Hey Democratic Party! Wake up and smell what you have been shoveling!

Another perspective on what the Iowa Democratic Party needs to do, from a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention who then supported Jill Stein for president. -promoted by desmoinesdem

My name is Chris Laursen. I am an activist and political dissident from Ottumwa, Iowa and I am here to tell the truth, a truth we all know. The Democrats have fabricated a facade of being the party of the people, but in actuality they are the party of Wall Street. I am not fooled, and the working progressives of America have woken up to this reality. Establishment Democrats, you enabled the charlatan named Donald Trump to become the leader of the free world. Own it!

We have witnessed the Democratic Party continually degrade into a heaping pile of neoliberal ordure for many years, characterized by voter suppression, media collusion, tsunamis of special interest money, a rigged playing field and millions of disengaged and disenfranchised voters. This last election cycle was reflective of these facts. The party cannot win elections when it alienates half of its base and ignores rural America and undecided voters.

Democrats have lost the White House, both houses of the U.S. Congress and both houses of our Iowa Legislature. Nancy Pelosi is dead wrong when she says, “I don’t think Democrats want a new direction.” The fact is that if Democrats don’t change their direction they are going to wither and die a slow, painful death. Examine the youth vote in the Democratic presidential primary to find evidence of this certainty.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee is faced with a very important decision in the forthcoming month. Who will they select to steer the helm of the IDP?

Continue Reading...

Are you tired of these motherfrackers? A first-person account from Standing Rock

Chris Laursen, an activist for many progressive causes and a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, shares his story from Standing Rock. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Are you tired of these motherfrackers? I am!

I have just recently returned home from my second trip to Standing Rock. And now, after some decompression and much needed sleep I feel as though I need to pen some of my thoughts and experiences. Here it goes.

Continue Reading...

Weekend open thread: Final Iowa polls and last-minute GOTV edition

No need to ask what’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers. Three days from now, this election will be over except for the recounts. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have released their closing arguments to television viewers. Clinton’s 60-second ad “Roar” is a lot more upbeat than Trump’s two-minute “Argument for America.” UPDATED to add: the Trump commercial pushes some anti-Semitic buttons.

Nearly 600,000 Iowans have already voted. I enclose below the latest absentee ballot figures, as of today and at the same point in the 2012 campaign. The Democratic lead in ballots received by county auditors stands at 41,881. On the Saturday before election day 2012, Democrats had banked 65,099 more votes than Republicans.

The Des Moines Register released toplines from Selzer & Co’s final Iowa poll of the year a few minutes ago. It’s not good news for Democrats: Trump leads Clinton by 46 percent to 39 percent, with 6 percent supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1 percent the Green Party’s Jill Stein. Last month’s Selzer poll showed Trump 4 points ahead.

The latest surveys from Simpson College/RABA Research and Emerson College both showed Trump leading Clinton by 44 percent to 41 percent in a field including multiple candidates.

Loras College in Dubuque released its final Iowa poll earlier today: Clinton 44 percent, Trump 43 percent, Johnson and Stein 3 percent each, and 7 percent undecided. Loras found a 10-point advantage for Trump (47-37) among respondents who said they had not yet voted. Clinton’s net favorability (-8) was substantially better than Trump’s (-36). I enclose below excerpts from the Loras polling memo and Jason Noble’s write-up of the Selzer poll in the Des Moines Register. I’ll update later with more details as the Register publishes further results.

Lots of pundits have written off Iowa already, given the demographics that favor Trump (a mostly white population, older than in other swing states and with a relatively small proportion of college graduates). Clinton’s campaign is working GOTV hard. A field office near you could use your help these last few days. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers on the phone or at the doorstep, you can bring food to campaign staff and volunteers, or offer to be a poll watcher on election day.

I can’t remember more perfect weather for canvassing the weekend before a general election. For those planning to hit the doors tomorrow, Monday, or Tuesday, here are my best tips and pointers from superstar volunteer Laura Hubka, the Howard County Democratic Party chair.

Some GOTV “scripts” are geared toward voters already identified as supporters of Democratic candidates. These people don’t need persuading. Volunteers will remind them of their polling place location and opening times and will ask for their plan to vote. Research has shown that when people articulate their plan (for instance, before work or after dropping the kids off at school), they are more likely to follow through and cast a ballot. Clinton’s campaign has an online tool for voters and hilarious YouTube video of Joe Biden (enclosed below) on why making a plan “is like the whole secret of life.”

All 99 county auditors’ offices will be open for early voting in person on Monday, November 7, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Important reminders for absentee voters who have not yet mailed back their ballots: late-arriving absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 7 in order to be counted. Post offices no longer routinely attach postmarks, so either 1) take your ballot to a post office on Monday and request a postmark, 2) hand-deliver your ballot to your county auditor’s office by 9 pm on November 8, or 3) ask a campaign volunteer to pick up your completed ballot so it can be hand-delivered on time.

Make sure to follow instructions carefully: fill in ovals completely, seal the marked ballot in the secrecy envelope, seal that envelope inside the affidavit envelope, and sign and seal the affidavit envelope.

If you’ve changed your mind about voting absentee, bring your unmarked ballot to your regular polling place on November 8, so you can “surrender” it and receive a regular ballot. If you don’t have your absentee ballot with you, poll workers will make you fill out a provisional ballot instead.

Final note: political junkies can enter Bleeding Heartland’s Iowa election prediction contest by posting a comment in this thread before 7 am on November 8.

Continue Reading...

Two polls show small Trump lead in Iowa

Donald Trump is slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Iowa, according to two polls that were in the field this week. The latest Simpson College/RABA Research poll shows Trump beating Clinton by 44 percent to 41 percent in a five-way race, with 5 percent of respondents supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson, 2 percent each for the Green Party’s Jill Stein and independent Evan McMullin, and 6 percent unsure. Head to head, Trump leads Clinton by 46 percent to 44 percent.

Today Emerson College released Iowa numbers showing Trump ahead in a four-way race by 44 percent to 41 percent, with 5 percent for Johnson, 4 percent for Stein and 5 percent undecided. Emerson does not appear to have polled a two-way race.

Strangely, neither survey shows a large difference between men’s and women’s voting preferences in Iowa, despite data (and common sense) indicating that this year’s presidential race is shaping up to have the largest gender gap in history. RABA Research found men break for Trump 46-37 in a five-way race and 50-40 head to head, while women support Clinton 44-42 in a larger field and 47-43 against Trump alone. Emerson College’s results: a 45-41 advantage for Trump among men and a 44-42 lead for Clinton among women. I find those numbers very difficult to believe.

I enclose below more findings and notes on methodology from the new polls. Most disturbing, from Simpson College/RABA Research: only 66 percent of respondents said “Americans are ready for a woman to be president.” Some 20 percent said Americans are not ready, the rest were unsure. The cross-tabs show 37 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Iowans over age 65, and 26 percent of those without a college degree say the country isn’t ready for a woman president.

Don’t forget to enter Bleeding Heartland’s election prediction contest.

At least a third of Iowans who will vote this year have already returned their ballots. Click here for tables showing the latest early vote totals. Iowa Democrats will go into election day with a significant absentee ballot lead, but smaller than the cushion Barack Obama had in 2012.

Continue Reading...

Latest Iowa polls and election forecasts ahead of the third debate

For reasons I cannot comprehend, few pollsters have surveyed Iowa voters since the first presidential debate. Even fewer Iowa polls have come out since the release of a 2005 videotape sparked the latest Donald Trump meltdown.

Forty years of data indicate that third presidential debates “have had less of an impact on the polls” than earlier debates. (Dan Guild reviewed here how first debates have affected previous presidential races.)

In lieu of a time-wasting “curtain-raiser” about things to watch for at tonight’s big showdown in Las Vegas, let’s look at what the latest opinion polls and election forecasts say about chances for Trump or Hillary Clinton to win Iowa’s six electoral votes. Last time Bleeding Heartland covered this territory, several analysts had shifted Iowa from “lean Democrat” to “toss-up” or from “toss-up” to “lean Republican.”

Continue Reading...
View More...