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The Cities - 11/25/23

In this episode of the podcast, the new chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Rita Hart, joins the discussion to talk about the challenges the party faces in rebuilding after Republicans have dominated statewide elections in Iowa. With Democrats holding very few offices, Hart emphasizes the need to roll up sleeves and work on recruiting candidates and effectively communicating with rural voters. She also believes that Republican overreach on social issues like abortion access and school funding could potentially help Democrats gain ground, but acknowledges the powerful advantage of incumbency.

Another topic of discussion is the future of the Iowa caucuses. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has reduced Iowa's role in the presidential nominating process, introducing a mail-in preference card system for the 2024 caucuses instead of in-person meetings. Hart argues that this change will increase participation, but also highlights that it essentially turns the caucuses into a primary, removing the unique in-person element. To maintain its early spot on the calendar, Iowa will have to prove itself again in 2028.

Looking ahead to the 2024 election, Hart acknowledges the potential for more claims of "stop the steal" and unfounded challenges. Democrats are actively working to run strong campaigns and ensure transparency in order to address these challenges. However, there may still be groups that question results they don't like, and it will be crucial for Democrats and election officials to maintain confidence in the electoral process.

Finally, the episode features a musical performance by singer-songwriter Daniel Stradtman and a discussion about his work.