Your periodic reminder: No one's clearly favored to win Iowa

Twenty Democratic presidential contenders and Congressional candidate J.D. Scholten spoke to an excited, beyond-capacity crowd at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding on August 9. I love everything about this annual fundraiser in Clear Lake’s historic Surf Ballroom, except for the lack of Wi-Fi service.

C-SPAN posted all of the five-minute presidential candidate speeches with closed captioning transcripts, and the complete video from the evening is available on the Fox 10 Phoenix YouTube page. Mike Dec of the Blog4President website published photo galleries of all the speakers.

I left the Wing Ding with the same takeaways that have crossed my mind after almost every political event I’ve attended this year.

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Steyer sinks as Iowa women rise

Ed Fallon is a former Iowa lawmaker who hosts the Fallon Forum and directs Bold Iowa. He is the author of Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, his memoir about the 2014 Great March for Climate Action. -promoted by Laura Belin

I caught the tail end of Tom Steyer’s bait-and-switch press conference on January 9. With great flair and grandiosity, Steyer announced he wasn’t running for President. Instead, he’ll invest his time and money pounding the impeachment drum.

I’m ambivalent about whether Steyer runs for president. But if he could have picked a more poorly conceived cause than impeachment, I’m not sure what it would have been (maybe opposing continental drift?). If Democrats in the US House want to impeach President Trump, fine. But there’s not much any of us can do to impact what is largely a procedural undertaking.

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Someone is polling Iowans about impeachment; read the questions here

Last night I was a respondent for an eight-minute telephone poll about whether President Donald Trump should be impeached and which arguments for impeachment are most persuasive. I transcribed the full questionnaire below.

I would bet the farm that Tom Steyer is funding the live caller survey by Research America. The billionaire recently launched a Need to Impeach campaign, which collected more than a million signatures for impeachment in ten days. Some of the messages tested in the poll echo phrases Steyer used in this video.

The poll didn’t sound like it was commissioned by any politician thinking about running for president in 2020. Notably, the caller didn’t ask about name ID or favorables for most of the possible Democratic presidential candidates, nor was there any ballot test of Trump against a named or generic opponent.

A Democratic campaign committee or super-PAC presumably would have tested support for anti-Trump messages about issues like health care, taxes, or immigration policy, not only cases for impeachment.

I asked the caller whether this was a national survey or just happening in Iowa. “Right now it’s for Iowa.” The caller wasn’t sure if they would poll other states; “This is the only one that’s on the board.”

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