It’s not even 10:00 am in Des Moines and Beto O’Rourke has run a 5K, Kirsten Gillibrand is talking to a book club, and here’s John Hickenlooper exploring the Farmers Market. pic.twitter.com/3ZBrG6zXbh
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) June 8, 2019
"I loved the caucuses when I first moved to Iowa in 2012 for college. But now, after actively participating in politics here for the last five years, I would cheer their demise." https://t.co/pG6X0XlPFB
— The Outline (@outline) June 6, 2019
There are supposed to be no fewer than 19 presidential candidates at the Cedar Rapids Democratic Hall of Fame Dinner this weekend, so there are liable to be some embarrassing anecdotes that don’t involve Steve King…
… Campaigns are costly affairs, both financially and emotionally, and Iowans pay the price for this without receiving the benefits. Presidential campaigns cause burnout among volunteers and voters alike, and they fail to make any lasting contributions to our state while they’re here.
Being able to get a selfie with whichever presidential candidate is in town doesn’t outweigh this cost.
In the 2018 midterm elections, I spent a majority of my time volunteering for Abby Finkenauer’s congressional campaign. Her campaign was exciting — a 29 year-old progressive woman against an incumbent Tea Party Republican. I couldn’t have felt more energized.
Not everyone felt the same.
When I would call or knock on the doors of other Democrats to ask them to volunteer on the campaign, I was frequently told that they were still too exhausted from the 2016 caucuses to get back into politics.
MacKenzie Bills, a lifelong Iowa Democrat currently working for the State Department, explained that the situation is basically unavoidable.
“While there’s a great diversity of political ideologies in Iowa, there’s just not a lot of people here,” she said. “Campaigns today are very metrics driven. In order to get the numbers that they want in our small state, you have to try to get as much out of each person as possible.”
This is especially true for campaigns with limited resources…
Volunteer burnout happens wherever campaigns occur, but what makes Iowa different is that there is never a real break between campaign seasons because of the Iowa Caucuses. There were only two months in between the 2018 midterm elections and when the first 2020 presidential candidate arrived in Iowa. There’s still nine months before the caucuses, but Iowa groups are already feeling fatigued from the demands of the 2020 campaigns…
Of course, without the caucuses, Iowa would probably miss out on the Marianne Williamson Experience. But then she, or her spiritual heirs, could set up shop in lovely ‘Live Free or Die Trying’ New Hampshire, #FITN! Where the largest local industry is tourism, so they’re better equipped to milk the quadrennial circus…
— Brianne Pfannenstiel (@brianneDMR) June 6, 2019
— Pat Rynard (@patrynard) June 8, 2019