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updated: 9/30/2017 3:25 PM

The Latest: Democrat says party at fault for heartland loss

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  • U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, puts his apron on before working the grill at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

    U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, puts his apron on before working the grill at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.
    Associated Press

 
 

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Latest on Iowa Democrats (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A House Democrat seen as a rising star says the party is to blame for allowing President Donald Trump to claim voters in reliably Democratic territory.

Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio told Democrats at a fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday that those voters don't think Democrats are with them anymore and don't listen to them.

Another House Democrat at the gathering, Illinois' Cheri Bustos, says the election shows that the party lost touch with small-town America.

Iowa Democrats sent progressive Tom Harkin to the Senate for 30 years and twice delivered the state for Barack Obama. Today, they are powerless in the House, Senate and statehouse, and remain stunned by Trump's solid victory in the state last year.

Ahead of the 2020 election, state Democrats are feeling pressure to recoup the working-class voters who marched with Trump.

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11:45 p.m.

A Democratic congressman weighing a 2020 presidential campaign has some ideas about how his party can better compete in closely contested states that Republicans have begun to control.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is in Iowa, as the keynote speaker at a Democratic Party picnic in Des Moines on Saturday. He is urging his party to present a simple, economic message that appeals across race, religion and region.

He says "it starts with letting these working-class people know that we see them, we hear them and we know what they are going through, and we have a plan."

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton are also speaking at the Polk County Democratic Party picnic.

As in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump also won, Democrats in Iowa have been overtaken by Republicans in Congress and the statehouse.

This is Ryan's second trip to Iowa this year. Iowa is scheduled to hold the leadoff presidential caucuses in 2020.

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3 a.m.

In less than a decade, Iowa Democrats have gone from being in charge to almost irrelevant.

Democrats sent progressive Tom Harkin to the Senate for 30 years and they twice delivered the state for Barack Obama.

Today, Democrats are powerless in the House, Senate and Iowa Statehouse, and they're still stunned by President Donald Trump's solid Iowa victory last year.

It may be a familiar story across the upper Midwest. But the pressure on Iowa Democrats to recoup the working-class voters who marched with Trump is more intense.

That's because they're charged with setting the tone in a little more than two years for the party's presidential nomination.

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