Steve Bullock's testing these messages among Iowa Democrats

Although Montana Governor Steve Bullock has not yet declared plans to run for president, a group supporting his ambitions has been polling Iowa Democrats to test positive messages about Bullock and several other declared or likely contenders.

I’ve long encouraged readers to record or take notes on political surveys. This post draws on a recording an Iowan provided after receiving the call on the evening of March 7. (Bleeding Heartland never provides identifying information about respondents; I’m only interested in the questions asked.)

The latest Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom found Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders well ahead of the rest of the Democratic field in Iowa, with 27 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Bullock was among several candidates at 1 percent. Later today, Bleeding Heartland will publish analysis by Dan Guild, taking a historical view of polling this far out from the Iowa caucuses.

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Dream big again

Ira Lacher: “America doesn’t dream big anymore. Even before the ascension of Donald J. Trump, or the Tea Party, or the Contract with America, we set our sights ridiculously low, the way we do when driving in fog.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Saw the new Apollo 11 documentary Saturday night. And I noticed two things immediately: how so many people were fascinated by an event that took place half a century ago … and how many of them were young people. It wasn’t just nostalgia that drove a crowd to a movie theater on an awful weather day.

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Dead reckoning

Gary Kroeger, who endorsed Bernie Sanders before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, challenges some conventional wisdom in progressive Democratic circles. -promoted by Laura Belin

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.”

I use that Mark Twain quote quite often. The “wisdom” is what is necessary if we are to extract the truth from an event, but that wisdom is often hard to find. I thought of this as former Vice President Joe Biden was dismissed the other day in a CNN focus group of Democrats.

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By the book

Julie Stauch shares her thoughts on presidential candidate John Delaney’s “very readable book.” Bleeding Heartland welcomes reviews of memoirs by politicians or books on any political topic of statewide or national importance. -promoted by Laura Belin

I have this rule with myself that if someone gives me a book, I always read the first chapter out of appreciation and respect for the person who shared it. In January I was invited to attend a luncheon for women hosted by April McLain Delaney, where they gave each attendee a copy of John Delaney’s book. I started reading it that day, and by the end of the week had finished the book. This is my review.

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"It's still early" -- or is it?

Ira Lacher reflects on the stakes for presidential candidates, nearly a year before the Iowa caucuses. -promoted by Laura Belin

“It gets late early out here.”

Yogi Berra is credited with that observation about the final month of the baseball season, when the lower-in-the-sky sun of early fall casts longer shadows over more of the field.

Managers will tell you a win in April is just as important as a win in September. But when you don’t win in September, you have fewer opportunities to make up those losses.

Heading into March, there are about eleven months to go before Iowans tell the world why so-and-so should be the Democrat to oppose Donald J. Trump. Eleven months may seem like a long time. There are unanticipated world and national events to come, revelations to be made, gaffes to occur.

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Does “electability” matter?

Dan Guild reviews past polling data for clues on how Democratic voters will pick a favorite presidential contender. -promoted by Laura Belin

“I am for him/her because they can win”. I have been active in New Hampshire and Iowa presidential primary politics for over 30 years. In that time I have found if you ask someone why they are for a candidate, likely as not they will say “because they can win.” The press mirrors this and will write often about which contender is “electable”.

I am skeptical electability is ever decisive.

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