2020 Democrats travel to Iowa for state fair

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 8, 2019: The 2020 Democrats converge upon Iowa as the state fair begins Thursday. Kamala Harris made a six-figure ad buy in Iowa.


Notable Quote of the Day

“When we talk about how gender and sexism affect elections, usually what we’re really talking about is how women fare. But gender has always been an important factor on the campaign trail, even when both major-party candidates are the same sex. ‘When two men are running against each other, we end up with a contest between two different versions of masculinity,’ said Jackson Katz, an educator and the author of Man Enough?: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity. …

Take the 2004 campaign, for instance. George W. Bush and John Kerry both leaned hard into photo ops that would emphasize their machismo — taking excursions to shooting ranges, posing with veterans and troops, even riding motorcycles. But Republicans, in particular, sought to portray Kerry as effeminate and unpatriotic, like when he was mocked for ‘looking French.’ Meanwhile, Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards (who was later criticized for his expensive haircuts) was infamously dubbed ‘the Breck Girl of politics’ by Republican strategists because of his attention to his coiffure.

So any candidate who runs against Trump will have to grapple with this dynamic — even if the Democrats ultimately nominate a man.”

– Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, FiveThirtyEight senior writer


  • The Iowa State Fair begins today and most of the Democratic field is scheduled to speak at the Soapbox over the next few days. Julián CastroJohn DelaneyTulsi GabbardMarianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang will speak Friday.

  • Michael Bennet appeared on The Daily Show Wednesday night, discussing his legislative record and policy proposals. 

  • Joe Biden opened several campaign offices in Iowa Wednesday and appeared at the launch of the Iowa City office.

  • Cory Booker held his first campaign event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wednesday night.

  • Steve Bullock spoke at the National Press Club about gun violence, racism, and electability.

  • Pete Buttigieg campaigned in Orlando, Florida, attending a private event with members of the Puerto Rican community and a grassroots rally.

  • Buttigieg hired Mike Baccio as his in-house chief information security officer, which Politico called a first for a major 2020 presidential candidate. He also expanded his campaign in New Hampshire, bringing the total number of staffers to 40.

  • Mike Gravel, who suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday, clarified that he was endorsing both Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.

  • Kamala Harris made her first 2020 ad buy, spending $145,000 on an ad introducing herself to voters that will air in Iowa for a week beginning Thursday.

  • John Hickenlooper wrote an op-ed in The Des Moines Register criticizing the Trump administration’s tariffs.

  • Amy Klobuchar kicked off her Heartland Tour Wednesday. She will campaign across Iowa for four days.

  • The Jamaican Information Service interviewed Wayne Messam about his heritage and U.S. relations with Jamaica.

  • Seth Moulton denied a Washington Post report that said he planned to lay off at least half of his staff, saying his campaign had recently undergone a restructuring that included new hires.

  • Beto O’Rourke will not make a scheduled stop at the Iowa State Fair this weekend, remaining in El Paso to support the community following a mass shooting.

  • Tim Ryan said he would lead a caravan, in coordination with Moms Demand Action, from his congressional district to Kentucky, Mitch McConnell’s home state, to call on Congress to pass gun legislation. 

  • In an interview on PBS NewsHourTom Steyer spoke about climate change, gun violence, and corporate influence in politics.

  • Elizabeth Warren proposed creating an Office of Broadband Access that would administer an $85 billion grant program to guarantee high-speed internet access across the country.


  • Real estate developer Stephen Ross is hosting Donald Trump at a fundraiser Friday. Tickets for a private roundtable discussion with Trump are $250,000.

Flashback: August 8, 2015

Bernie Sanders ended a Seattle campaign event early after two Black Lives Matter activists took control of the podium.