Iowa

Fake Bernie Sanders does a mean ‘Old Town Road’
Jimmy Fallon brought some Lil Nas X to the 2020 primary on Monday night

Bernie Sanders is back for another presidential run, and so is Jimmy Fallon’s septuagenarian impersonation. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jimmy Fallon revives his impression of everyone’s favorite septuagenarian socialist but this time throws in Lil Nas X’s viral country rap tune “Old Town Road” … and you know what, it kinda works.

The song is currently in its third straight week atop the Billboard Hot 100. And Bernie Sanders is currently atop the 2020 Democratic presidential field.

Does successful prostate surgery mean Sen. Michael Bennet will join the 2020 field?
Colorado Democrat had been planning presidential run before cancer diagnosis

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., recently underwent successful prostate cancer surgery. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s prostate cancer surgery was successful.

“Last weekend, Michael underwent surgery and is recovering at his home in Colorado. His doctors report the surgery was completely successful and he requires no further treatment. Michael and his family deeply appreciate the well wishes and support from Coloradans and others across the country, and he looks forward to returning to work after the recess,” spokeswoman Courtney Gidner said in a statement.

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

California Rep. Josh Harder, a freshman Democrat, raised the most money of all the Democrats the NRCC is targeting in 2020. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

For serious primary voters, the parade of Democratic candidates is no joke
The contender clown car may be overflowing, but voters definitely aren’t laughing

There are too many Democratic presidential contenders to count, but primary voters aren’t throwing in the towel just yet, Curtis writes. When Beto O’Rourke made his Southern swing last weekend, supporters took the time to explain why he stands out from the field. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of Democratic hopefuls declaring, thinking about declaring or being pushed to declare their interest in the 2020 race is increasing so rapidly, it has already become a reliable punchline. But for voters looking to discover the person who offers sensible policies on the issues they care about while exuding the intangible “it” quality that could beat Donald Trump, it is serious business.

Forget about what magic the letter “B” might hold — think Bernie, Biden, Beto, Booker, Buttigieg and I know I’m forgetting someone, oh yes, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet — these voters are digging deeper on the candidates who will crowd a debate stage in Miami two nights in a row in June.

‘Anti-semitic rhetoric’ at Duke-UNC event prompts Rep. Holding to ask for federal probe
Holding argued in his letter to the DOE that the event program contained a list of speakers with a clear “anti-Israel bias.”

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., asked the Department of Education to probe “anti-Semitic rhetoric” at a joint Duke-UNC conference on the conflict in Gaza. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. George Holding has asked the Department of Education to investigate whether a joint conference on Middle East studies by Duke University and the University of North Carolina that allegedly contained “anti-semitic rhetoric” should be the basis for pulling federal funding from a consortium of university foreign language and studies programs.

In a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Holding criticized the “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities” conference in March in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he says he saw “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric at a taxpayer-funded conference.”

Rating change: Loebsack’s retirement in Iowa expands House playing field
Race for open seat in 2nd District is now a Toss-up

Rep. David Loebsack, D-Iowa, will not be seeking an eighth term next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No one really gave Cornell College professor Dave Loebsack a chance of knocking off Republican Rep. Jim Leach in 2006. But the Democrat won that race, and more than a dozen years later, he’s announced that his current seventh term in Congress will be his last.

Democrats now have to defend a competitive open seat that wasn’t previously on the list of vulnerable districts.

In their first 100 days, socialist Democrats have shown they are unable to lead
Nancy Pelosi’s optimism over 2020 is misplaced, NRCC chairman writes

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer says the past three months have been “disastrous” for House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — After 100 days of accomplishing nothing but tax increases and bad headlines, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives boldly proclaimed her socialist Democratic caucus have the 2020 elections in the bag. Her faux confidence is misplaced; the past three months for her band of socialists were disastrous.

In the first 100 days, the socialist Democrats managed to call for over $100 trillion in new spending, but are so dysfunctional, they refuse to propose a budget outlining the payment plan for their radical agenda. Ridiculously, these socialists have spent weeks continuing to attack President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. Talk about hypocrisy.

Iowa’s Dave Loebsack will not run for re-election in 2020
Democrat’s retirement opens up a competitive seat

Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack will not seek an eighth term in 2020, opening up a potentially competitive district that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Announcing his retirement Friday evening, Loebsack said he’d originally planned to serve no more than 12 years. But that changed when Trump was elected. 

With less Lululemon and less partisan sniping, campaign staffers adjust to the Hill
Some 2018 campaign staffers are working on the official side for the first time

Joshua Kelley, right, managed the winning Senate campaign of Indiana Republican Mike Braun, center. Kelley is now Braun’s chief of staff.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While some Hill aides flock to New Hampshire and Iowa to staff Democratic presidential teams, plenty of others have been making the opposite transition.

These staffers worked on 2018 House and Senate campaigns and now find themselves immersed in the official side in Congress. Cycling on and off the Hill every two years is common. But for those who have never held official-side jobs before, the first 100 days of the 116th Congress have been an interesting transition period.

How to survive and thrive in Iowa — words of wisdom from former staffers
Gephardt 2004 alums recall lessons from the road long traveled

Richard A. Gephardt rallies union workers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in January 2004 as he campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. He dropped out after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

With less than 10 months to go before the Iowa caucuses, hundreds of Democrats have descended on the Hawkeye State to organize and energize voters. Only one candidate will finish first on Feb. 3 — and ultimately, there will be only one presidential nominee — but the experience can be invaluable to younger staff and could help the party in future years.

In 2004, Missouri Democrat Richard A. Gephardt was the early favorite as a neighboring congressman who narrowly won the 1988 presidential caucuses. Gephardt finished fourth, but his Iowa team was an impressive compilation of young talent who went on to help Democrats take back the White House, Senate, House and state legislatures around the country.