Highlights from Donald Trump's swing through Davenport and Cedar Rapids

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump campaigned in Iowa Thursday for the first time since the February 1 precinct caucuses. Follow me after the jump for clips and highlights from his events in Davenport and Cedar Rapids.

Among Iowa’s 99 counties, Linn County (containing the Cedar Rapids area) and Scott County (containing the Iowa side of the Quad Cities) are second and third in the number of registered voters. Trump finished third in Linn County on caucus night, behind Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. He was a close second to Rubio in Scott County and repeatedly praised the Florida senator during his Davenport speech.

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Why Iowa's RNC votes all went for Trump, even though Cruz won the caucuses

The Republican Party of Iowa changed its bylaws earlier this year to prevent a repeat of what state party chair Jeff Kaufmann has called “the 2012 fiasco.” During the last Republican National Convention, 22 of Iowa’s delegates cast their ballots for Ron Paul, who had finished third in the Iowa caucuses. Only six of our state’s delegates cast ballots for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Kaufmann has described the Iowa GOP’s new rules as designed to force RNC delegates to “vote with the intentions of the caucusgoers — the wishes of the grassroots.”

So why did all 30 of Iowa’s votes go to Donald Trump during today’s roll call vote in Cleveland?

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Analyzing Misleading Caucus Results

As this guest author shows, Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t the only Iowa Democrats who support major reforms to the caucus system. -promoted by desmoinesdem

There has been a lot of discussion across the state of Iowa over the past six months about the future of the caucus process. The Iowa Caucus Review Committee appears to be in willful denial about the problems of the caucus process. Last week, Jeff Cox wrote an article that said the process was rigged. This article will examine the popular vote numbers from a few different sources and simply ask for clarity from the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) on how many people were for each candidate. In a society where items can be purchased from a smartphone, there is no reason to keep the results convoluted and hidden from the general public.

The complex caucus math, while relished by Chairman Dave Nagle, is no way for the state to represent itself as “First in the Nation.” The quirky math has no place when selecting nominees for the next leader of the United States. The confusion of the process led to incorrect conclusions of the process being rigged or fraudulent in favor of one candidate. I ask the Iowa Democratic Party to release the popular vote to eliminate doubt of the process being rigged in favor of one candidate.

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How the Iowa Caucuses were Rigged

Although I do not agree with all of this this author’s conclusions, the post provides a window onto the anger many Iowa Democrats feel about a system that reports only delegate counts from precinct caucuses, not raw supporter numbers that could be aggregated to reveal which candidate turned out more people statewide. -promoted by desmoinesdem

How the Iowa Caucuses Were Rigged, and What We Can Do About it.

The Iowa caucuses were rigged against Bernie Sanders. The Iowa Democratic Party did not purposefully rig them against him; the rules were put into place before anyone knew he was planning to run. They were rigged, though, against anyone who ran a campaign like Bernie Sanders, one that mobilized thousands of new voters and brought them into the party. One would think that such a campaign would be welcomed by the Democratic Party establishment in Iowa, including our state legislators and state party officials, but in fact such a campaign would threaten their control of the state party. They would apparently prefer to preside over an unpopular party that is in danger of becoming a minority at every level of government, handing the state of Iowa entirely over to the Republicans.

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Wake up, Iowa Democrats: Nebraska just became Exhibit A for banning caucuses

The state of Nebraska just provided a case study for how caucuses exclude more people than primaries.

The Nebraska caucuses had an absentee ballot option to allow more people to participate. Organizers for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders worked the state for weeks, because the caucus was set for March 5, when neither candidate had a clear lead in the quest for the Democratic nomination. Even so, fewer than 34,000 Democrats participated in the event that determined the allocation of Nebraska’s pledged delegates. Sanders won the caucuses with about 57 percent of the voters. The Clinton campaign’s successful absentee ballot drive prevented the senator from winning by the kind of margin he was able to run up in many other caucus states.

Today’s primary in Nebraska was “non-binding,” and because it would not influence the pledged delegate count, neither Democratic presidential campaign put much effort into GOTV. Nevertheless, nearly 45,000 Nebraska Democrats cast ballots. Clinton received nearly 57 percent of the votes. UPDATE: make that 78,543 participants in the meaningless Democratic primary, with Clinton receiving a little more than 53 percent of the votes. These maps show dramatically different results for Clinton and Sanders in the same state, two months apart.

If Clinton becomes the next president–and I like her chances against Donald Trump–her allies on the Democratic National Committee will likely push to ban caucuses for the purposes of presidential selection. Primaries tend to generate higher turnout, since voters have all day to cast ballots, and sometimes an early voting period too. By requiring people to be in a specific place at a particular time for an hour or more, caucuses exclude many shift workers, caregivers, and people who are housebound.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucus Review Committee needs to go beyond token improvements to how volunteers run their precincts and consider absentee ballots or other ways to make our caucuses more inclusive. Satellite caucuses that attract a few hundred people statewide and more efficient sign-in methods to reduce caucus-night lines are not going to cut it.

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