Hawkeye Lounge

Iowa News, Iowa Politics and Hawkeye Sports

People forget that prior to Obama, GWB had the most effective (and massive) GOTV machine known to man. Apparently lil' bro is upping the game.

His candidacy is still an affront to democracy and any poster here is forbidden from supporting him in the primaries.

That said, he don't play, and I suspect that were he to get the nomination, his organization would be massive and ruthlessly efficient.

Here's the first installment of my Iowa Caucus Power Rankings. This is not the candidate's strength or chanced of winning the nomination, this is limited to Iowa. The main factors considered are name ID, fundraising potential, organizational strength and grassroots appeal.

1. Scott Walker - Walker's first major trip to Iowa for the Steve King Freedom Summit was a big success, and a part of his big bump in early 2016 polls nationwide. Walker has the early help of David Polyanski, who was the chief strategist for Joni Ernst's U.S. Senate campaign. Halo Politics has also learned that Walker is being helped by State Senator and former congressional candidate Brad Zaun of Urbandale. Bridging the gap between mainstream conservatives and business moderates, Scott Walker would come out on top if the caucuses were held today.

2. Ted Cruz - Still the darling of many movement conservatives, Cruz is making a major push to win over some in the liberty movement, who are disappointed in Rand Paul. Rumor has it that Cruz has the unannounced support of radio host Steve Deace. Halo Politics has also heard rumblings that there is dissension in the ranks of Cruz's leadership team nationally, which is hindering his efforts. Questions of electability surround Cruz more than anyone else in the field. Cruz could become this year's Mike Huckabee, or could completely fall apart.

3. Mike Huckabee - The 2008 winner is back courting his core supporters from eight years ago, but it remains to be seen how many of them come back. Most of the Santorum 2012 supporters will come come to Huckabee, but not all. Huckabee is also bleeding support to Ted Cruz. Unless something changes, it is presumed that Huckabee will ultimately win the support of Bob Vander Plaats and the Family Leader.

4. Rand Paul - Despite disappointing many liberty activists, Paul can still count on a solid base of support left over from his father's past campaigns. Former state party chairman A.J. Spiker will help mobilize the grassroots liberty activists, but is still deeply unpopular with the rest of the party. Paul is attempting to reach out to others in the party by hiring Victory Enterprises of Davenport, and recently won the endorsement of former State Representative and 2002 gubernatorial candidate Steve Sukup.

5. Chris Christie - As much as the national media continues to discount Christie, he is quietly putting together a serious campaign in Iowa. Christie has the support of former Branstad chief of staff Jeff Boeyink and recently hired Phil Valenziano, a veteran of Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign and Terry Branstad's 2014 reelection effort. Iowa is filled with veteran campaign operatives that bring modest benefit to a campaign, but Valenziano is exceptionally talented and hard working. If Christie can raise the money, he can be a formidable Iowa candidate.

6. Rick Perry - There is a lot of goodwill in Iowa for Rick Perry, but he is still fighting questions about his ability to be a national candidate. Iowa activists still fear that he is one public gaffe away from imploding. That having been said, Perry is in a great spot on the ideological spectrum to do well in Iowa, and has shown a much stronger grasp of the issues this time around. Perry will be able to raise enough to get himself to January, but can he make a serious push? Perry recently announced his first round of Iowa field staff to go along with veteran strategist Bob Haus.

7. Marco Rubio - Rubio has spent a fair amount of time in the state, and was one of the most vocal endorsers of Joni Ernst, but still hasn't made it clear that he intends to run. Questions about immigration continue to dog Rubio, and he will have to have a better answer if he wants to make a play for Iowa conservatives. Still, there is a lot of interest in Rubio, and could be a dark horse if he wants to commit to Iowa.

8. Jeb Bush - No one is particularly excited about Jeb Bush, but he is going to be able to flood the race with money, and that matters. There are still some in Iowa that revere the Bush family, but is it enough to get a good result. It still remains to be seen if Bush will play in Iowa at all.

9. Bobby Jindal - Like Perry, Jindal has a lot of goodwill among Iowa activists, but so far doesn't seem to be putting the pieces together. Until Jindal starts putting together an Iowa team and spending more time in the state, he will remain a long shot to get to climb this list.

10. Rick Santorum - Santorum still has a small team, but is struggling to put together many of his 2012 core supporters. Much of Santorum's 2012 support was never more than a placeholder for Huckabee supports that didn't have anywhere else to land. In a wide-open field with several other reliably conservative choices, it is difficult to see a path for Santorum this time around.

11. Ben Carson - Made an early splash in Iowa, but any early buzz has quickly quieted down. Insiders quietly question some of Carson's early decisions in assembling his Iowa team.

Not making the cut: Mike Pence, John Kasich, Lindsay Graham, Sarah Palin, Bob Ehrlich, Rob Portman
Should be a great afternoon sold out crowd at Carver Hawkeye for this one. It is the last chance during the regular season to pick up a signature win.

Maryland has great guards, but they have struggled on the road and the last 4 games overall against varying competition at home as well.

The last 2 road games have been blowout losses @Indiana by 19 points and @Ohio State by 24 points. Their last 2 home games have been near loses with a 1 point win where Northwestern collapsed and against Penn State that was a one possession game with 23 seconds left.
There's a lot of terrific quotes in here. The author even goes so far to point out that he couldn't print the really good stuff.

Rand Paul has no chance in Iowa.
Iowa gets back to playing games every few days from now until the end of the season. Michigan has been hanging tough since losing key players, but this is a winnable game for Iowa even though they are a 2 point underdog.

This is pretty much a make or break game for Iowa. If they are going to make the tournament, they need to win this game and avoid the threat of a 5 game losing streak or worse. I think if they can pull this one out, they will be back on track and win a lot of games down the stretch.
Sounds like legislature is gonna ram this through. What's Branstad's position on this? Will he sign it?
It's never enough. If the Governor gave them 6%, the ISEA and the Democrats would be screaming for 10%.

El Rushbo spent half his show yesterday talking about how great Scott Walker was at the Freedom Summit. Came pretty close to endorsing him (but didn’t). Which, by the way, doesn’t really matter. It’s like David Brooks (iirc) once said about Rush’s ability to galvanize voters: “Rush can’t even deliver a pizza”.

But anyway, I watched the whole 23 minute speech. Walker with his sleeves rolled up, and gave a decent speech. Much better than Rick Perry – Perry was a spaz and tried to hard. But Walker … I dunno. The reality is, he’s kind of a boring guy, and fairly underwhelming as a speaker. IMHO, some of these rising stars turn out to be better as a concept than in reality.

Plus, he has this annoying habit, which is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I’m not usually a grammar cop, but “my parents raised my brother and I” and “all the support you gave to Tonette and I”, etc. He prolly made that mistake about 4-5 times in a 23 minute speech. Now, granted, maybe it bugs me more than most, but I do think it reinforces this notion that Walker is an uneducated guy w/o a college degree.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT one of these “I won’t vote for another RINO” or “I won’t vote for a wack job con” etc. I will vote for whomever the repubs put up against Hill. I just want the best one. Just not convinced Walker has the personality, the money, the charm, or whatever. He seems like a local Wisky thing to me.

I’m really thinking Jeb or Rubio right now. And I think if given a third chance, maybe Mitt could do something with it, but he’d be my third