Iowa Diary

Washington Post reporter Holly Bailey is taking you across Iowa this month with a daily dispatch from the state
(Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)
(Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

The Dubuque County chair did everything he could to prepare for caucuses. Then it all blew up.

“My nightmare was that this would be an embarrassment to our state,” he said. “I am just feeling very frustrated.”

What happens when 4 Democratic candidates come to your city? There’s nowhere to park.

On Saturday, all the top-polling candidates made their way to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for dueling events.
  • Feb 3, 2020

This Iowa voter fell in love with Cory Booker. Now he’s out of the race, and she’s lost.

“I hadn’t realized how much of my life was wrapped up in the campaign until it was over,” she said.
  • Feb 2, 2020

The Iowa town where husbands won’t even tell their wives who they’re caucusing for

Ottumwa has drawn heavy attention from the candidates. But organizing has been especially hard this election season because voters just don't want to talk about politics.
  • Jan 31, 2020

Days before Iowa, the Warren campaign brings out a key surrogate: Her dog

Technically, the event in Waterloo was a meet and greet with Warren’s husband. But it was Bailey who drew a long line of Warren supporters for selfies with the golden retriever.
  • Jan 29, 2020

The nuns who could help Biden win Iowa

The Biden family has been wooing the sisters in Dubuque with cookies and ice cream. Will they turn out for him?
  • Jan 28, 2020
  • Jan. 24

Warren’s team will go extra mile to help her win, including painting giant farm signs

“This is what the Iowa caucus demands,” Warren’s rural outreach coordinator said. “We’re going to get creative.”
  • Jan 24, 2020
  • Jan. 22

What Pete Buttigieg learned organizing for Obama in Iowa: ‘You can reach people.’ And wear boots.

In 2008, he and two friends knocked on doors in some of the state’s poorest, most conservative towns. It was an experience that resonates as he runs in 2020.
  • Jan 23, 2020
Jan. 20

Amy Klobuchar desperately wants an Iowa moment. Impeachment is getting in the way.

The senator from Minnesota told voters she would rather be campaigning than heading to Washington just as she's catching on here.
  • Jan 20, 2020
Jan. 17

In Iowa, the spotlight is on Democrats. The Trump campaign is trying to change that.

“They told us this was all Democrats, but I think y’all have something different to say,” Lara Trump told a crowd of about 500 in Des Moines.
  • Jan 17, 2020
Jan. 16

Jill Biden tries to close the deal for her husband, one tiny Iowa town at a time

Biden has been wooing nervous voters with frank talk and offers to answer more questions over email.
  • Jan 16, 2020
Jan. 15

How a Sanders debate-watch party reacted to Warren’s attacks

They clapped and cheered for Elizabeth Warren as if she was their chosen candidate, until they didn’t.
  • Jan 15, 2020
Jan. 14

Andrew Yang, shut out of tonight’s debate, hosts a pre-debate rally with MATH pins and birthday cake

The candidate, who is drawing enthusiasm and big crowds, says his campaign will ‘shock the world’ at the Iowa caucuses.
  • Jan 14, 2020
Jan. 13

What the Buttigieg campaign tells its caucus volunteers: ‘We’ve got to be nice’ and ‘embody Pete’

The former mayor’s organizers are urging their precinct captains to be helpful, warm and persuasive.
  • Jan 13, 2020
Jan. 10

John Kerry is back in Iowa, and he’s feeling nostalgic

The former Democratic presidential candidate was stumping for Biden and reflecting on his own time on the trail.
  • Jan 10, 2020
Jan. 9

In Dubuque, voters can’t escape the campaign, even at their favorite bars

The running joke about Iowa ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses is that you often can’t walk a few feet without bumping into a presidential candidate.
  • Jan 9, 2020