Clinton returns to Iowa, eyes victories for Democrats

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DES MOINES — In the wee morning hours of Feb. 2, Hillary Clinton stood on a stage in Des Moines and celebrated a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses.

That victory in Iowa was Clinton’s first step on a history-making journey across the country that concluded with her becoming the first woman to earn a major U.S. political party’s nomination for president.

Today, more than six months after that caucus victory speech, Clinton makes her return to Iowa to hold another campaign rally, this time as the Democratic candidate for president.

Clinton’s national political director Amanda Renteria spoke with the Des Moines Bureau last week about Clinton’s return to the state where it all began and the campaign’s plans for Iowa.

“We kicked it off here. This place is pretty special for us,” Renteria said during an interview in the Clinton campaign’s headquarters in downtown Des Moines.

“It was a big deal to have won that caucus. It’s special for our entire campaign that this is where it all started, and we did it, and we learned a lot from it as well.”

Clinton’s remarks today will focus on the economy, including her proposal for the largest investment in job creation since World War II, according to the campaign.

Renteria said Iowans can expect to see plenty of Clinton and her campaign’s high-profile supporters in the months leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

Most election forecast maps have Iowa marked as a tossup state or leaning slightly toward Clinton.

“We’re under the assumption it will be close all the way through, and we’re under the assumption that we’ve got to make sure that we’re earning every single vote,” Renteria said.

Renteria said it is important to Clinton that Democrats are successful not only in keeping the White House but also in congressional and Statehouse races.

She noted the state Senate races in Iowa, where Democrats cling to a 26-24 majority that if flipped would give Republicans full control of the Capitol.

“If we build the right kind of organization here, and we are, and we’re really coordinating as much as we can, we can make some real headway on what’s happening in the state,” Renteria said.

Renteria said the Clinton campaign is reaching out to leaders in minority communities to engage voters, and she is confident most people who supported U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the closely contested and sometimes contentious primaries will vote for Clinton in November.

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