June 06

The Weekend Campaign Trail That Includes Motorcycles

Twitter blew up this morning with different media correspondents’ documentation of Senator Joni Ernst riding on her motorcycle for her first ever “Roast and Ride.” While she told Dana Bash that she had no bugs in her mouth but a lot on the windshield, the weekend is a lot more than just a bunch of GOP policy makers, journalists, and future political candidates coming together. It is a chance for the many Republican primary runners to travel to the important election state to rub elbows with the right people, and more importantly, win over a few voters.

Senator Joni Ernst, a first year senator, won a tough election and was the GOP pick to give the annual State of the Union response. The newly elected Senator obviously knows the weight she carries coming from Iowa for the upcoming election, which is why this “Roast and Ride” is getting so much national coverage. Seven presidential candidates, for this reason, have traveled to Boone, Iowa for the event. Senator Rand Paul, however, has decided to take the day visiting different diners in New Hampshire. Probably with the intention to not be outdone by his fellow Republicans he will soon have to battle.

The candidates who flew out to Iowa include Senator Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Senator Lindsey Graham, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Rick Perry, and Governor Scott Walker. Perry led his own motorcycle caravan, while Walker was the only candidate to ride with Ernst. All will give short speeches on a stage, where they will show themselves as down to earth, everyday Americans. The photo opportunities, in rural Iowa in jeans next to motorcycles, are enough of a reason for many to make the trip. But the biggest test, will be rallying up support after the speeches when they interact with Iowans from around the state.

With so many candidates all pushing for the nomination that so far has no clear frontrunner, it is now more important than ever to expand from a set of followers, and stand out against the growing number of other potential nominees. As it gets closer to August, where the first Iowa straw poll will take place, we can expect many other candidate visits to Iowa. For many, this weekend will be their first chance to truly break away and leave a lasting impact on voters.