Nineteen Dems head to Iowa Sunday

June 7, 2019: Nineteen Democrats are headed to Iowa Sunday to speak at the Democrats Hall of Fame induction event. The Democratic National Committee clarified its polling criteria for the first two debates, moving Bullock from the qualified to unqualified category for now.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Each Friday, we’ll highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.


Faiz Shakir is a long-time Democratic staffer who has worked with leadership figures including Nancy Pelosi (D) and Harry Reid (D).

Previous campaign work:

  • 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign, research team

Other experience:

  • 2017-2019: American Civil Liberties Union, political director
  • 2013-2017: Office of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), senior advisor
  • 2012-2013: Office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), new media director and senior advisor
  • 2005-2012: Center for American Progress, vice president

What he says about Sanders:

“He pushes the Democratic Party. He pushes it to be better…He has no concerns about raising issues on trade where he thinks the party has not fought aggressively enough. He has fought on economic justice issues, trying to raise the fact that billionaires control a lot of pieces not only of the Democratic Party but of the Republican Party.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“Among Democrats 65 or older, only 13 percent wanted the candidate they agreed with if the candidate would have a hard time beating Trump. But among Democrats younger than 50, 42 percent were willing to take a chance on the less electable candidate.

The cause and effect is difficult to sort out. Maybe younger voters deemphasize electability because they’re more liberal and think the concept is being used to prop up more moderate, establishment friendly candidates like Biden.

But it’s at least possible that some of the causality runs the other way: Younger voters are more liberal because their lived experience gives them less reason to think there’s an electoral penalty for liberalism.”

– Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight founder


  • Michael Bennet hired Brian Peters to run his Iowa state campaign. Peters has worked on campaigns in Indiana, Michigan, and Arkansas.
  • Reversing course from earlier this week, Joe Biden said he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment Thursday night, citing women’s decreased access to abortion.
  • Bill de Blasio will campaign in Iowa over the weekend, including stops in Hiawatha, Ames, and Waterloo.
  • Cory Booker will campaign in Iowa over the weekend, marking his fifth trip to the state. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will also travel to the state June 11 to campaign for Booker.
  • The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that candidates could not use two ABC News/Washington Post polls with an open-ended question to qualify for the debate. Without that poll, Steve Bullock now has only two of three necessary polls to qualify for the debate.
  • Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, and thirteen other Democratic candidates will make brief pitches at the Democrats Hall of Fame induction event in Iowa Sunday.
  • Julián Castro will visit Flint, Michigan, on Saturday. He previously visited the city while serving as the secretary of housing and urban development in 2016.
  • In an op-ed in The Washington Post, John Delaney called Medicare for All “political suicide for Democrats.”
  • Tulsi Gabbard is campaigning in New York over the weekend.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted that she was 5,000 donors away from crossing the fundraising threshold to secure her spot on the debate stage later this month. She has already met the polling requirements.
  • New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno and state Rep. Ted James will serve as co-chairs of Kamala HarrisLouisiana state campaign.
  • John Hickenlooper spoke against socialism in an interview on The Michael Smerconish Program.
  • Jay Inslee will join Iowa state Sen. Rob Hogg for a conversation on climate change Saturday.
  • Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Iowa Sunday and New Hampshire Monday.
  • Wayne Messam said FEC rules on leftover campaign funds favored members of Congress over local officials. “It shows how the system because it’s actually stacked to favor Washingtonians who have federal laws and the ability to transfer their other congressional accounts to a presidential campaign,” he said.
  • Eric Swalwell will campaign in New Hampshire Saturday, including a New Hampshire Senate Democratic Caucus “End of Session Reception” and meet and greets.
  • Marianne Williamson moved to Des Moines, Iowa. “It’s been about showing her commitment to the Iowa caucuses,” her state director, Brent Roske said. “The Iowa caucuses are one of the last bastions of personal democracy. She agrees with that. We want to support the caucuses.”


  • The pro-Donald Trump Great America PAC and the Committee to Defend the President PAC announced they are working together to register one million new voters. The first phase of the project will target an initial spend of more than $1 million, both nationally and in the key battleground states of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The second phase of the project will expand to Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, and New Hampshire, including national bus tours,” they said in a statement.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 7, 2015

Rick Santorum argued against Fox News limiting the number of spots in its August 2015 debate to the 10 top-polling candidates. He said in an interview, “Is that what campaigns should be about, measuring whether we meet some criteria in a debate?”