2020 Iowa Caucuses

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.

Katie Peikes / IPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wrapped up his latest presidential campaign swing across Iowa on Sunday. He rallied a few hundred voters in Sioux City.

Amy Mayer / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is back in Iowa and hoping her policy proposals will resonate across the purple landscape.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Iowa less than a week after making his 2020 presidential candidacy official, and Attorney General William Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. River to River host Ben Kieffer talks about these and other political developments of the week.

Guests include:

Kate Payne

Former Vice President Joe Biden is on a swing through Iowa this week just days after officially launching his bid for the White House.

Grant Gerlock/IPR

Many Democratic presidential candidates have offered their reaction to Thursday’s release with redactions of the Mueller report investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election. 

Campaigning in Des Moines, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said she feels the special counsel should testify before Congress.

“The most important thing is that Bob Mueller come before Congress so that we can get to the bottom of why there’s this difference between his interpretation of the law and the Attorney General of the United States,” Klobuchar said.

Charlie Neibergall

After more than a dozen years in Congress, Rep. Dave Loebsack has announced his retirement.

Grant Gerlock / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said at a Des Moines rally Tuesday night that his party needs to spend more time talking about issues where Republicans have traditionally controlled the message.

Katie Peikes / IPR

On a campaign swing through western Iowa Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker met with students and teachers in Sergeant Bluff. Booker said he wants to prioritize public and special needs education.

Clare Roth / IPR file

The announcement that long-time 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack is retiring is opening up a race in a district thought to be reliably Democratic. But with the seven term representative's departure, some politicos say that may not remain the case.

Kate Payne / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris outlined a plan to raise teachers’ pay across the country during an event in Iowa City on Wednesday night. The U.S. Senator from California also called for addressing wealth inequality more broadly.

Kate Payne / IPR

A new restaurant will help keep a historic building open in one Iowa small town, after a well-loved bistro closed down earlier this year.

Damon Dahlen//HuffPost

Over the weekend, several Democrats running for president in 2020 visited Storm Lake to participate in a discussion of rural issues called "The Heartland Forum".


Clay Masters / IPR

Former Texas Congressman and latest 2020 presidential contender Beto O'Rourke spent his first days on the campaign trail driving himself in a rented minivan across 13 Iowa counties.

In this “politics day” edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts, Rachel Caufield of Drake University and Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College, about O’Rourke’s appeal.

Kate Payne / IPR

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY is laying out aggressive stances on a slate of progressive issues as she introduces herself to Iowans on her first swing through the state after officially announcing her candidacy this past weekend. 

Clay Masters / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke started his bid for the White House campaigning in Keokuk on Thursday. And continued his swing through the state with multiple stops on Friday.

The former Texas congressman is linking the terrorist attack at two New Zealand mosques that left 49 people dead to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. 

On the road between campaign stops Friday, O’Rourke said the United States should not only offer compassion to the survivors and to those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack, but also be a leader in calling out Islamophobia. 

Campaign Facebook Profiles

Many Democrats running for president have been spending time in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area over the last number of weeks. It’s because of a special state senate election. Jeff Danielson, a Democrat, left his senate seat abruptly last month and Governor Kim Reynolds set the special election for this coming Tuesday, March 19th.  Presidential hopefuls Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar will be knocking doors for the Democrat, Eric Giddens. He's running against Republican Walt Rogers. 

Clay Masters / IPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders finished his first swing through Iowa Saturday as an official Democratic presidential candidate. Instead of small and more intimate venues, the campaign held three rallies over the course of three days in the state which kicks off the presidential nominating process.

Sanders, an independent senator who caucuses with Democrats, told the crowd he thinks he has a good chance of winning the Democratic nomination in 2020. But he says he will strongly support whoever gets the nomination.

Clay Masters/IPR

The governor of Washington made his first swing through Iowa Tuesday. It’s his first trip to the first-in-the-nation caucus state since becoming an official Democratic presidential candidate. Gov. Jay Inslee has made combatting climate change the focus of his campaign.

During his trip he toured an electrical contracting company in Cedar Rapids that focuses on solar power and met with students at Iowa State University. He finished with a private event at a law firm in West Des Moines.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Two governors who have hinted at making a run for president next year spent Monday in Iowa, which kicks off the presidential nominating process. Republican Larry Hogan of Maryland and Democrat Steve Bullock of Montana were attending a conference of the National Governor’s Association in Des Moines.

Hogan has been critical of President Donald Trump and has not ruled out running against him in 2020.

“I don’t know that I do want to be president,” Hogan told reporters. “But I do think governors are much more prepared to be president.”

Kate Payne / IPR

On a swing through Iowa this weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren faced some questions about how she would unite the party. Some voters are concerned about infighting among the growing field of contenders.

Katie Peikes/IPR

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro has been meeting with voters around Iowa this week.  He’s among those seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

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.

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