So far, the only Democrats making great strides in visiting early primary states has been former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), and former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD). It now appears both men are gearing up their focus on Iowa and plan to spend a lot of time in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
Report from CNN:
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will head to the first-in-the-nation caucus state Thursday as part of a multi-day trip for the prospective candidates. The two had committed to headlining a Polk County Democrats Awards Dinner earlier this year, but in the face of an imminent Clinton announcement — and the fact they are still exploring bids — both Webb and O’Malley beefed up their schedules in Iowa.
Webb will spend four days in the state, headlining a total of six events that range from a small meet and greet at a local library to a speech to a local Vietnamese group in Des Moines.
O’Malley’s busiest day in Iowa is Thursday, when the former governor will speak at a fundraiser for Iowa House Rep. Scott Ourth at a winery in Indianola and headline an event for the Central Iowa Democrats for Action in Des Moines. The invite to the later event, which will be held a Cooney’s Tavern, highlights O’Malley’s “strong progressive record in the state of Maryland.”
On Friday, the governor will headline the the Polk County Democratic dinner.
This week’s trip to Iowa will be Webb’s first of 2015, but O’Malley has been a staple at Democratic events in the state for much of the last year. The governor visited Iowa last month, where he crisscrossed the state for events and meetings with Democratic voters and supporters.
Although Webb, a Southern Democrat vying to connect with the white working class of his party, and O’Malley, a progressive executive vying for the left of the party, are politically different, they both find themselves in similar 2016 situations.
As noted, Webb and O’Malley are playing to different factions of the Democratic base. Webb, with his credentials as a more moderate Democrat, with his time serving as President Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy, is appealing to the “Reagan democrat” voters in rural America. O’Malley, on the other hand, with his roots in Maryland politics, is running a more progressive campaign appealing to the left of Hillary Clinton.