All eyes on Iowa, ag issues in campaigns

All eyes on Iowa, ag issues in campaigns

In less than a month the 2016 presidential caucuses and primaries will begin. All eyes will be on Iowa who holds the first presidential caucus on Feb. 1.

The Iowa caucus is usually the only time that agriculture policy is discussed in any detail during the presidential caucuses and primaries. A key question will be if agriculture plays a role in the outcome of the Iowa caucus. There has already been a growing difference between the two Republican front-runners, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, over ethanol.

Trump has stated his support for the current renewable fuels/ethanol policy and has been attacking Cruz for his opposition to the Renewable Fuels Standard and ethanol. An ethanol advocacy group, America’s Renewable, has rated the candidates based on their support for renewable fuels and ethanol. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Gov. Martin O’Malley all received the highest rating of “good”.

Republican candidates rated “good” were Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Chris Christie. Candidates rated as “need work” were Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich. Those rated as “bad” were Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Rand Paul.

The latest Iowa polls show Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders 50-37%. On the Republican side it is very close with polls showing Ted Cruz leading Donald Trump 30-27.5%. The Iowa caucus will be followed by the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9; Nevada Democratic caucus and South Carolina Republican caucus on Feb. 20; Nevada Republican caucus on Feb. 23; and South Carolina Democratic primary on Feb. 27. 

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