Senator and potential 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is heading to Iowa today. The Massachusetts Democrat announced the formation of an exploratory committee for the presidency on Monday. She'll be in Council Bluffs today and is also planning several other stops in the Hawkeye State over the weekend.
Progressive Iowa blogger Pat Rynard reports that Warren's trip follows the hiring of some impressive local staff.
I think she'll need them - as Iowans are excited about OTHER candidates.
A CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll shows Warren has a tough climb to get her party’s nomination. The Iowa caucus has ranked these as the top possible nominees: Vice President Joe Biden 32-percent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 19-percent and outgoing Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke 11-percent. The Massachusetts senator is at 8-percent.
Polling aside, my conversations with activists indicate excitement over Beto and Biden. And yes, there are a core group of Sanders supporters as well. But I wonder if the Bernie bros will eventually drift to a new candidate. That leaves an opening for Warren - but I sense that many Democrats are looking for a "fresh" candidate like Kamala Harris.
Meanwhile, the Biden vs Beto fight within the Democratic party in Iowa is an interesting one, because it represents to different directions for the party. The Biden folks are the supporters who believe that a blue collar agenda is the best path forward for the party. I would argue that it is THIS approach that would reverse the Democratic slide in rural Iowa.
However, the Beto folks want to hear about race, gender, and climate change. And one could argue that THIS agenda (along with health care) has been a smashing success for Democrats in the suburban and urban areas. BUT...this approach basically abandons rural Iowa.
Maybe some progressives are willing to accept this path since the population growth is in urban and suburban Iowa. But it's hard to imagine Democrats winning a statewide race with the "Beto" wing.
Here's my take on how to win future elections (for both Democrats and Republicans). Survey people who love Whole Foods. Then survey people who love Cracker Barrel. Then find a candidate that can bridge the divide.