Iowa

At the Races: Is Iowa over yet?

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Senate votes to acquit Trump on both impeachment charges
Romney only defector in either party

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., walks past protesters as he leaves the Capitol after the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Wednesday acquitted President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, swiftly ending months of investigation and public arguments that ultimately changed few minds on Capitol Hill. 

The Senate voted 48-52 to reject the House’s abuse of power charge and 47-53 to reject the obstruction of Congress charge. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required for conviction.

Out of the impeachment, into the fallout
The trial ended Wednesday with acquittal, but investigations and court fights continue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with President Donald Trump as he departs from the House chamber Tuesday night after delivering his State of the Union address. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Goodbye, Iowa. Hello, Bloomberg
If Democrats are serious about beating Trump, former New York mayor may be their best hope

If Democrats are serious about beating President Donald Trump, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be their best hope, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Iowa Democrats can’t seem to count caucus votes, even though the votes were cast Monday night in public and covered by so many cable news reporters, they could have rolled up their sleeves and tallied the ballots themselves.

Reporters compared Monday night’s debacle to a goat rodeo. I’ve never been to a goat rodeo, but I have been to a sheep rodeo, and I can tell you the sheep were a lot more organized. Those little guys probably could have counted votes too. It’s not really that hard.

Cummings’ predecessor, Kweisi Mfume, wins Democratic nod in Maryland
Mfume last served in the House in 1996

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume has won the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 7th District, which has been vacant since Elijah E. Cummings died last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who last served in the House in 1996, has won the Democratic nomination for the seat vacated by his successor, the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. Defeating 23 Democrats — including Cummings’ widow — he’s heavily favored to be the next member of Congress from the solidly Democratic Baltimore-area seat.

With nearly all the precincts reporting, Mfume had 43 percent of the vote. Cummings’ widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, was in second place with 17 percent, followed by state Sen. Jill Carter with 16 percent.

After Iowa, a boost for Buttigieg and concerns for Biden and Warren
Partial results put the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor in enviable position

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg talks with attendees at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa, on Aug. 15. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — One state down, and many states to go. In one respect, Pete Buttigieg “won” the Iowa caucuses Monday evening regardless whether he finishes first in delegates or in the popular vote.

One year ago, Buttigieg was a mere asterisk in the Democratic contest. Then 37 years old and the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg seemed unlikely to raise the necessary money or excite Democratic voters, who were likely to gravitate to better-known officeholders like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Even former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, fresh off an unsuccessful but enthusiasm-generating Senate campaign, seemed like a potentially more significant hopeful in the Democratic field.

Iowa lawmakers band together with early caucus spot on the line
Democratic chaos raises new questions about whether the state should be first in presidential contest

Iowa voters wait for the start of a Democratic satellite caucus at the IBEW headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

With Iowa’s “first in the nation” status on the line after chaotic Democratic caucuses rocked the presidential primary, Iowa lawmakers in both parties banded together Tuesday to defend their state’s role in the process. 

It took until early Tuesday evening for the Iowa Democratic Party to announce results from Monday’s caucuses. And even then it was less than two-thirds of the tallies because of uncertainty and confusion around a new app used for reporting voter preferences as well as the calculations for allocating delegates.

The tech company behind the Iowa debacle has a ‘client success’ job opening
Good luck!

People wait for the start of a Democratic satellite caucus at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Monday. As the Iowa caucuses unfolded, precincts struggled to use a new app. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Shadow Inc., the company behind the app currently destroying Iowa’s plans of remaining “First in the Nation” among presidential primary contests, is looking for a new customer service client success representative. Monday night, excited election watchers gathered in front of their televisions with their snacks to await the returns in the Iowa Democratic presidential primary caucuses. And they waited. And tweeted. And waited. And eventually (I assume) went to bed. Then woke and waited some more.

That’s because an app commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party and designed to tally and transmit the results experienced a glitch. Precinct captains and volunteers who’d never used the app were stuck in limbo. The Nevada Democratic Party had planned to use the app in their upcoming caucuses, but announced they would abandon that plan.

Lobbyists donate to presidential contenders, who then reject it
Democrats have policies against lobbyist cash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shown speaking at the Iowa State Fair in August 2019, does not accept lobbyist campaign donations. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential contenders — including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren — have official policies of rejecting campaign donations from registered federal lobbyists, but lobbyists still donated to all of them in recent months, new disclosures show. 

Some of the K Street cash has already been refunded to the contributors, lobbyists told CQ Roll Call. Other donations may be on their way back, as some of the campaigns said they would return any newly identified contributions from registered federal lobbyists. 

Far from home: Iowans caucus in DC

People talk before the start of a Democratic satellite caucus for Iowans at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall in Washington, D.C., on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly 1,000 miles away from home, Iowans caucused in a basement room of the IBEW building in Washington, D.C.

The District’s first satellite caucus allowed Iowans who otherwise would have to fly to home districts to participate in school gymnasiums or large halls. Caucus-goers included individuals away from home for work and students participating in the process for the first time.