Iowa Caucus 2020 | Minnesota Public Radio News

Iowa Caucus 2020

Coverage of the Iowa Caucuses from a Minnesota perspective.

  • Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attend an Iowa caucus watch party organized by Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America on February 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. Iowa holds its caucuses this evening as the first contest in the 2020 presidential nominating process with the candidates then moving on to New Hampshire. Photo by Mario Tama | Getty Images
  • Buttigieg Ready to Tackle Racial Inequality, Surrogate Says

    The mayor of an Iowa city that is home of one of the largest African American communities in the state is making the case for Pete Buttigieg tonight. Quentin Hart, the mayor of Waterloo, Iowa, told NPR he supports Buttigieg — the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana — because he is confident he will work for positive change.

    “Our conversations have always included deep conversations about race and inclusion,” Hart said.

    Hart called Buttigieg’s plan to fight racial inequality one of the most “comprehensive” of the primary candidates and he said it addresses systemic issues that African Americans face across the country.

    Buttigieg has struggled to win over black voters during his campaign. His handling of a police shooting of a black man in his hometown prompted Buttigieg to admit he could do more to address the racial disparity in the police force.

    — Meredith Roaten, NPR Washington Desk Intern
  • Satellite Caucuses At 5 Islamic Centers Mark Historic Moment

    This year’s satellite caucus sites include five Islamic centers, marking the first time in the caucuses’ history that a mosque has served as a caucus site.

    Graham Ambrose, a political reporter at the Quad-City Times, captured the scene at one of the caucus sites in Des Moines. He reports support swelled around former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as supporters switched between English and Bosnian to talk about their candidates.

    At the Muslim Community Organization in Des Moines, Sanders swept support, according to Middle East Eye reporter Ali Harb.

    Last week, Sanders won the endorsement of the Muslim Caucus of America, a nationwide political network.

    The homogeneity of the Iowan electorate has become a prominent discussion in advance of this year’s Iowa caucuses, drawing the ire of figures like Julián Castro, the presidential candidate-turned-Elizabeth Warren surrogate who’s argued that Iowa should no longer be first in the primary process. Muslims make up around one percent of Iowan adults, according to the Pew Research Center.

    But caucus sites like these five Islamic centers, or another at a South Sudanese Center in Des Moines, signal the significance these communities can play.

    — Maya Gandhi
  • An Iowa Endorsement Recap

    According to the Iowa Starting Line, most candidates have received endorsements from various local officials — state senators, representatives, and mayors — although there is a group of key endorsements that continue to be up for grabs.

    The Des Moines Register publishes a list of “50 Most Wanted Democrats” made up of politicians and public figures from the Hawkeye state, who are crucial endorsements in 2020, and as of tonight, only 14 have publicly endorsed candidates.

    Sen. Warren has received the most at five endorsements - with the latest coming in from Deidre DeJear, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Sec. of State in Iowa. DeJear most recently worked as the Iowa director for Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has received four endorsements from some of the top Iowa Democrats: former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie Vilsack, Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne, as well as Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

    Sen. Sanders has also received one endorsement from Stacey Walker, the chairman of the Linn County Board of Supervisors and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been endorsed by Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack.

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar - an underdog in the Iowa polls - has secured three endorsements from the Des Moines Register list - including Cedar Rapids State Sen. Liz Mathis and Sioux City State Rep. Chris Hall.

    — Elena Moore, NPR Editorial Assistant, Washington Desk
  • Sanders Surrogate Counters ‘Communist’ Criticism

    Attorney and progressive activist Zephyr Teachout, a surrogate for Bernie Sanders’ campaign, pushed back against Republican criticism of her candidate’s far left-leaning ideology with praise for his character and the substance of his ideas in an interview with NPR on Monday night.

    Teachout described Sanders as “trustworthy” and well-positioned to take on President Trump. The self-described Democratic Socialist has amassed a large following, particularly among younger voters, with his poll numbers rising in recent weeks. But the brand of politics that makes him popular on the left also makes him vulnerable to attacks from the right, which has branded him a socialist and communist.

    “Well, we already see Bernie Sanders beating Trump in head-to-head polls, and people know that he identifies as a Democrat Socialist. What they care about is what he is talking about,” Teachout told NPR.

    “I think sometimes there’s a myth of the swing voter as being a voter who is sort of extremely centrist, as opposed to a voter who is independent, a voter who is anti-establishment, a voter who votes on character and trust,” she said.

    — Rachel Treisman
  • Iowa residents attend a caucus to select a Democratic nominee for president on February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa is the first contest in the 2020 presidential nominating process with the candidates then moving on to New Hampshire. Photo by Scott Olson | Getty Images
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  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporter Krissy Haglund attends his caucus night watch party on February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa is the first contest in the 2020 presidential nominating process with the candidates then moving on to New Hampshire. Photo by Joe Raedle | Getty Images
  • Rep. Ryan Touts Biden’s Electability For ‘Revolution’ In White House

    Massachusetts congressman and Joe Biden surrogate Tim Ryan told NPR that he expects former Vice President Joe Biden to stand out from the large field of Democratic candidates because of his electability in larger “key states” still to hold their primary races.

    Citing Biden’s high poll numbers, Ryan said he expects Biden will perform well in MichiganWisconsinOhioPennsylvania, and Florida primaries.

    “There’s lots of talk in the campaign about ‘revolutions,’” Ryan said, referencing a buzzword used by Sen. Sanders’ supporters calling for progressive change within the Democratic party. “To me, the revolution is getting Donald Trump out of the White House. That is the revolution.”

    Ryan pointed to President Trump’s push for an investigation into Biden — a request at the heart of his impeachment trial — as another signal of Biden’s strength. “When you look at Donald Trump risking his entire presidency to try to destroy Joe Biden, I think that tells you all you need to know about who the best candidate is that can beat him,” Ryan said.

    — Elena Moore, NPR Editorial Assistant, Washington Desk
  • Impeachment Energizing Trump Supporters, Campaign Says

    The impeachment trial has energized President Donald Trump’s base and expanded his coalition, said Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for Trump’s re-election campaign. “Without a doubt, it sent a lightning rod through our base. They’re more energized than ever before,” McEnany told NPR, recalling crowds of people waiting in line overnight in New Jersey last week to get into a rally. Trump, who easily won Republican caucuses in Iowa tonight, with a quick victory over former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, is widely expected to be acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday. McEnany said Democratic candidates — ranging from former Vice President Joe Biden to Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.) — have tacked too far to the left for voters. “We view this entirety of the Democrat field as one socialist organism with many heads,” McEnany said.

    — Maya Gandhi, NPR Washington Desk Intern
  • Results from Iowa caucuses are slow to come in

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The results from the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses were slow to come in Monday night.

    The reasons for the delays were unclear. The Iowa Democratic Party would not comment on what was slowing down reporting from caucus precincts around the state.

    Des Moines County Chair Tom Courtney said technology issues appeared to be contributing to the delay. Courtney said that in his county, an app created for caucus organizers to report results was “a mess” and organizers were instead having to call in results to the state party.

  • Iowa Democratic Caucus Results Delayed Due To ‘Quality Checks’

    It’s almost three hours since the Iowa Democratic caucuses began, and we are no closer to knowing who may win the most delegates out of the state.

    Just before 11 p.m. ET, the Iowa Democratic Party put out a statement saying that the complicated reporting process is at least one reason for the delay.

    "The integrity of the results is paramount. We have experienced a delay in the results due to quality checks and the fact that the IDP is reporting out three data sets for the first time. What we know right now is that around 25% of precincts have reported, and early data indicates turnout is on pace for 2016,” said state party communications director Mandy McClure.

    At this time in 2016 and even 2008 — the largest caucuses ever — there was a clear picture emerging about who had the best night. And while there are sparse reports about individual precincts, the Iowa Democratic Party has yet to report their State Delegate Equivalent numbers, which the benchmark that the Associated Press and NPR will use to determine a winner.

    But, as McClure notes, they are now also reporting out the first wave of caucus alignments followed by the final alignment once caucus-goers decided to caucus for other campaigns if their first choice was not viable. NPR’s Domenico Montanaro explained the differences between the three data sets that will be reported.

    — Jessica Taylor, Cook Political Report
  • Bloomberg Is Not ‘Buying a Campaign,’ Adviser Says

    Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s team is pushing back on the perception that his vast wealth is paving his way in the race for the White House.

    “This isn’t a rich guy buying a campaign,” said Tim O’Brien, the senior adviser for Bloomberg’s campaign. “This is a purposeful, publicly spirited individual who sees this election as the culmination of his life’s work and he’s putting his resources behind it,” O’Brien told NPR.

    Bloomberg has shelled out more than $250 million since his campaign launched in November. The New York Times estimated Bloomberg’s 60-second Super Bowl ad alone set the campaign back $10 million.

    O’Brien noted that some national polls show Bloomberg sitting among the top four Democratic candidates — a result O’Brien said could not happen through advertising alone. Voters have come to know about Bloomberg from the “thorough” campaign structure the candidate has built, O’Brien said.

    — Meredith Roaten, NPR Washington Desk Intern
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  • Iowa Dems say vote count delays not from hacking

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Democratic Party says the delay in reporting caucus results is the result of a “reporting issue” and not because of a “hack or an intrusion.”

    Communications director Mandy McClure said Monday night that the party “found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results.”

    She says the party is using photos of the results and a paper trail to “validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report."

    She says: “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results."

    It was not immediately clear how long it would take the state party to produce results. Iowa holds the nation's first presidential voting contest.

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