor Day in Iowa,” said Mr. Bennet, the Colorado senator and still a presidential candidate, showing up suddenly to address the scrum that gathered 20 minutes earlier for the arrival of Joseph R. Biden Jr. “And here comes the vice president! So let me get out of his way.”

Life isn’t easy these days for bottom-tier Democratic presidential candidates. Not many people know who they are. Fewer come to their events. No reporters cover them regularly.

The indignities don’t stop there. On Saturday, an Iowa Democrat approached a Wall Street Journal reporter and asked if he was Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana. “I don’t even have cowboy boots on,” the reporter, John McCormick, wrote on Twitter about the encounter. Mr. Bullock’s campaign didn’t have yard signs for a house party on Sunday, so it borrowed signs used by Andy McGuire in Iowa’s 2018 primary for governor and taped “Bullock” placards on them. (Ms. McGuire, who placed fourth in the primary, has endorsed Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota for president.)

The real problem with obscurity, though, is not securing enough donors, or high enough poll numbers, to make the debates. And it becomes something of a vicious cycle: Democratic voters and activists tend to see debate qualification as a litmus test of viability, but candidates can’t increase their viability unless they make the debate in the first place.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160077759_74f2261c-b07a-4417-a59e-094487e9afa4-articleLarge Life Off the Democratic Debate Stage: Sparse Crowds, Daily Indignities United States Politics and Government Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Bullock, Steve Bennet, Michael Farrand

Steve Bullock’s jury-rigged yard sign was displayed in Manchester, Iowa, on Sunday.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

It’s a political hamster wheel that for half the field of White House-seeking Democrats has proved nearly impossible to escape.

“It’s not helpful in the sense that it can become a proxy for not having a successful campaign,” said Mr. Bennet, who won’t be one of the 10 onstage for the debate next week. “I’m committed to fight through that.”

Four candidates last month chose to jump off the wheel, bowing to the reality that their campaigns hadn’t caught fire and most likely wouldn’t without the oxygen of a national audience. None had qualified for the debate in Houston on Sept. 12.

CNN, which is hosting a seven-hour climate town hall event Wednesday, had time only for candidates who met the Democratic National Committee’s debate standard. The gun control organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords invited only the onstage debaters to a forum it is hosting in October.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York discovered this summer just how unforgiving the bottom tier can be, after trying an array of strategies to boost the amount of attention she received from cable news and voters.

She held a town hall event on reproductive rights in St. Louis on the eve of a Missouri state ban on abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy, but no national reporters attended. Last month she held the first 2020 event with former Senator Tom Harkin, a beloved figure among Iowa progressives. It drew two national reporters, both of whom came to speak with Mr. Harkin, not Ms. Gillibrand. She spent more than $1 million on early-state TV ads. But she couldn’t meet the debate thresholds, and so dropped out of the race last week.

Gov. Steve Bullock speaking to a group in Manchester, Iowa, on Sunday. On Saturday, an Iowa Democrat approached a Wall Street Journal reporter and asked if he was Mr. Bullock.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

“It was harder to get booked on cable shows that months before were asking us to be on,” said Glen Caplin, a senior adviser to Ms. Gillibrand. “The last month was considerably harder to drive national coverage than it was before.”

[Read more about how Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential aspirations unraveled.]

Locked out of the September debate, and with little evidence that they will qualify for the debates in October and beyond, the low-pollers find themselves campaigning like it’s 1992 or 2004. They even invoke the 1976 run by Jimmy Carter, the patron saint of Democratic presidential long shots, whose retail politicking across Iowa propelled him on the way to the White House.

Yet there are a few disclaimers to this kind of wishcasting. Bill Clinton skipped Iowa in 1992 and focused all his attention on New Hampshire. In 1976 Mr. Carter actually placed second in Iowa to “no preference.” Just 38,000 Democrats participated in the caucuses that year, about one-eighth of the expected turnout next February. And the modern political and social media ecosystem, so reliant on cable news exposure, means voters in Dubuque are getting the same message as those in Dallas.

Take Mr. Bullock, who has built his political identity around being the only Democrat in the 2020 race who won a state President Trump carried in 2016. Outside his house party Sunday night in Manchester, Iowa, he sought to justify his decision to press on.

“Look, I mean, John Kerry was at 4 percent 31 days out,” Mr. Bullock told the assembled press corps, which amounted to three reporters, only one of whom was old enough to vote when Mr. Kerry won the 2004 Iowa caucuses and swept to the nomination. “Al Sharpton was beating John Kerry.”

But Governor, came the response, you haven’t been at 4 percent in any poll. “We still have a long way to go from that perspective,” Mr. Bullock replied.

Neither Mr. Bullock nor Mr. Bennet has reached even 2 percent in any D.N.C. qualifying poll this year. Of the seven qualifying polls in August, Mr. Bennet reached 1 percent in one of them, and Mr. Bullock in three.

They are hardly the only ones locked out of the debates who continue to campaign, arguing that there are valid reasons for staying in the race through at least the February caucuses.

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire who with one more 2 percent poll showing could make the October debate, held his own climate town hall event Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who could make the October forum with two more qualifying polls, also stumped across Iowa at Labor Day weekend picnics and parades. Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio campaigned in South Carolina.

Raygun, a store, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, sells shirts making references to the campaigns. CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

“We might not have qualified for September’s debate, but we won’t sit by and twiddle our thumbs,” Mr. Ryan wrote in a fund-raising appeal Tuesday.

Despite pleas to run for the Senate, Mr. Bullock dismisses chatter about switching races and hasn’t had any conversations about it with Democrats in Washington. He now has 30 Iowa staff members and last week announced a new slate of policy advisers and four new endorsements in the state.

Mr. Bennet dismissed Mr. Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as “soft” front-runners.

“My own polling tells me that the front-runners’ support in this race, front-runners with an apostrophe at the end of the ‘s,’ and not just Joe Biden but others as well, is very, very soft except for Bernie,” Mr. Bennet said in an interview at Raygun, an Iowa T-shirt shop, referring to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Joe and Elizabeth, they’ve got softer support than I would have expected.”

And the campaign manager for the self-help author Marianne Williamson was defiant in a weekend fund-raising appeal. “Marianne is not exiting this race, not now,” Patricia Ewing wrote. “Why would she step off a train that’s accelerating?”

But none of the nondebaters gathered a speck of the attention paid to the race’s higher-polling candidates in the state last weekend: Mr. Biden, Ms. Klobuchar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. CNN sent more reporters, four, to watch Mr. Buttigieg walk across a Cedar Rapids bridge Monday than the entire press corps who went to see Mr. Bullock the day before.

The Iowa Democrats who showed up to see Mr. Bennet and Mr. Bullock last weekend said they appreciated the candidates’ ideas, but also conveyed a sense of empathy for a beleaguered campaign.

“I just want to help out,” said John Hernandez, a retiree who brought sound equipment to Mr. Bennet’s appearance in case it was needed. There was already a sound system in place, but Mr. Bennet stopped using it when it was clear the three dozen people in the room could hear him just fine without it.

David Hennessy, a retired college professor from Ryan, Iowa, said he was impressed with Mr. Bullock’s candor but didn’t think it was likely he would still be in the race come caucus time.

“If you’re not engaging more than 5 percent of the public, you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting anywhere,” Mr. Hennessy said.

Despite pleas to run for the Senate in Montana, Mr. Bullock dismisses chatter about switching races and hasn’t had any conversations about it with Democrats in Washington.CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times

Deb Lechtenberg, a retired postmaster from Dundee, Iowa, said the three candidates she was considering are Ms. Warren, Mr. Bullock and “Mark Bennet.”

While offering the usual platitudes that it’s up to the voters to decide, the leading candidates are becoming more willing to give a shove to the those in their rearview mirror.

More coverage of the travails of the lower-tier candidates
Steve Bullock, Locked Out of the Debate, Sees a Path Forward in the 2020 Race

June 26, 2019

As 2020 Candidates Struggle to Be Heard, Their Grumbling Gets Louder

June 11, 2019

Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?

Aug. 9, 2019

“We see the field winnowing for a reason,” Mr. Buttigieg told a clutch of reporters after speaking to 800 people in an Iowa City park Monday. “We’re entering a whole different stage of the campaign, where people are beginning to decide where they’re going to commit.”

Asked if she would be doing better if candidates who didn’t make the debate dropped out, Ms. Klobuchar replied with one word: “Sure.”

Mr. Biden said he would rather have a debate stage with fewer than 10 candidates.

“I’m looking forward when you get to the place, assuming I’m there, that we have a real debate, like I had with the vice-presidential candidate, or like we had when we tried to get the nomination in ’08,” he said.

For the low-pollers, there’s always hope around the next bend in Iowa that a new wave of support might propel them into the next debate. “Sure, I hope I will be,” Mr. Bullock said when asked about the possibility. “Yeah.”

To many Iowa political veterans, though, the winnowing is a natural stage of the nomination process.

“This has been going on since the day after the 2018 election,” said Bret Nilles, the party chairman in Linn County, which includes Cedar Rapids. “Every day it’s going to get harder for the candidates at the bottom. People are starting to figure out who they support.”

Mr. Bennet speaking in Cedar Rapids last month. He says not making the debate stage is “not helpful” because it can be viewed as a “proxy” for not being successful.CreditRachel Mummey for The New York Times

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Hoo boy: We don’t necessarily need to win Iowa, says Team Biden

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This is the sort of thing candidates normally say when it’s two weeks before the caucuses and they’re down 10 points in the polls. Doom is impending, so you shift to damage-control mode in hopes that the media won’t write your political obituary before New Hampshire gives you a shot at redemption.

What are we to make of a “soft” frontrunner who’s flirting with that sort of damage control five months before Iowa votes?

Also: What if he’s right? What if Iowa doesn’t much matter?

“Do I think we have to win Iowa? No,” a senior adviser told campaign reporters Tuesday in a background briefing. The adviser said Iowa, which holds the first nominating contest in the nation, will be “critical.”…

“We feel we are going to be in a very dominant spot,” after the first four early states, another adviser said.

Still, the campaign downplayed expectations in first-in-the-nation Iowa as well as in the first primary state, New Hampshire, which borders the home states of Warren and Sanders.

“As you all know, historically, there’s an incredible home field advantage for a Massachusetts candidate or a New Englander,” an adviser said.

Early damage control for losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, eh? Team Joe is preparing for the worst — understandably, as his polling in each of those states is worse than it is nationally. In national polls he’s averaging 30.4 percent, good for a 13.5-point lead over Elizabeth Warren. In Iowa that lead shrinks to eight point over Warren, with Biden at 26 percent. In New Hampshire it shrinks further to just 1.7 points with Grandpa Joe pulling a mere 21 percent. (Note, though: There are far fewer state polls of IA and NH at this stage than there are national polls so the state averages may not be as reliable.)

Bearing in mind that nearly the entire case for Biden is his perceived “electability,” what’ll be left of those perceptions if he ends up losing both early states? What’ll be left of them if he doesn’t just lose but ends up clobbered?

This is the second time in just a few days that someone in the campaign has undermined its own electability argument. The other was Biden himself telling WaPo that “almost anybody” in the field can beat Trump, a point he made because (in context) he was reluctant to endorse the interviewer’s suggestion that only an old white guy can beat another old white guy. Even so, that’s strange messaging. The Iowa comment is more revealing than Biden’s offhand remark, though, since it may signal that Team Joe thinks they’re headed for a long, contentious primary fight, not a quick blitz in the early states that ends with Biden running away with the nomination by Super Tuesday.

“We expect this to go one for a while,” the adviser added.

During Biden’s previous two presidential campaigns, Iowa was a thorn. In his first race, it was the scene of him plagiarizing words from a British politician, which led him to drop out of the race in 1987, well before the next year’s caucuses. During the 2008 campaign, he received less than 1 percent of the vote and soon dropped out.

The state does not line up with Biden’s perceived demographic strengths, lacking a substantial population of black voters, who have provided a strong base of his support nationally and in other early-voting states such as South Carolina.

A caucus state like Iowa rewards candidates with good organization and passionate fan bases, people who’ll tolerate a night out in the cold of Iowa in February to represent their guy/gal. That is … not the Biden fan base. It’s the Sanders/Warren fan base. Berniebros turned out in Iowa and put him on the map nationally three years ago by coming within a whisker of upsetting Hillary there. They’ll be tough to beat there, as will Warren’s fans. New Hampshire is in Warren’s and Sanders’s backyards, meanwhile, and Bernie crushed Clinton there in 2016 so beating them will be a tall order there as well. South Carolina is Biden’s potential “firewall,” the state with a huge black majority in the Democratic primary; because of Biden’s popularity with black voters his lead in South Carolina polling is actually bigger than it is nationally. South Carolina saved Hillary against Sanders too, giving her a landslide win that put her back on track for the nomination. But “Hillary vs. Bernie” was a binary choice. This year’s field isn’t.

How resilient will Biden’s lead be if he flames out in Iowa and New Hampshire, especially if he performs dismally? Will black voters give up on him and take sides in the Sanders/Warren fight? Will they take a hard look at Kamala Harris or Cory Booker instead? It’s easy to see how the entire house of cards collapses for Grandpa Joe if he does badly in the first two elections. Even if it doesn’t, emerging from the early states with only one win in his pocket will badly damage his electability pitch in the many remaining primaries to come. Imagine Warren winning Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada (where she reportedly has a stellar organization), earning a huge bounce in the polls and a raft of new donations, while Biden comes away with just a win in South Carolina. Who would you bet on to take the nomination at that point?

In lieu of an exit question, some trivia for you from Steve Kornacki: The last Democrat to lose Iowa *and* New Hampshire and go on to win the nomination was Bill Clinton back in 1992, and that carries an asterisk because it was Iowa native son Tom Harkin who won the caucuses that year. Iowa was basically uncontested because of his home-field advantage. To find a Democrat before that who won neither Iowa nor New Hampshire but won the nomination, you need to go back to George McGovern nearly 50 years ago, at the dawn of the modern primary system. Biden would need to make history to become the nominee if he gets shut out in the first two states.

The post Hoo boy: We don’t necessarily need to win Iowa, says Team Biden appeared first on Hot Air.

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