10 days left: Will someone break out?

Dan Guild expects one of the Democratic candidates to surge in the closing days, most likely Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar. -promoted by Laura Belin

Ten days before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, I wrote a piece here entitled Front-runners Beware.

Four years later, there is not one front-runner, but four. Importantly, New Hampshire seems just as close. As I wrote last month, the winner of Iowa can expect a 12-point bounce in New Hampshire.

The simple truth is the winner in Iowa is very likely to win the New Hampshire primary eight days later. And no Democrat has won Iowa and New Hampshire when both were contested and lost the nomination.

The history with tables is below, but in summary:

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Deadline approaching to request accommodation for Iowa caucuses

When the Democratic National Committee nixed the “virtual caucus” plan, they destroyed any possibility of Iowans with disabilities participating in the February 3 caucuses by phone. Nevertheless, the Iowa Democratic Party is trying to make the in-person caucuses more accessible than in the past.

Democratic county party organizations have long been encouraged to arrange for precinct caucuses to be held at facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, that doesn’t eliminate all barriers that might keep someone from fully participating in the first step of the presidential nominating process.

For the first time this year, Iowa Democrats can submit a request for accommodation at their precinct caucuses.

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Iowa Senate Republicans advance plan to ban abortion

Republicans on the Iowa Senate State Government Committee have approved a proposed constitutional amendment that could eventually clear the way for a total ban on abortion.

Senate Joint Resolution 21 would add language to the Iowa Constitution clarifying that the document “shall not be construed to recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or to require the public funding of abortion.”

An earlier version cleared the Senate State Government Committee in March 2019. But for reasons they never explained publicly, Republican leaders did not bring the measure to the Senate floor during last year’s legislative session.

Governor Kim Reynolds urged lawmakers to act on this issue in her Condition of the State address earlier this month: “We must protect life by making clear, through an amendment, that our constitution does not grant a right to abortion.”

The goal is to make all future abortion restrictions immune from court challenges.

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Democrat Charlie Hodges ends Iowa Senate district 20 campaign

One of two Democrats who had been campaigning in a top-targeted Iowa Senate district has left the race.

Charlie Hodges posted on Facebook on January 23 that he was ending his campaign in Senate district 20 because “the pathway to victory is too narrow at this point to justify continuing.” He said he is “fully supporting Rhonda Martin’s campaign to unseat Senator Brad Zaun” and encouraged those who backed him to do the same.

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All I wanted was to scream at a billionaire

Tanya Keith is a Democratic activist in Des Moines and author of the recently published Soccer Stars on the Pitch. -promoted by Laura Belin

I am the Cory Booker precinct captain for my precinct in the River Bend neighborhood of Des Moines. When I heard he dropped out last Monday morning, I was gutted. Senator Booker was a unique candidate of hope in a sometimes angry field.

I was so firmly in his camp, I told people I didn’t need a second choice, I only needed to work hard to make him viable in my precinct. So after he left the race, I was lost, and I decided to go yell at a billionaire.

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Ernst, Grassley become active participants in Trump's obstruction

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst told Iowa reporters in October that if articles of impeachment were referred to the Senate, she would “evaluate the facts” as a “jurist.”

Senator Chuck Grassley voted to allow deposition of witnesses in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, explaining at the time he was supporting “a tightly disciplined legal process to get the information needed to help clear up important discrepancies on the record. Witnesses will not be called simply for the sake of calling witnesses. Seeking this information is important to a process that is judicious.”

Yet Iowa’s senators joined all of their Republican colleagues on January 21 to prevent senators from examining any documents the White House is withholding and from hearing any witness testimony about President Donald Trump’s conduct.

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