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ICYMI: Iowa Starting Line: “Gillibrand gave possibly the best rally speech of the field”

February 11, 2019

Comparing the Democrats’ Iowa Caucus Event Styles | Iowa Starting Line
By Pat Rynard
February 11, 2019


It’s a little under a year out from the Iowa Caucus, and presidential candidates are already inundating the state to make their pitch to local activists. What’s particularly fascinating from these initial visits is that the Democrats’ campaigning and event styles are just as diverse as the field itself. You can already start to see hints of how each candidate’s strategy in the caucus will play out by how they structure their first trips.

[…] Kirsten Gillibrand

Locations: Sioux City, Boone, Ames, Des Moines.

Attendance: 15 – 200 (500+ if you count the pre-built crowd of the Women’s March she spoke at)

The New York senator’s initial Iowa journey felt like the traditional early-caucus swing, with mid-sized crowds of Iowans in coffee shops and beer halls meeting a national politician for the first time. Gillibrand also did several main street walks, dropping in on local business owners to chat. She seems to be the candidate having the most fun on the trail, and she got a chance to bake some cookies at one Des Moines kitchen supply store.

Gillibrand started her trip in Western Iowa, possibly a nod to her electoral success in a conservative Upstate New York congressional district. She also took the chance to speak at the Women’s March in Des Moines. A third day swing through Eastern Iowa got cancelled due to weather.

Gillibrand gave possibly the best rally speech of the field at a packed Des Moines event. That might signal that she could be one to break out at one of the big Democratic Party fundraisers this year that brings in all the candidates to give their most passionate speech.