Evangelicals bolster Cruz in Iowa

Evangelicals bolster Cruz in Iowa

By Katie Gagliano

WINTERSET, Iowa — Iowa’s evangelicals seem to be behind Ted Cruz.

The Texas senator hosted a rally here Monday to conclude the opening day of his six day “Cruzin’ to the Caucus” campaign. Cruz will tour 36 counties in Iowa as part of his commitment to visit all 99 Iowa counties ahead of the Feb. 1 caucuses.

For Cruz, the tour is about tying up Iowa’s evangelical and social conservative vote. His Monday rally appealed to the evangelical base in attendance and solidified his stance as the most thoroughly Continue reading “Evangelicals bolster Cruz in Iowa”

Commotion with Carson

cafe carson.jpgBy Margaret Manning

What do you get when you shove eight secret service members, three noisy children, 50 restless people, and one soft spoken candidate all into one small coffee shop?

A Ben Carson town hall.

Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson is in the running for worst campaign event in the state of Iowa.

In the back of a restaurant the size of a trailer home, Carson addressed citizens of Winterset, Iowa in the Northside Café Wednesday afternoon.
With a line stretching to the street, people waited to enter the room after undergoing a pat down and bag search by local law enforcement and Carson’s own secret service.

Surrounded by more secret service, the Continue reading “Commotion with Carson”

Essay: If America was a Living Room, Iowa would be the Couch

By: Kensie Yeates

Although they dot different coordinates on the political spectrum, Bernie Sanders, Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley have proven that they have one thing in common: soul. Huckabee has soul food and Sanders soul music. O’Malley, however, is bracing for a fight to regain the “soul of the United States”. The three candidates, along with Chris Christie, have rung in the new year by hosting campaign events in Iowa to prepare for the upcoming Iowa caucuses and to encourage participation. Each candidate has entered the race with the same Continue reading “Essay: If America was a Living Room, Iowa would be the Couch”

Cruz rouses family-values base in evangelical rally

Cruz rouses family-values base in evangelical rally

By Quint Forgey

WINTERSET, Iowa — Those in the overwhelmingly white, senior audience at Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s rally Monday night left with little doubt as to why the Texas senator is dominating the state’s much-sought-after evangelical constituency.

Standing alongside conservative-values author and commentator James Dobson, Cruz swapped out Continue reading “Cruz rouses family-values base in evangelical rally”

Ted Cruz takes Winterset to church

Ted Cruz takes Winterset to church

By Brett Houser

WINTERSET, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz told a crowd of supporters Monday night that a president who doesn’t ask God for daily wisdom and support isn’t fit for the job.

Cruz appeared with Dr. James Dobson, founder of the evangelical Christian organization, Focus on the Family, a man Time magazine called the nation’s most Continue reading “Ted Cruz takes Winterset to church”

Cruz controlling on the Winterset Stage

By Zach Barnett

Winterset, Iowa
“Cruzin’ to the Caucus” | Ted Cruz Town Hall
January 4th, 2016
(all photos are original iPhone photos and are nonprofit)

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“I believe the key to winning in 2016 is very simple. We have to bring back to polls the millions of conservatives who stayed home.” Continue reading “Cruz controlling on the Winterset Stage”

Opinion: Small campaign events can also make an impact

Opinion: Small campaign events can also make an impact

By: Madeline Rathle

What most people think when they hear about presidential campaign events is large, obnoxious rallies with a stage, huge signs and supportive chanting. While that has been the case at many Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton events this year, it is far from the truth for many other candidates.

Many of these candidates, such as Governor Chris Christie and Governor Martin O’Malley, have made it their goal to host intimate events in which their supporters can be heard.

On Dec. 31 Governor Christie held a town hall meeting at Mickey’s Irish Pub in Waukee, Iowa. There were around 300 people there, according to Time Magazine, but Christie was able to keep the event casual by sitting in the middle on a stool in the dimly lit room and occasionally walking around the crowd.

Christie was also skilled at making eye contact with everyone and adding humor and relatability to his rhetoric, which allowed the audience to see his personality.

“I want to listen, and I want to learn,” said Christie. If he had hosted a rally on the same scale as some of his opponents, listening and learning would not have been a realistic goal.

Those events turn into a lecture. The candidate gives his speech from a stage and podium above the crowd, and audience participation is not necessarily the main goal.

Christie remembered names, stories and issues, and he clearly took an interest in his supporters.

A few days later on Jan. 2, Governor Martin O’Malley held a town hall meeting at the West Des Moines Public Library. Around 120 people came to hear him speak, according to The Des Moines Register.

O’Malley’s event had an entirely different feel to it. The governor didn’t use a microphone, he wore jeans and no tie and he gave the audience a lot of personal background information.

Among the audience was Sue Cline who was accompanying her friend to the event. Cline is not an O’Malley supporter, and this was her first caucus event.

“Anything that doesn’t require a microphone has a better feel,” said Cline. She felt the event was not oppressive and was glad she was able to sit down and really hear O’Malley up close.

The question then becomes whether this style of campaigning is more effective than the large rallies and huge media events.

It depends on how you analyze it.

On the one hand, the large events have the advantage of making headlines. For example, Donald Trump held a rally Jan. 2 in Biloxi, Mississippi, where over 14,000 people were in attendance, according to WKRG News.

While this shows a tremendous number of people showing their support and getting excited about the candidate, it does not give a good indication of whether or not he will definitely win the Republican nomination.

Trump has slid in the polls recently. Although it is not by much, Ted Cruz is now in the lead, according to the Huffington Post’s latest polls.

Cruz has also been participating in smaller events around Iowa that seem to have made a big impact.

Barb Heki was in attendance at a Mike Huckabee event at a Des Moines Machine Shed on Jan. 3. Heki is a Huckabee supporter and has seen him at other locations.

This event was very much a cross between the Christie event and the O’Malley event. It was smaller than O’Malley’s but was in a location similar to Christie’s.

“There’s energy and excitement here,” said Heki. She feels as though Huckabee has chosen good locations for his campaign, such as Pizza Ranch. “That’s something people will come to whether they’re a family or older or single.”

Heki brings to light a valid point: just because these events are smaller does not mean they are not full of excitement and energy.

These candidates are finding a way to generate a buzz and get people talking without making the event feel impersonal, and that is an accomplishment.

The candidates must learn how to reach the people they need to reach in order to win the caucuses and ultimately their party nominations. Whoever can most effectively get volunteers, voters and caucus goers will be able to put up the best fight, and some of the campaigns, such as Trump’s do not seem to have that.

Much can happen between now and Feb. 1, the date of the Iowa caucus and the first caucus of the 2016 election. For now the candidates will continue making their way through Iowa and a few other states, including New Hampshire in the hopes of gaining more support and name recognition.