New Ranking Report Push Iowa Congressional Seats To The Right

The Cook Political Report unveiled its new Partisan Voting Index scores for the nation’s congressional seats, and it’s all bad news for Iowa Democrats. Typically, Cook’s ratings change little year-to-year, but the shifting voter loyalties resulting from Donald Trump’s campaign upended the formula. Three of Iowa’s four congressional districts have moved significantly to the right in the new report. Here’s the updated numbers: Incumbent 2017 Previous CD 1 Blum D+1 D+5 CD 2 Loebsack D+1 D+4 CD 3 Young R+1 Even CD 4 King R+11 R+5 The two Eastern Iowa districts that were once Democratic-leaning (even with Rod Blum carrying the 1st […]

Four Potential Republican Challengers To Dave Loebsack In 2018

Republicans may have wished they’d had a better-funded 2nd District candidate in 2016 when Donald Trump won the Democratic-leaning seat held by Dave Loebsack. The six-term Democrat has weathered every difficult year in Iowa politics and remains in a good position heading into 2018. But that won’t keep serious GOP candidates from taking a close look at challenging Loebsack in the hopes that Southeast Iowa continues to trend toward Republicans. The rumor mill is already churning over who might launch a campaign. Here’s the names Starting Line is hearing: Jeff Kaufmann, Chair of Republican Party of Iowa Kaufmann’s name has been tossed […]

Dave Loebsack Named As A Top Defend District For Democrats In 2018

The best chance for Democrats to stop President Donald Trump’s agenda is to retake the U.S. House in 2018. To do that they’ll have to pick up about two dozen seats, as well as not lose any. Here in Iowa, a top priority will be protecting Iowa’s 2nd District and Congressman Dave Loebsack. If Democrats can’t hold onto well-known legislators like Loebsack, they’ll have little hope for a national take-back. The six-term Democrat was named this week to the DCCC’s Frontline program, their short list of the Democrats’ top defend districts heading into 2018. “This program gives Democratic members additional […]

How Dave Loebsack Beat The Trump Bump

Guest post from Grant Gregory In the 2016 presidential elections, Iowa shifted away from Democrats more than any other swing state in the country, realizing a total margin shift of 15.2%. This shift yielded large losses for Democrats down the ballot as well – Democrats in Iowa’s 1st District, 3rd District, and state legislative races across the state failed to secure victories. Interestingly, Dave Loebsack of Iowa’s 2nd District managed to defy odds and secure a win despite his district voting for Donald Trump by 4 points, a margin wider than both Iowa’s 1st and 3rd Districts. Loebsack performed so […]

Dave Loebsack Barnstorming For Down-Ballot Democrats

When the dust settled from the 2014 election that devastated Democrats, Congressman Dave Loebsack was the last man standing for the party on the federal level. Many wondered at the time whether he’d step up in a new leadership role for the state party, one that had typically been taken on by other top Democrats during Loebsack’s ten years in Congress. The answer during the 2016 cycle appears to be yes. Loebsack held a number of fundraisers for down-ballot legislative candidates like Liz Mathis last year, and then really ramped up his efforts after drawing a weak opponent for the general. When […]

Iowa GOP’s Congressional Candidate Peters Ditches Trump

Dr. Christopher Peters, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district, is announcing today that he will not vote for Donald Trump for president. His decision comes after the release of Trump’s 2005 comments where he bragged about sexually assaulting women. Peters will “abstain from voting in the presidential election,” according to his press release this morning. “A large number of former and current Republican politicians have now disavowed Trump,” Peters says in a column he’s publishing today. “All of them have far more political clout than I do, and to be honest, I don’t think people should care so […]

A Look At Iowa Candidates’ Messages Before Post-Labor Day Sprint

The Iowa State Fair has come and gone, with another year of political candidate visits in the books. Starting Line attended nearly all the of the Soapbox speeches hosted by the Des Moines Register, but got a little distracted with fair food afterward and I didn’t write them up right away. Instead, let’s do a review of the Iowa candidates’ speeches, which are still quite relevant as each perfectly encapsulated where the candidate is at in their race. It will be interesting to watch how their pitch changes post-Labor Day as we move ever closer to early voting. None of the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]