Politics

Iowa’s 85th General Assembly convenes in Des Moines at the state capitol Monday. We take this hour to check in with a few of the state’s representatives and senators and ask what is on their agendas for the 2012 session. In the first half, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Representatives Josh Byrnes from Osage and Tom Sands from Columbus Junction. Then in the second half, we'll hear from Senators Matt McCoy from Des Moines, Randy Feenstra from Hull and Rob Hogg from Cedar Rapids.

Who won? Who lost? And what were the biggest surprises of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses? Ben is joined by Drake University Political Scientist Dennis Goldford for complete analysis of Tuesday's first-in-the-nation votes. New Hampshire political analyst Arnie Arnesen joins the conversation to preview the New Hampshire Primaries.

Caucus 2012 Special

Jan 2, 2012

On caucus day, we listen to a special event recorded Monday night at the Iowa State Historical Building in Des Moines co-hosted by Iowa Public Radio's Jonathan Ahl and Minnesota Public Radio's Kerri Miller. The discussion will feature complete caucus analysis from political scientists Tim Hagle from the University of Iowa and Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa.

Do inspirational words of the past fit into the politics of today? We attempt to answer that question by examining some of the most influential presidential campaign speeches of the 20th century. Ben's guest is Michael Cohen, whose book Live from the Campaign Trail brings to life the words that have shaped American politics over the last century.  Consultant Jim Anderson joins the conversation to reveal the science of successful speech writing.

In the final hours before the caucuses, we touch base with Iowa Public Radio reporters across the state covering the candidates. Political Science professors Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Bruce Nesmith of Coe College join the discussion to examine last-minute polling prior to Tuesday's first-in-the-nation votes.

Jaime Vargas / The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism

As candidates for President continue to criss-cross Iowa, they are often delivering stump speeches that are very carefully crafted to use just the right words. But how those words are delivered can be just as important as the words they include.

Emily Woodbury, a talk show producer for Iowa Public Radio, worked with communication experts and political operatives to analyze the speech patterns of some of the candidates for the G-O-P nomination for president.

One of the drawbacks to living in the first-voting state is those automated phone messages known as “robocalls", and it’s not just pollsters and presidential contenders on the other line. Robocalls are now a staple of local elections too – and they’re not always civil.  Iowa’s Attorney General is investigating one particularly nasty example from this month’s special election. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports, robocall regulations are all too easy to subvert.

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