Kaye Taylor is an account associate at LS2group and is an undecided Democratic caucus voter. Kaye previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
This week in Des Moines, Iowa, CNN reporter Jake Tapper empathetically stated the Iowa Caucuses have officially begun – a full year before the actual date – to an excited crowd with hopes this is the start of getting someone new in the White House. The room was filled with Iowans who braved the freezing temperatures to hear newly-announced presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, a Democratic Senator from California, speak about why she believes she is the best candidate to lead our nation.
While it was Senator Harris’ first official appearance as a presidential candidate, I was impressed by how smart and thoughtful she was when answering tough questions. She was warm to the crowd, easily relatable, and stood out as a strong, smart woman who is ready to make history.
It may have been Senator Harris’ first visit to Iowa as a candidate, but she is not the first 2020 presidential hopeful to visit the first-in-the-nation caucus state. As Iowans, we all know too well how crazy, and how long, the caucus season can be. With at least 10 Democratic presidential hopefuls already in the race, candidates really need to make sure they set themselves apart from the rest of crowd. The caucus is still more than a year away, and Iowans will get countless more opportunities to meet those vying for the nation’s top job.
Iowans take this job seriously. Many Iowans won’t even make a decision on which candidate they are caucusing for until they have met every single hopeful face-to-face. There will be town halls, meet and greets, roundtables, and press conferences in each of Iowa’s 99 counties over the next year. There will be some days in which more than one presidential candidate is in the state, or even in the same town.
This gives Iowans an opportunity that many other Americans don’t have. Whether we’re from Iowa’s urban centers or rural corners, we are lucky to kick off the nomination process on who we believe is the best fit to become the next leader of the free world. This is why I will be attending events, meeting candidates, and asking them the tough questions. It is not often that business and political leaders, such as those running for president, are so easily accessible to voters.
And it is also far too early to make any sort of prediction as to who is going to win over Iowa caucus-goers and who will be the party’s nominee to challenge President Donald Trump (because let’s face it, there will likely be more than 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls by the time we get to the 2020 Iowa Caucus). Luckily, Iowans will have plenty of opportunities to meet these candidates face-to-face, ask them about their priorities, and choose the candidate who is best for the job. I encourage Iowans to take these opportunities. Be open-minded. And most importantly, choose wisely.