"Blood in the water": Dems get unexpected opening against Trump in Iowa

Since the start of the year, Democrats in Iowa have added about twice as many active voters to their rolls as Republicans, nudging ahead in total registration for the first time in years. The farm economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. And though Trump still holds a small lead in the state, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, he’s now airing TV advertisements there – a tacit acknowledgment that the campaign anticipates a contest…

Jeff Link, a veteran Iowa-based Democratic strategist who has studied Obama-Trump voters, estimated there are about 200,000 of them in Iowa. Before the caucuses, in which Biden finished a dismal fourth, Link said he cautioned Biden advisers that Biden’s emphasis on returning government to normal following Trump’s presidency would not resonate with these voters.

But in the unrest following Floyd’s death — and in Biden’s calls for police reforms nationally — Link said Biden now “has the opportunity to be the ‘change’ candidate.”

“Remember, his message in the caucus was ‘Let’s bring things back the way they were’ – not really a change message for change voters. But now he can be for reform — let’s reform police, and let’s reform the judicial system and let’s deal with systemic racial prejudice,” Link said. “This whole kind of movement that’s been going on for the past week allows Biden to be the change candidate and puts Trump in the box of being for the status quo.”