2020 Iowa Caucuses

Clay Masters/IPR

Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar made several stops in Iowa this weekend. It’s her first trip here since announcing she’s running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Klobachar told a crowd at a brewery in the central Iowa town of Knoxville she doesn’t come from a political machine or from money.

Jim Mone/AP

Two more candidates have officially announced their intention to take on President Trump in 2020, with many more dipping their toes into the candidacy waters. 

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

The first major changes to the Iowa Democratic caucuses were proposed Monday. Iowans who take part in the first-in-the-nation presidential nominating process would be able to do so virtually if the proposal is approved by a central party committee and the Democratic National Committee.

Iowa Democrats have had to physically attend the caucuses to declare their choices since 1972. Critics have said the process excludes people who can’t attend because of work or disability. State party leaders unveiled plans for next year to allow Democrats to use a phone to participate.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana is a relatively unknown Democratic presidential hopeful and worked to remedy his lack of name recognition this weekend with a trip to Iowa. Pete Buttigieg made several stops in Ames and Des Moines. At a house in Johnston, he said the president’s administration pits business against things like healthcare and childcare.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

There are a lot of Democrats with presidential ambitions in 2020 and many of them are already making trips to Iowa. This cycle, at least some Democratic candidates are trying hard to win over rural supporters who were largely ignored in 2016.

Ten farmers and small business owners sit around a table at the public library in Perry, Iowa and talk with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. He’s getting their perspective as he mulls whether or not to run for president.

He’s able to partake in farm country small talk like the price of farmland these days.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

It was one year ago Friday that Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Hillary Clinton won the 2016 Iowa caucuses. Iowa Democrats will be heading to their caucus sites a year from Sunday to select someone they want to face President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. IPR's Clay Masters spoke with Des Moines Register Chief Politics Reporter Brianne Pfannenstiel regarding her reporting about potential 2020 Democratic contenders working to beef up their Iowa campaigns. 

Clay Masters/IPR

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris was in Des Moines Monday night just a day after kicking off her 2020 campaign for president.  Harris embraced many progressive policies during a town-hall style event broadcast live on CNN.  

Harris answered questions from an audience at Drake University in Des Moines. She says she will not vote for a wall along the southern U-S border under any circumstances. Harris was asked by a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient how she would protect people like her and their families.

Clay Masters/IPR

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made her first trip to Iowa after announcing she’s considering a run for president in 2020, which included a speech at the state’s Women’s March. Bitter cold temperatures and an overnight snow storm moved Iowa’s Women’s March indoors at the state Capitol.

Sen. Gillibrand told those gathered that President Trump has inspired a lot of hate and division.

Clay Masters / IPR

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is finishing up her first trip to Iowa since her New Year’s Eve announcement that she is considering running for president in 2020. Iowa is the first state in the nation to hold its caucuses.

The Democratic senator talked a lot about the federal government investing too much in America’s wealthy and well-connected at her events in Council Bluffs, Sioux City and Des Moines. She called for big structural changes in Washington, the economy and politics.

Sen. Warren told crowds Saturday she’s working on building a grassroots team early.

Edward Kimmel/Flickr

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren will visit Iowa today, just a few days after launching her 2020 exploratory committee for a White House bid. 

On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Emily Woodbury speaks with political analyst Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa for analysis ahead of Senator Warren's visit to Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Storm Lake, and Des Moines.

Also in today's program:

Michael Coghlan / Flickr under Creative Commons

Congress overwhelmingly approved a criminal justice reform bill this week, sending it to President Trump's desk. He's expected to sign it. The political motivations behind the bill were one of the topics of conversation on this week's Politics Day edition of River to River

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Rachel Caufield, professor of political science at Drake University, and Jeff Taylor, professor of political science at Dordt College. They also discuss the potential for a government shutdown and the first Iowa Poll of the presidential caucus campaign.

Clay Masters/IPR

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg packed a lot into his one-day trip to Iowa as he considers a run for president in 2020.

Bloomberg, who registered as a Democrat in 2018, visited an solar power company and a community college before speaking to a local chapter of the gun-control group Moms Demand Action in Des Moines. Tuesday night he attended a preview of the documentary “From Paris to Pittsburgh,” a climate change documentary he financed, which was partially shot in Iowa.

Clay Masters

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was back in Iowa Friday, making a couple of stops he says are about the midterm election. He was in Des Moines around midday, speaking at an event for a Democratic congressional candidate Pete D’Alessandro, who hopes to challenge Republican David Young in Iowa’s 3rd District.  D’Alessandro was Sanders’ top aide in the state during his campaign for the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

Clay Masters / IPR

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Dennis Goldford, professor and chair of political science at Drake University and Dave Andersen, assistant professor of political science at Iowa State University about the week's political news. Stories include last-minute federal budget negotiations, dueling memos in the Russia probe and Iowa's midterm caucuses.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

 

The so-called “Unity Commission” formed by the Democratic National Committee is recommending historic changes in the way Democrats conduct the Iowa Caucuses.

The state party would be required to let people who cannot attend the neighborhood meetings on Caucus Night cast their presidential preference vote.

"We've got to figure out what that process is," says Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price. "Our goal is to make sure that with the changes we make to this we don't lose the spirit of our caucuses."

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