2020 Election

Kate Payne/IPR

Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Deval Patrick says he will be competing in the Iowa caucuses. His late entrance to the race puts him at a distinct disadvantage in the state, where many of his competitors have been building grassroots organizations for months, and some of them for years.

The scientific community says the world must zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In response, Democratic presidential candidates are rolling out aggressive climate plans. On the thirteenth episode of Caucus Land, we'll talk about what it would take to meet those goals. And later, a conversation with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.


Kate Payne / IPR

New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rallied voters in Iowa this weekend with Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, hoping to win over supporters for their Green New Deal.

Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina speaks to Iowa Republicans at the 2019 Lincoln Reagan Dinner in downtown Des Moines.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, was in Des Moines Friday night to push conservatives in Iowa to get behind President Donald Trump’s reelection.

John Pemble / IPR

 

 

With Caucus Day less than three months away, River to River has kicked off a series of interviews with 2020 presidential candidates. In this segment, host Ben Kieffer talks with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Booker discusses his plans to expand gun regulations, how he hopes to tackle climate change, health care, a new plan aimed at revitalizing rural communities, and how he stays sharp on the campaign trail with meditation.  

City Hall in downtown Des Moines
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Des Moines voters will go back to the polls next month to decide who will serve as mayor of the state’s largest city. Since no one earned a majority in Tuesday’s election, there will be a runoff vote on December 3 between the top two candidates: incumbent Mayor Frank Cownie and former state Sen. Jack Hatch.

Clay Masters/IPR

This weekend saw one of the largest events on the state’s political calendar: the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration. Thirteen presidential candidates took the stage in Des Moines Friday, but the campaigning didn’t end there: two dozen more events followed as candidates criss-crossed the state.

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Democrat Cindy Axne, who represents Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, says she expects her vote Thursday formalizing the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump will affect her chances for a second term.

All the Democratic candidates have plans to tighten gun laws. Mass shootings have put the debate front and center. On the twelfth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about the Democratic proposals with proponents, critics and experts. And later, a conversation with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

John Pemble/IPR file

Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says he would direct his Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies for corruption stemming from their role in exacerbating climate change. 

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Iowa’s voter identification law is creating confusion for some Des Moines college students who have out-of-state IDs. Registered voters without an Iowa ID are supposed to receive a voting card in the mail automatically, but some Drake University students say they have waited weeks without getting theirs.

Running a presidential campaign isn’t cheap and one of the first places candidates spend their money is Iowa. On the eleventh episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about recent fundraising numbers and what they tell us about the state of the race. Plus, a conversation with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.


David Everett Strickler / Unsplash

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Donna Hoffman, political science professor at the University of Northern Iowa, and Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University. Together, they discuss the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry and the five women in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

John Pemble / IPR

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and regularly stresses the importance of working in a bipartisan fashion. Sen. Klobuchar talks about the importance of working across party lines and her background as a prosecutor with IPR Caucus Land co-hosts Clay Masters and Kate Payne on her campaign bus in Davenport.

John Pemble/IPR

River to River's "Home State View" series helps us understand how the presidential candidates are viewed as leaders in the states they call home. Host Ben Kieffer interviews journalists who have spent years covering the candidates. We get the little-known details about each hopeful's history. Click the "play" button to listen.

Matt Alvarez / IPR

With just over 100 days left until the Iowa caucuses, River to River  is kicking off a series of conversations with presidential candidates. Julián Castro joined host Ben Kieffer in IPR's Iowa City studio to discuss the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the Newton Maytag plant that went from manufacturing washing machines to wind turbines. Castro also answers questions from listeners.

John Minchillo / AP Photo

In this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer breaks down Tuesday's fourth presidential  debate with Jim McCormick, professor of political science at Iowa State University. The long debate consisted of Sen. Elizabeth Warren being the target of attacks from her opponents on issues like paying for healthcare, as well as standout moments from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro.

Thomas Hawk via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/14471621099/

Democratic presidential candidates debated for the fourth time Tuesday night, this time in suburban Columbus, Ohio. The debate comes at a time when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is ascending in Iowa and national polls. But for some Iowans, Warren’s new status as a frontrunner is refreshing some underlining concerns, particularly when it comes to healthcare policy.

A journalist records video near a CNN sign on an athletic field outside the Clements Recreation Center where the CNN/New York Times will host the Democratic presidential primary debate at Otterbein University / AP Photo

Twelve candidates take the stage for October's Democratic primary debate, which begins at 7 p.m. CT. NPR reporters are posting context and analysis in real time.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump for asking foreign governments to dig up dirt on his potential rival Joe Biden continues to dominate talk in Washington. Some of the candidates were in Des Moines this weekend answering questions from Iowans. Impeachment didn’t dominate the conversations, but it doesn’t mean it’s not on their minds.

John Pemble / IPR

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and regularly points out on the trail that he still lives in inner city Newark where he was once mayor. Sen. Booker talks about how that perspective would influence his presidency with IPR Caucus Land co-hosts Clay Masters and Kate Payne on his RV as he traveled between campaign stops in Boone and West Des Moines. He also discusses healthcare and gun policy.

Tuition at Iowa's public universities has been on a steady climb. Since 2009, the average cost of tuition and fees is up 40 percent. State funding has not recovered from cuts made during the Great Recession.
Rachel Radkowski / Flickr

At a welcome back event at Iowa State University in August, students filled the Great Hall in the Memorial Union. They walked past tables sponsored by campus clubs and local organizations offering every kind of free swag from can cozies to Frisbees to pizza. Many of the students were also aware of another offer that has been proposed by some Democratic candidates for president: free college tuition.

The cost of college and student debt are all-consuming for some families, and they're driving political conversations this cycle. On the eighth episode of Caucus Land, we'll break down what the candidates are promising and hear what higher ed experts make of their plans.


Reid Rosenberg / Flickr

Several states are reportedly ditching their Republican primary next year, paving the way for the president’s re-nomination. But Iowa Republicans will still caucus this February.

While most of the attention around the 2020 election is focused on Democrats, Republicans will hold a caucus too. President Donald Trump does face multiple primary challengers, but on the seventh episode of Caucus Land we'll explain why he likely has nothing to worry about in Iowa.


Scott Morgan for NPR

Joe Biden wants voters to look at the big picture.

His campaign is focused on a mission to "restore the soul of this nation."

That's also why the former vice president does not think anyone should get bogged down in the small details he mixes up on the campaign trail.

Women and the Race for the Presidency

Aug 30, 2019
John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

A historic number of women are running for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination. 

On this episode of River to River, Karen Kedrowski, the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics at Iowa State University, joins Ben Kieffer to talk about how female candidates are working to stand out from the crowd.

John Pemble/IPR

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race after failing to qualify for the third round of debates.

Gillibrand struggled to boost her polling and fundraising numbers despite her experience in the U.S. House and Senate.

John Pemble/IPR

Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton is calling off his campaign for the presidency. He’s the second major presidential candidate to drop out this week, after Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who bowed out Wednesday night.

The Iowa State Fair has become a must-stop for presidential campaigns ahead of the Caucuses. Candidates eat fried food on a stick and try to chat with voters through the swarm of cameras. We’ll take you through the crowds to see what the fair actually does for wannabe presidents.

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