/Iowa caucus day: Live highlights and updates – POLITICO

Iowa caucus day: Live highlights and updates – POLITICO

We’ll be tracking all the news and key moments on Iowa’s caucus day, and our team of reporters on the ground here will keep you posted on what’s happening Monday in the first early state to vote.

Check back throughout the day as we update this story with news reports, video and photos from the campaign trail.

10:10 a.m.

Bloomberg’s campaign: No regrets about skipping Iowa

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaign manager said Monday morning that he was making the right call to not campaign in Iowa, arguing that Trump is likely to win the state in November regardless.

“We’ve had a process since 1976, Iowa and New Hampshire have chosen our nominees. It’s produced some great presidents. It may well contribute this cycle to helping elect the president,” said Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, in an interview with MSNBC.

But Sheekey said it was a “hard truth” for voters in states like Iowa and New Hampshire that Bloomberg has focused his resources on states that are likelier to decide the election, like Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

While Sheekey said he hopes the campaign’s dismissal of early states in favor of Super Tuesday states doesn’t offend voters there, “quite frankly, I think every Democrat in Java Joe’s or across the state agrees with Mike Bloomberg that the most important thing we can do in November is remove Donald Trump from the White House,” he said.

-Caitlin Oprysko

9:45 a.m.

Bennet looking past Iowa

Underdog Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said he needs to place in the top three in New Hampshire, having largely left Iowa behind in the run-up to the caucuses due to a lack of resources.

“We’re working hard up there. I wish I were in Iowa,” Bennet said on MSNBC Monday morning. “…We just didn’t have the resources to compete in that wonderful state, so I’m in the middle of 50 town halls across the state of New Hampshire.”

Bennet has been in New Hampshire more than any other candidate since December, and he’ll maintain his efforts in the state through the Feb. 11 primary.

And when asked how a self-described democratic socialist nominee like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) might impact the Democratic Party in November, Bennet said it would make it “harder” for the party to succeed.

“When I travel Iowa and New Hampshire, what I hear people say, their number one objective is to beat Donald Trump,” Bennet said. “To do that, I think we need somebody that can win not just in deep blue states but purple states across the country.”

-Myah Ward

8:27 a.m.

Klobuchar heading to New Hampshire no matter what

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Monday that there is “no scenario” where her campaign does not continue on to New Hampshire’s primary contest next week, regardless of where she finishes in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

“There’s no scenario where I don’t go on,” she said in an interview Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Klobuchar cited endorsements she’s racked up in New Hampshire, the first primary state, which include members of the state legislature’s leadership as well as the editorial boards of the three biggest newspapers in the state.

Klobuchar has consistently polled behind the fluid top tier of Democrats in the crowded primary field, but nevertheless has slowly risen in the polls in recent months as primary season drew closer and as the Democratic field winnowed. The Minnesota senator has repeatedly touted her electability relative to other 2020 Democrats, casting herself as a pragmatic, moderate choice.

-Caitlin Oprysko