politics

Both Democratic and GOP Chairs: Iowans Are With Us

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The Iowa caucus is still six months away and Democrats are already working hard to get the state to return to their side of the aisle.
"Iowa is the quintessential purple state," Troy Price, the chair of the state's Democratic party, told Cheddar. "There are a lot of swing voters in this state and that is who we are talking to."
The party has already begun employing organizers this year — the earliest it has started hiring for any election cycle in a decade, according to Price.
Democratic primary contenders also have their eyes set on re-taking the state, with several showing up to woo voters, and taste an array of carnival snacks, at the closely-watched Iowa State Fair.
Iowa voters helped elect President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but flipped in 2016 with President Trump getting just over 50 percent of votes. However, Price said he is confident the state will be blue again in 2020.
"As we go through this process, we are going to see more and more people coming to our side," he said. "And not just Democrats coming out to the caucuses but Independent and even Republicans."
Yet the confidence is equally strong within the Republican Party.
Jeff Kaufmann, the GOP's Iowa chairman, said that while the "climate was good for Democrats" in 2008 and 2012, Iowans remain steadfast Republicans and Trump supporters.
"People were fed up with Democrats and Republicans for not keeping their promises," Kaufmann told Cheddar regarding the state's embrace of Trump in the general election. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, however, won the state's primary caucus in 2016.
Aside from being the first state in the nation to select a presidential nominee, Iowa has also been at the center of recent political discourse over the U.S.-China trade war. Farmers in the agriculture-heavy state have taken a big hit as China announced it was cutting off produce imports.
Late last month, the Department of Agriculture announced a $16 billion aid package for farmers nationwide to help offset the losses.
The relief plan will "ensure farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. The announcement follows another $12 billion assistance program implemented last year.
Iowa farmers "don't want bailouts, they want to trade," Price told Cheddar. "They want to have the ability to sell their products."
Yet Kaufmann — a self described "seventh generation Iowa farm boy" — claimed that farmers are not abandoning the president and are willing to endure the hardships in the near future.
"For the short-term pain that the tariffs are causing ... that is a firecracker compared to the atomic bomb of the Green New Deal," Kaufmann said, invoking a lesser-of-two-evils argument in reference to the Demcoratic proposal to overhaul the U.S. economy in order to combat climate change.
Price, meanwhile, stressed that Democrats will secure "a trade deal that's going to be able to protect our country, protect our workers, and protect our farmers."
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