What To Watch For In Today’s Iowa Primaries

It’s primary day in Iowa! Polls are open until 9:00PM, and campaigns are going all-out today to get their identified supporters to the polls. What should Iowa politics watchers keep their eye on tonight? Starting Line has a few suggestions below. You can also watch myself and The Iowa Republican’s Craig Robinson do live commentary on the results tonight with the ABC 5/WOI team. We’ll be covering the results on The CW Channel (Channel 9 in Des Moines, I believe), then on Channel 5 during their 10:00 newscast. Make sure to tune in for some good, informed analysis!   Iowa Senate In […]

A Day On The Trail With Monica Vernon

Monica Vernon’s Memorial Day started like many other Iowans: doing a little bit of yard work. She picked several pink peonies from her garden to fill a vase to welcome home her youngest daughter, Eleanor, flying in later in the day. That was about all there was time for, though, as her campaign manager arrived to her Cedar Rapids house around 7:15 AM, lattes in hand, to head out for a morning of campaigning. Middle daughter Frances, also visiting home during Memorial Day, offered to drive. Vernon has centered much of her second run for the 1st Congressional District around her […]

Another Look At Updated Early Vote Numbers For The Primary

With just two weeks left before Iowa’s primary elections on June 7, let’s take another look at the early vote totals across the state. A lot has changed since we first discussed the numbers three weeks ago. The Secretary of State’s office is posting these totals regularly now, so you can always go check yourself on their website. Also, here’s the useful list of candidates running. One caveat for the numbers I’m posting here – you’ll note that in some places the return rate of absentee ballots is very low. My guess in most of these cases is that those are areas […]

EMILY’s List Ad Nearly Word-For-Word From Monica Vernon’s “Action Alert”

  Monica Vernon is getting some help in her campaign for the Democrats’ 1st District nomination. EMILY’s List, which has endorsed Vernon, is running a new ad under part of their Women Vote Project that looks to elect pro-choice female candidates. Women Vote is organized as a Super PAC, so it can’t coordinate with an official campaign. However, the transcript for the ad is nearly word-for-word from a specific section near the bottom of  Vernon’s website labeled “Democratic Action Alert.” Here’s the ad from Women Vote: This is my transcript from it: Democrat Monica Vernon: She knows seniors have paid […]

What Early Voting Numbers May Say About Iowa’s Primary Races

Early voting in Iowa’s June 7th primary has now been underway for a week. Iowans can vote in person at their county auditor’s office or by an absentee ballot at home. The number of those absentees are always a very interesting thing to track (especially to this former field staffer). It’s one of the only public numbers you can get that gives a neutral observer a look into the campaigns. They can tell you a lot about where the excitement is around the state for certain races and which campaigns may be well-organized, hitting the pavement to get requests and collect […]

A Day On The Trail With Pat Murphy

Iowa Starting Line will be doing a series of posts where we follow along a major primary candidate for most of a day as they campaign. We hope it gives a different, unique look into who the man or woman running for office is, beyond just their stump speeches and debate points. We followed Pat Murphy for a day the weekend before last: Pat Murphy began his Saturday early in the morning, serving up a hot meal to the needy at 7:30 AM at the Labor Harvest food shelter near downtown Dubuque. It’s a volunteer service he’s done for over […]

At Forums Democrats Spar Over Labels In 1st District, Mostly Agree In 3rd District

Tornadoes to the southwest of Des Moines threatened to cut short the 3rd District Democrats’ forum in Johnston on Wednesday night, but the candidates in the room were at least all blowing in the same direction on policy issues. Meanwhile, the 1st District forum proved a much stormier affair with Pat Murphy constantly pressing Monica Vernon on her past Republican Party affiliation. The difference in tone and discussion was sharp between the 1st and 3rd candidates. It was clear there’s some real animosity between the two 1st District rivals who battled in the 2014 primary as well. The 3rd District […]

Monica Vernon and Jim Mowrer Outraise Incumbents Rod Blum and David Young

Iowa looks to play an important role in control over the U.S. House of Representatives this November. If 2016’s 1st Quarter fundraising reports are any indication, Republicans face some real problems in the Hawkeye State. Iowa’s two most-vulnerable incumbents, Republican first-termers Rod Blum and David Young put up smaller fundraising totals than some of their potential Democratic opponents. In Iowa’s 1st District, Monica Vernon reported raising $335,052 in the 1st Quarter. Blum raised $292,991 this quarter. This marks the fourth quarter in a row that Vernon has outraised Blum. The incumbent Republican still enjoys a cash-on-hand advantage of $1,273,400 to Vernon’s $774,631, […]

Rod Blum Wishes A Recession On A Major American City

  Most politicians typically advocate for more jobs and economic development. Unless you’re Rod Blum, apparently. The Iowa Congressman from the 1st District set off a small firestorm of controversy and criticism on Tuesday evening when he tweeted out from his personal account that he hoped the city of Washington D.C. would suffer an economic recession. Why would he wish such a thing on American people? Because apparently he was upset by some construction cranes he saw in the D.C. area, and figured that economic success there was bad and only caused by misspent taxpayer dollars. There’s more than one problem […]

Debates Nixed; Get It Together, 1st District Democrats

A week ago it was reported that the 1st District Democrats central committee had scheduled five forums for the three Democratic Congressional candidates. Now? No more, though maybe still one, as the committee announced yesterday morning they would be cancelling the forums due to “scheduling conflicts.” Few in the 1st District is very happy about the cancellations and campaigns signaled frustration with the process. After speaking with numerous activists and campaign contacts in the 1st District, it appears communications problems and internal disagreements caused those attempting to organize the events to decide it was too much of a hassle. “There […]