August 25, 2020 | News | No Comments
BURLINGTON, Iowa — Since President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s impeachment trial kicked off nearly two weeks ago, three key senators in the Democratic field have been cooped up in Washington and unable to campaign across Iowa ahead of Monday’s caucuses.
Fortunately for them, their time away doesn’t seem to have mattered.
Since the trial started Jan. 21, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) has seen his campaign on the upswing in Iowa, taking over the lead in multiple polls. Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) has ticked up in the polls and has hit double digits in three straight surveys, while Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) remains firmly in the pack, though her support has dropped slightly in that time.
As for the remaining two top-tier candidates, the support levels for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE have remained relatively static despite both candidates having barnstormed the state throughout.
“Given the importance of social media and tele town halls, technology, all that kind of stuff, the folks who’ve been in D.C. during impeachment, they were able to stay in touch with a lot of folks in Iowa. I think that’s been lost on some folks,” said Rep. Dave LoebsackDavid (Dave) Wayne LoebsackRepublican Mariannette Miller-Meeks to face Democrat Rita Hart in open House race in Iowa Key races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries House Democrats make initial ad buys in battleground states MORE (D-Iowa), a Buttigieg supporter. “They haven’t been here physically as much as they would have liked to been, but they’ve still been able to stay in touch with their folks.”
Since the start of the trial, Biden and Buttigieg have spent all but two days in the Hawkeye State. However, having set up shop in the state has not led to a rise in the polls.
“It does seem as if all of the coverage of impeachment has frozen the presidential race in place,” one Biden supporter said. They added that The Des Moines Register didn’t lead with the caucuses on multiple occasions this week. In fact, Saturday’s front page featured the Senate GOP defeating the push for additional witnesses.
“I was always very skeptical about the conventional wisdom that the impeachment trial would be this major detriment for Warren, Sanders, and Klobuchar because they couldn’t physically be in Iowa,” the Biden supporter said. “To the contrary. I think I saw more of Klobuchar on TV during the trial being interviewed than in any previous point.”
The Minnesota Democrat has done a total of 27 national TV hits along with 20 local media interviews since the trial kicked off.
Along with being a constant presence on the airwaves, Klobuchar held three tele-town halls — two aimed at Iowans across the state and another for senior citizens. More than 35,500 Iowans tuned into those, according to a campaign memo released Friday morning.
All three campaigns have relied heavily on surrogates in that time as well, with Sanders and Warren holding events continuously featuring high profile lawmakers, celebrities and their own families.
Three members of ‘the squad’ — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAttorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury How language is bringing down Donald Trump Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Biden, Democrats seek to shut down calls to defund police McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Defunding the police: Put it to a vote McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Mich.) — stumped for Sanders on Thursday and Friday.
Their fourth member of the squad, Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Over 1,400 pro athletes, coaches call on Congress to back bill ending qualified immunity Biden’s right, we need policing reform now – the House should quickly take up his call to action MORE (D-Mass.), got a standing ovation from voters in Ames, where she headlined a late rally for Warren.
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Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Deb HaalandDebra HaalandOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of White House protesters Minority caucuses call for quick action on police reform MORE (D-N.M.), Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyChinese tech giants caught up in rising US-China tensions Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers Democrats call on FTC to investigate allegations of TikTok child privacy violations MORE (D-Ill.) and Andy LevinAndrew (Andy) LevinHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Warren, Levin introduce legislation for federal contact tracing program Johns Hopkins offering free class in how to become a contact tracer MORE (D-Mich.), former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and Warren’s husband Bruce Mann — accompanied by the family dog — also hopped around the state for the Massachusetts senator.
“This is an opportunity for us to highlight the new faces of this campaign, to show the breadth and depth of surrogates,” said Misty Rebik, Sanders’s Iowa state director.
But the senators’ absence has clearly dimmed turnout, though that is set to change as the Senate passed a resolution on Friday paving the way for President Trump’s acquittal. The chamber will reconvene on Monday, freeing up the 2020 candidates to campaign in Iowa over the weekend.
Pressley addressed a few dozen voters in a cavernous hall on the campus of Iowa State University, a fraction of the crowd Warren herself would have drawn.
“It’s hard if you’ve got two favorites to pick the one you haven’t seen,” said Rob Sand, the state auditor, who remains uncommitted.