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What do Candidate’s need to do to not be a MoM?

Posted: January 28, 2020 | By: Austin Sosbee Tagged: Blog

DES MOINES, Iowa — If you were a senior at Drake University four years ago, you may remember that Governor Martin O’Malley won the caucus held at Drake University. This was the only district that Gov. O’Malley had won, and he was fondly referred to as MoM (Martin O’Malley). However, what happened with Gov. O’Malley, and why did he do so poorly in Iowa?

I think that Gov. O’Malley ran a great retail politics campaign at Drake and that really showed to work for him in the polls and on caucus night at Drake. This begs the question then, if some of the most intelligent people in the Midwest all came together to support Gov. O’Malley, why did his message not translate to the rest of the state?

I think that in a way, Drake is so consumed with politics that sometimes we are almost too naive for our own good. Looking at this election cycle, there was a significant amount of Drake students that were big Senator Cory Booker fans. Is Cory Booker the Gov. O’Malley of the current election cycle? Well, obviously the answer is no, Sen. Booker suspended his campaign before caucus night so we would never know what actually would have transpired in the results.

This begs the question then who is going to capture the hearts of Drake students and who is going to take the Drake University caucus, and who is going to take the state of Iowa? However, the better question is, will they both be the same person this year? I think that largely the answer is uncertain, but if I was going to be a betting man, I would say that they are not going to be the same person.

Drake students are so involved in politics and care about it to such a larger extent than I have found in other communities around Iowa. Therefore, because the average Drake University student, in my opinion, is more educated than the average voter there tends to be a disconnect between who the state picks and who the students at the University pick.

In this caucus cycle, I think that Drake is going to pick Senator Bernie Sanders or Senator Elizabeth Warren. However, I don’t think either of these candidates will win the state because they are arguably too left for the state of Iowa. Iowa is a dynamic state, with “traditional” values that may inhibit their ability to capture the state like the more moderate candidates on the field.

This means that in order for one of the new candidates to avoid being a “MoM”, they are going to have to understand what their message is and how it translates in Iowa. Like I mentioned earlier, Iowa is a swing state but tends to lean right in state bodies, so this means that the further left a candidate aligns, the harder it is to attract moderate and independent people to show up to caucus night. I feel that after attending multiple candidates rallies that there really is not a candidate that is able to swing gracefully between being a true “Progressive” and a true “Moderate”.