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tv   Journalist James Lynch on Iowa Politics  CSPAN  March 16, 2019 10:04am-10:26am EDT

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our team talks with james lynch about iowa politics. >> is much as my story has all been about new jersey, the reality is my roots are right here in des moines. >> i have learned quickly that people here take the early state status that you have seriously, and show up with curveballs and really difficult questions. wille direction we go start right here in iowa. >> what happens here and what you democrats do will not only affect this county and this pupil state, it will affect our nation. >> caucus season is underway.
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it seems like we are less than a year way, but it is already this weekend. amy is in the state. delaney, i have probably leaving out somebody, but it is ramping up. the domination process involves both primaries and caucuses across the country. they are different animals. i think the iowa caucus, because it is first, is a proving ground. february 3 is the scheduled date. it could move depending on what other states do. it has moved in the past, as other states have tried to move their primaries and caucuses forward. but february 3, 2020, is the scheduled date. of apeople say it is sort
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fluke that iowa leads off the process. the caucuses were around but nobody took advantage of them when the governor figured out, we can use this system to our advantage. they were here in iowa. and they seized on this, and part of it was these caucuses, which start early, people would take care of the usual party business. a lot of people would leave, and they encouraged a lot of mcgovern supporters to stay, and then they elected delegates and they elected george mcgovern instead of delegates for other candidates. since then people saw what happened and how it worked, and so everybody has tried to wreck a plate -- replicate that. one of the starts to the campaign or to our coverage is the state fair, whether it is
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election year or not. you are looking for who shows up. then you look for the party events, lincoln day dinners, jefferson dinners, who are the speakers, who is showing up for those question right get an idea andho is checking out iowa iowa voters. in this cycle it is mostly democrats since we don't anybody to present a challenge to the president, but you look at who is coming, who shows up. election, with the who was showing up to campaign for congressional candidate. who was showing up for legislative candidate. we saw a number of people come out here, and like i say, we always suspect they are not doing it for all through a stick reasons. the caucuses have changed from mcgovern's time to today in that then a lot of the campaigning livingd of intimate,
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room sort of campaigns. there is still some of that where a candidate will do a house party. some of that i think is for optics. it looks good, but the crowds have gotten bigger. in the 2016 cycle it was pretty much all rallies. 100, 200, 500 people. it has really changed in that regard. i think one thing that is important to know about the caucuses is that all of the cliches about kicking tires and looking under the hood, they are true. personalup close and with these candidates. they ask questions. they look them in the eye. the other half of that is it gives candidates the opportunity to get up close and personal with real voters who asked them real questions, not necessarily the questions that are in the headlines and on tv, sometimes
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you get questions that i have seen candidates that are unprepared for a question. no consultant told john edwards, you're going to be asked about canadian imports and whether or not those should pass the same test first scours as americans produced -- american produced hogs. people have an issue on their mind, and they want to ask about it, even if it is not important to anybody else. roughly a year out from the caucuses, but i am looking for is what theme a candidate is trying to get across in their speeches when they are at a rally. also, the reaction from voters trade we joke about iowans won't commit until they have seen them for five times. at this time, democrats are going out to see all of the candidates. they are comparing them.
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you saw that with the elizabeth warren rally. see coryd just been to booker, so they are checking out everybody. i am looking for that reaction, who do they like, what strength do they see in a candidate? they may say warren is very issues,n the financial economic inequality, while someone else is stronger on national security or immigration, and the voters are -- are comparing. on day one, what can you do with gun control in congress. >> i just want to get your perspective. candidates will get all of the usual questions, the
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border, national security, terrorism, and i think it is not of the answer,t but also how they handle it. are they comfortable talking about it? do they make themselves clear? are they onwhere the spectrum of the answer, to the left or right or somewhere sort of in maybe you would see a common sense, middle. they are not too far one way or another. , i think therele is a lot of appetite for hearing progressive ideas. iowa emigrants seem to be looking for that. there are questions about medicare for all, for example. they are searching for progressive answers and solutions from candidates. democrats are looking for somebody who can beat donald
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trump. how are you going to beat donald trump? that is probably not the number one question, but a lot of people are asking that. what is it about you that can beat donald trump? the iowa caucuses have not been great at selecting the next president. in 2016 ted cruz on the caucuses . -- won the caucuses. donald trump was not far behind. rick santorum, john mccain, mitt won republican primaries. barack obama won the democratic caucus, so it is -- sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. it seems the caucuses, their highest function is winnowing the field, if you can't make it here, you're probably not going to make it somewhere else. we talk about tickets out of
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iowa, the top three finishers can move on, and that is not always the case. it is kind of a good rule of thumb, if you don't finish strong in iowa, you probably are not going to be able to maintain a campaign, a winning campaign. winning iowa doesn't mean -- rick santorum did not go on to get the nomination. ted cruz did not go on to get the nomination. winning in iowa does not guarantee the nomination, but it is a sign of organizational strength, that you can put together a campaign that delivers people to the caucuses almost in the same way that you would have to deliver people to the voting booth. it is a good test in that way. for an agendad that creates jobs and protects the environment and provides
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health care for all. >> my name is charlie, and tonight i am here to vote for rick santorum. he is a -- >> at a caucus, it starts out sort of like a meeting people sign in. usually they have a temporary chair who calls things to order. then they elect a permanent chair, and that unlucky person becomes the permanent chair. is a difference between the republican caucuses and democratic. publicans have a stronghold. it can -- republicans have a stronghold. it can happen quickly. they cast their ballot and go home. at the democratic caucus there is a lot more to it. and a candidate
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has to have at least 50% of those present to be viable, and if they are not viable, they can reform preference groups, and if you are in a group for a candidate that is not viable, you can join another one. it used to be you could try to convince people in a viable group to come to your site so you had enough to elect a delegate, but i think they have changed the rules so they are not going to do that. then they select delegates based on the size of those preference groups. it is open to everybody in the party. you have to be registered as a democrat or a republican to participate. .t is not open to independents people sometimes change their restaurant -- registration to participate. expect huge numbers on the republican side, but it possiblyn -- could exceed 2016.
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we will see possibly a couple hundred thousand democrat showing up at the caucuses. it is a big field of candidates, and that would make sense. if everybody brings along a few , it will beporters -- i think anticipation is that it will be a massive turnout. you have to physically be at the caucus to participate. 2020, the democratic party is going to have six virtual coxes to make it more accessible, to shift workers, people who might have trouble getting out, single parents who might not be able to get to a caucus in the evening. they are trying to make it more accessible. my understanding is the virtual
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logon to a will website, andre then the democratic party it -- says it will be run just like a physical caucus will. there will be a permanent chair, and they go through the process of forming preference groups for -- you know, if you are a cori bunker supporter -- cory booker supporter, or a warrant supporter, you get into the preference groups. they measure strength of candidates that way. that will be interesting to caucuses those virtual will select the delegates. how that plays out, how many people participate, and how the advantagetry to take of that. the criticism has been for years i was too old, too white, too
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liberal, and i think all those things hold true. again this cycle. to counter that argument, it is what it is. it gets a lot of attention. first as longain as there is an honest process i think that is key, as long as nationally thinks the candidates are getting a fair shake here and candidates are willing to come here. it is party rules. the party sets the calendar. part of it is tradition, but we have seen the parties at south carolina and the fatah -- and areda, you know, now there four early states.
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shouldn't the states be more representative of the nation as a whole, looking for more voters of color, younger more urban voters, but i think as long -- and i think as long as iowa can do it, one of the things that is overlooked is that anybody can be first. but to do it well takes a lot of work for the state parties. there is a lot of work for them, iowaart of what makes the caucus successful is there are a lot of iowans who have been through this who understand the process, understand what campaigns and candidates mean to be here and to run successful campaigns. underlyinglot of infrastructure that makes iowa, the caucus successful. if you just move that to the next date for years from now, they want to know where to start .
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i think the top finishers in iowa, i wouldn't call it the seal of approval, but it is, somebody has recommended them in a way that you would look for a recommendation for someone you are hiring for a job. in iowa we talk about winnowing the field, sorting the wheat from the chaff, whatever you want to call it. it helps narrow the focus. 17 or 18e had republicans running. this year who knows how many democrats will be running? it helps narrow the field. that is why it is important to finish well. >> are cities staff recently traveled to iowa to learn about its rich history. learn more about cedar rapids and other stops at c-span.org/cities tour.
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you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. >> tragically i had no expectation we would be sitting here in 2019 talking about this war in afghanistan, the way it has been escalated, the way it has escalated every year, the lives that have been wasted and the continual suffering. hoh on his article. it was the same isaiah had seen in iraq as well as when i at the pentagon and state department in between those times. there was no difference in the
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administration's, the desire was to win politically or to win for political reasons, everything else was secondary. eastern, night at 8:00 matthew hoh. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. company --hat your your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. knocked thesewho buildings down will hear all of us soon. c-span's newest book, this provides insight into the lives of 44 american presidents. bye stories gathered interviews with noted historians. explore the life events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced and the legacies they
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have left behind. published by public affairs, "the presidents" will be on shelves april 3. >> sunday night on afterwards georgetown university professor angela stent examines russian foreign policy. she is interviewed by a congresswoman who serves on the house foreign affairs committee. >> are you more optimistic that if we find common ground that you mentioned -- like you mention, that we can be a good partner with russia? popularity has fallen since he was reelected, and public opinion data in russia
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shows the majority of russians don't want stability per they want change. they want a better economic situation. any understand that having this antagonistic relationship to the west is not the way to go if they want to have greater economic growth. atouncer: watch sunday night 9:00 eastern on c-span two. >> we are back now live with coverage from port cedar of the annual abraham link in simple -- abraham lincoln symposium. up, davidkers coming blight on lincoln's relationship with frederick douglass, and michael burlingame on lincoln following his election until his inauguration. the author of
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lincoln's sense of humor. this is live coverage on american history tv on c-span3. >> good morning. i am the former

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