When asked, most attendees at the Michael Franken for U.S. Senate River-to-River rally in Iowa City raised their hands to indicate they had voted early in the June 7 Democratic Primary election. In Johnson County, we like voting early. The River-to-River rallies may be the final hurrah for Franken, although the election is a jump ball between him and Abby Finkenauer. If he wins, he’s ready for the general election campaign. If he doesn’t… well, let’s not talk about that.
It’s an insular crowd in the county seat. When a friend introduced me as a member of the central committee, a woman said she didn’t know all the candidates on the ballot and the Democratic Party should do more to get the word out. I said I would raise the issue at the July meeting, She went to the farmers market to meet candidates. Some of them weren’t there when she was, and she was surprised when their names appeared on the absentee ballot. I suggested doing what I did: look at the sample ballot when published and research the ones where more information was needed. The farmer’s market is not where most county residents go to learn about candidates, I said. She didn’t believe there were any significant number of voters outside Iowa City and everyone should be able to find out about candidates at the farmers market. It takes all kinds to make a Democratic Party.
Present at the rally were political friends made during the run up to the 2008 Iowa Caucus when Democrats fielded eight major candidates and activists got to meet them all if they wanted. I worked Sunday’s rally crowd as time allowed. There were so many with whom to discuss politics and the pent up social longing created by the coronavirus pandemic. It was a picture-perfect day for it.
I’ll support the Democrat who wins the primary election in the general. I’ve had enough face time with Franken to have my issues addressed and some of them incorporated into his stump speech. It is hard to predict what Iowa Democrats will do on Tuesday, yet I’m hoping they pick Michael Franken for U.S. Senate.