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Full Grassley

The term “full Grassley” is a presidential campaign strategy where a candidate visits all 99 counties in the state of Iowa.

This strategy is named after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who was known for his commitment to visiting every county in Iowa every year.

As Grassley wrote in the Des Moines Register:

My 99 county meetings originated as a way for me to hold myself accountable and keep in touch with “We the People.” As a United States senator for Iowa, I’m one-half of representative government. Iowans are the other half.

Throughout four decades listening to people who’ve attended 4,000 or so county meetings — I reach many counties more than once a year — I can vouch Iowans are well-informed and have a lot on their minds. 2020 is no exception.

The concept has become a notable part of the Iowa caucuses, which are traditionally the first major electoral event in the nomination process for both the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Iowa caucuses serve as an early indicator of a candidate’s appeal and viability, and performing well in Iowa can generate momentum and media attention that benefits a candidate in subsequent primaries and caucuses.

Given this context, the “full Grassley” is seen as a way for presidential candidates to demonstrate their commitment to grassroots campaigning and to connect with voters in a more personal and direct manner.

The strategy also signals to voters that the candidate values each vote and is willing to put in the effort to earn their support.

The “full Grassley” is particularly popular among lesser-known or underfunded candidates who might not have the resources for large-scale advertising campaigns or who seek to distinguish themselves through a strong ground game.

It’s a way to build a grassroots network of support, garner local media coverage, and create a narrative of being a hardworking, dedicated candidate who is in touch with the everyday concerns of voters.

Use of “Full Grassley” in a sentence

  • During her bid for the presidency, the candidate achieved the “full Grassley,” impressively visiting all 99 counties in Iowa to engage with voters and understand their concerns firsthand.
  • The campaign team decided that pursuing the “full Grassley” would be crucial for gaining grassroots support in Iowa, especially in rural areas often overlooked by other candidates.
  • While the “full Grassley” approach was time-consuming and resource-intensive, it significantly boosted the candidate’s profile among Iowa voters, demonstrating a deep commitment to local issues and personal voter engagement.