Pete D’Alessandro Launches 3rd District Bid

In what could easily become the most interesting 2018 campaign to watch, Pete D’Alessandro filed papers today to form an exploratory committee for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. D’Alessandro is a longtime Iowa political operative, with a resume that includes prominent campaign positions for Tom Vilsack, Chet Culver and Leonard Boswell. His most notable recent role was Bernie Sanders’ state coordinator for the Iowa Caucus. The winner of the Democratic primary will face two-term Republican David Young in a swing district that covers Des Moines and Southwest Iowa. D’Alessandro remains well-connected with the national Sanders and Our Revolution operations, and has been […]

Mike Sherzan Bows Out Of 3rd District Race

Democratic candidate Mike Sherzan is shutting down his recently-launched campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Sherzan came in second place in Democrats’ primary in 2016, and had hoped to use lessons learned from that bid to better-position himself for the primary, as well as a general election matchup with Republican David Young. But fundraising concerns and personal issues caused him to pull the plug early. “I am exiting this race because I have recently come to the conclusion that conducting the type of campaign I am comfortable with would require substantial financial self-funding, and that’s not how this process should work,” […]

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 […]

Oops: Group Runs Ad Thanking David Young For Vote That Didn’t Happen

Central Iowa viewers watching the NCAA tournament last night may have been a wee bit confused when they saw a TV ad congratulating David Young for a vote he didn’t take on a bill he didn’t support. Deadspin found the humorous mixup made by the conservative American Action Network PAC, which somehow ran a number of ads thanking Republican members of Congress for supporting Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill. The legislation was dramatically pulled from a vote Friday afternoon after Ryan decided he didn’t have enough support to pass it, and the White House announced they were moving on from healthcare reform. “Thank […]

Democrats’ 3rd District Field Developing For 2018

Despite his comfortable victory in 2016, Democrats are eager to take another shot at Republican Congressman David Young. The Des Moines, Council Bluffs and Southwest Iowa-based district was won by Donald Trump 48.5% to 45%, but the recent Iowa Poll showed Trump’s approval in the Des Moines area at a miserable 31%. Young faced a rowdy town hall meeting last week where attendees were rather unhappy with many of the second-term Congressman’s answers, even on some where he gave off a more moderate reply. Starting Line hears that retired businessman Mike Sherzan has been planning another run for the Democratic nomination […]

Jim Mowrer Closes Out Campaign Emphasizing Veteran Record

As Jim Mowrer closes out his campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, he’s getting some help from fellow veterans who have made the journey from soldier to statesman. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War veteran, joined Mowrer at events in Central Iowa this week. The central part of Mowrer’s candidacy has always been his service in the military in Iraq and then back at the Pentagon. Most polls have shown Mowrer trailing incumbent Republican David Young. But a Loras Poll yesterday pegged 17% of voters as undecided, with Young still up five. With that many undecided, there’s a […]

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 […]

New Iowa Registration Numbers Post-Primary And What They Mean

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office released this morning the updated registration totals for July, which are the first to show major shifts from the June 6 primary. Overall, Republicans saw the largest registration gain, adding 10,094 voters to their rolls while Democrats had 4,823 new registrants. No Party totals dropped by 9,499. Those top-lines are pretty good for Republicans, but lets take a deeper look to see why registration levels changed and where. As before with the early vote numbers, you can take a look at the spreadsheets I threw together if you want to play around with it […]

Digging Into Iowa Primary Numbers To See How Voters Make Their Decisions

Before we move completely on the general election, let’s take one last look at some of the specific numbers from last week’s Iowa primary. For a website like Starting Line, we love having numbers to pore over and didn’t want to move on before examining a few more interesting trends. One thing I think you can discover in these numbers is how voters make their decisions in little-publicized, low-turnout elections. For many of the Iowa primary races, press coverage was limited to a handful of news articles and campaigns didn’t spend nearly as much on advertising as will happen in […]

Youth Movement: Democrats Turn To Younger Candidates In Primary

For years Democrats in Iowa have bemoaned the lack of younger elected leaders within the party. While 13 Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are 40 years old or younger, only 4 Democrats are. That’s led to some concern about who will lead the party into the future. After last week’s primary, however, a new crop of young Democratic candidates emerged from their elections. Some are certain to be serving in the Legislature next year, others were selected to carry the party’s banner in must-win swing seats. There’s still a long way to go for Iowa Democrats to fully build up a new […]