Where Obama's Iowa field offices are

cross-posted around the blogosphere

Barack Obama’s campaign held kickoff events in 15 Iowa field offices on Saturday, coinciding with the first statewide canvass of the general election campaign. In addition, the Obama campaign plans to open at least two more field offices in Iowa.

The Des Moines Register published an alphabetical list of cities and towns with Obama field offices. In this diary, I group the offices according to Congressional district.

If 17 field offices sounds like a lot for a medium-sized state like Iowa, keep in mind that Obama had at least 40 field offices here before the caucuses in January.

Also, the Iowa Democratic Party has in effect shut down its “coordinated campaign” for getting out the vote, which means that Obama’s field offices will coordinate GOTV for all Democratic candidates in the state.

Follow me after the jump for details.

Obama’s state director in Iowa is Jackie Norris, who was a key early supporter of Obama here. Other senior Iowa staffers are named in this post.

First Congressional district (D+5)

12 counties

represented by Bruce Braley (D)

Field offices are open in:

Davenport (Scott County), which is part of the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River.

Dubuque (Dubuque County), which is also along the Mississippi to the north of Davenport.

Waterloo (Black Hawk County), which is right next to Cedar Falls, a college town. Waterloo-Cedar Falls is the largest metropolitan area in northeast Iowa.

Independence (Buchanan County), a small town a little east of Waterloo.

Second Congressional district (D+7)

15 counties

represented by Dave Loebsack (D)

Field offices are open in:

Burlington (Des Moines County), along the Mississippi in the southeast part of the state.

Iowa City (Johnson County), a Democratic stronghold where the University of Iowa is located.

Ottumwa (Wapello County), a union stronghold that was one of only five Iowa counties to vote for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and one of only four Iowa counties to vote for Bonnie Campbell for governor in 1994.

A field office will open in Cedar Rapids (Linn County) later this year. Cedar Rapids is Iowa’s second-largest city, and the city center suffered massive damage in last month’s flooding.

Third Congressional district (D+1)

12 counties

represented by Leonard Boswell (D)

Field offices are open in:

Des Moines (Polk County), the largest city in a county that has about 15 percent of Iowa’s population.

Oskaloosa (Mahaska County), a small town between Des Moines and Ottumwa.

Fourth Congressional district (D+0)

28 counties

represented by Tom Latham (R)

Field offices are open in:

Ames (Story County), where Iowa State University is located and about 40 miles north of Des Moines.

Marshalltown, (Marshall County), to the east of Ames.

Fort Dodge (Webster County), to the northwest of Ames.

Mason City (Cerro Gordo County), in the far north-central part of the state.

An office in Iowa Falls (Hardin County), north of Ames and Marshalltown but south of Mason City, will open later this year.

Fifth Congressional district (R+8)

32 counties

represented by Steve King (R)

Field offices are open in:

Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie County), on the Missouri River just opposite Omaha, Nebraska.

Sioux City (Woodbury County), the largest city in northwest Iowa, also along the Missouri River.

A few thoughts before I end this diary:

John McCain has opened a state headquarters in Urbandale (a suburb of Des Moines), but I haven’t found any information about how many field offices he plans to open in Iowa.

Many progressive activists in Iowa share my concerns about the demise of the Iowa Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign. It’s worth noting that not every state party has ceded control over GOTV to the Obama campaign. See this post by Chris Bowers and the comment thread below it.

Obama is opening more offices in the eastern Iowa Congressional districts, where more Democrats live. But some counties in the fourth and fifth Congressional districts might be covered by field offices in other districts. For instance, the Des Moines office may handle GOTV in some counties to the south and west, which are part of the fourth or fifth districts.

It is too early to tell how much effort the Obama campaign will put into state legislative races. Many competitive Iowa House and Senate districts are in counties where Obama has field offices, but it’s not clear whether the GOTV push will emphasize heavily Democratic areas of those counties, or areas where our House and Senate candidates need the most help.

I hope the Obama campaign will focus attention on the battleground districts for the Iowa House and Senate. He has never trailed McCain in a head-to-head poll in Iowa. The Democratic voter registration edge has increased substantially here during the past year. Also, McCain has never built a strong Iowa organization and barely campaigned here before the 2000 or 2008 caucuses. Which is to say that I think McCain has little chance of winning Iowa’s electoral votes.

I hope bloggers in other states will publish details about Obama’s field operation as that information becomes available.

  • A few towns with small colleges missing

    Grinnell,Indianola, Decorah all seem like they should have a field office.  Maybe they will open one once school is underway.  SE Iowa seems short on offices.  What about Keokuk, Ft. Madison, Fairfield?

    I think they did take into account key state legislative races, otherwise Iowa Falls (DH-44 Hoy and SD-22 Sodders) wouldn’t be getting an office.  Oskaloosa has 2 key races with Palmer and Reilly and they have an office.

    • They don't have all the money in the world

      I have read that Obama spent between $30 and $40 million in Iowa before the caucuses.

      He’s got to run campaign operations in all the states now, and focused operations in at least 20 swing states. I don’t think he will be opening more offices in small-town Iowa.

      I agree with you, it’s encouraging to see offices in Iowa Falls and Oskaloosa.

    • Pretty good geographic spread...

      It seems like they’ve got a pretty good reach to me. With the smaller college towns, I would think you could sign up some interns (poli sci students eat up these kind of internships), give them some cell phones, maybe a laptop, passwords to the databases, etc–and just turn them loose. The actual real estate isn’t that important, and they can always check in at a larger regional office once every week or two to pick things up.

      It seems like they have a pretty good geographical reach. Indianola can be covered pretty well out of Des Moines; Pella and Grinnell from either Des Moines or Oskaloosa; Decorah out of Dubuque or Waterloo; Fairfield, Keokuk, Ft. Madison out of Ottumwa (although that is a bit of a stretch).

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