Elizabeth Warren is running to do the job

Dubuque Democrat Rachel Wall didn’t plan to commit to a candidate this early but “lost my own bets with myself” after seeing Elizabeth Warren in person last month. -promoted by Laura Belin

I will preface this piece by stating my only commitment for the 2020 cycle was to caucus for a woman. Some may say that is blind feminism, but it is the promise I made to myself. In order to normalize women running for all offices, I made that pledge.

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Julian Castro offers an immigration policy with an international approach

John Webb is a writer in Des Moines. Please read these guidelines if you would like to contribute to Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses. -promoted by Laura Belin

Julian Castro has not yet caught fire in the mainstream media, and I think part of the reason is that he is not easily defined in neat and tidy terms. He is a product of public schools who went on to graduate from Harvard Law. He is the grandson of a woman who came to the U.S. at age 12 following the death of her parents. He is progressive and pragmatic in equal measure, yet he stresses bold policies to address big issues.

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Why I'm switching from Elizabeth Warren to Pete Buttigieg

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts about the Iowa caucuses, including candidate endorsements. Please read these guidelines before writing. -promoted by Laura Belin

Dear Reader,

It is early, perhaps far too early for someone to talk about changing their caucus vote from one candidate to another. It is arguably anyone’s race at this stage, but I feel it is critical (especially in Iowa) to give Pete Buttigieg my support early on.

I really do like Elizabeth Warren, in both policy and style. If she ends up being the nominee come November of 2020, I will gladly cast my ballot for her as I would any Democrat.

That being said, I think Pete is what America needs.

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Guidelines for Bleeding Heartland authors covering the Iowa caucuses

Bleeding Heartland published more work by guest authors in 2018 than ever before and is on track to set the bar higher this year.

With a record number of candidates seeking to take on Donald Trump and a more accessible Iowa caucus process, I anticipate massive engagement among Democratic activists. These rules and tips are for anyone who would like to contribute to this site’s coverage of the presidential campaign.

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What we should learn from Pete Buttigieg

Ira Lacher discusses the appeal of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has recently moved up in Iowa and national polling of the Democratic presidential field. -promoted by Laura Belin

By conventional wisdom, Pete Buttigieg shouldn’t be a top-tier presidential candidate. At 37, he’s only two years older than the constitutional minimum age to be president. As mayor of a small city in Indiana, he hasn’t the national political experience to reach for high office. As a gay man with a husband, he defies the mold that the president of the United States has to be some “Marlboro Man.” And as a Christian, he risks turning off secular voters who feel that Christians’ agenda runs counter to progressive Democratic ideals.

And yet, Pete Buttigieg has vaulted to rock-star status not despite all of the above but because of it. He’s done it because he’s not afraid to wear his genuineness on his sleeve.

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Pros and cons of Iowa Democratic Party's new "virtual caucus"

The Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee approved a new rules package for the 2020 caucuses and convention process by a unanimous vote on April 6. Committee members did not amend any aspect of the proposal, which the party unveiled in February. I’ve enclosed the whole document near the end of this post.

The most significant innovation will be allowing voters to register a preference in the presidential contest without being physically present at a precinct caucus on February 3, 2020. Iowa Democratic insiders have long resisted that kind of change and probably would not have developed this plan if not for pressure from the Democratic National Committee.

This “virtual caucus” will significantly reduce barriers to participation that have kept thousands of politically-engaged Iowans from having their voices heard in past cycles. However, the rules won’t give equal weight to those who are unable to attend in person or prefer to call in. That will create a new set of challenges and perhaps some unintended consequences.

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