2020 Election

John Pemble/IPR

Democrats running for president have been spending a lot more time this cycle talking to voters in western Iowa, which is predominately Republican and rural. Many of them are visiting that part of the state with J.D. Scholten, a former congressional candidate from their party who almost beat an embattled Republican congressman last year.

“We built something this last cycle and I hope you guys take it further,” Scholten said to a crowd gathered at The Mucky Duck Pub in Ames, Iowa ahead of the first Democratic presidential debate.

Kate Payne/IPR

About a thousand left-leaning Iowans weathered 90 degree temperatures in Cedar Rapids Sunday to hear from ten Democratic presidential candidates at Progress Iowa’s annual Corn Feed event. Each of the presidential hopefuls had about ten minutes to make their case.

Presidential candidates are seemingly everywhere in Iowa: showing up at picnics, union halls and coffee shops, even running in to each other at the farmer's market. Skipping out on the state that's the first to weigh in on the presidential primary process has become politically unthinkable. But that wasn't always the case. In the first episode of Caucus Land, we're going back to the 1960s to see how it all got started.

Kate Payne/IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is highlighting his most recent fundraising blitz as he tours across Iowa this week. Even as recent polling shows support slipping for the Vermont senator, he’s voicing no doubts about his prospects in the first in the nation caucus state.

Penguin Random House

Larry Diamond is a political scientist who has spent decades promoting democracy in dozens of countries around the world. He now feels our country is facing the most serious constitutional crisis since Watergate, and perhaps since the American Civil War.

Ben Kieffer

Lively political conversations over a local brew, it's a Pints and Politics edition of River to River!  Before a live audience at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City, Ben Kieffer and co-host Erin Jordan of the Gazette ask panelists about President Trump's 2020 re-election bid, the crowded Democratic field of 2020 candidates, candidates vying for Iowa's congressional seats, audience questions, and much more.

Panelists included:

Thomas Hawk/Flickr Creative Commons

Some Democratic presidential candidates are knocking the party for excluding them from debates later this month. The events pose a prime opportunity for lesser-known contenders to build a national profile, standing on the same stage as candidates currently leading in the polls.

Photo by Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged political jabs this week in Iowa. 

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by political scientists Jim McCormick of Iowa State University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa for a closer look at these high profile visits.

They also discuss Iowa ethanol and what it means for the president and other 2020 hopefuls, protests in Hong Kong over extradition laws, and former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean's testimony before Congress.