Total Jabroni Launches Campaign, Will Probably Skip Iowa

Chris Christie officially kicked-off his campaign today, branding himself as the “Telling It Like It Is” candidate. A Governor who’s built a following based on his charisma and combative personality, Christie becomes the 14th official Republican candidate in the race. He hopes his tough-talking persona will win over Republicans wanting someone with a little more toughness in the Oval Office, but it may be rubbing some the wrong way as his star has significantly fallen in recent years. There’s also plenty of signs that competing in the Iowa Caucus won’t be high on his list of priorities. He’s skipped nearly […]

Pat Murphy Strongly Considering 1st District Rematch, Sources Say

Starting Line has spoken to nearly a dozen sources in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District and statewide insiders who report that Pat Murphy is still strongly considering another run for Congress, and is more likely than not to jump in the race. The former Speaker of the Iowa House, Murphy won a five-way Democratic primary in 2014, but came up about 7,000 votes short in the general election that saw wealthy businessman Rod Blum win 51% of the vote. 2014 was already a terrible national year for Democrats, and Bruce Braley’s lackluster campaign certainly didn’t help anyone else on the ticket. […]

The Backlash Is Coming: Which Republican Will Capture It?

It was a tough week for conservatives in America. They saw the Supreme Court give decisive victories on issues they’ve fought against with the gay marriage and Obamacare rulings. And while no major Republican leaders came to the defense of the Confederate flag, plenty of conservatives in the South will see the quick abandonment of it as an attack on their heritage. So to say that many rank-and-file conservative voters are in a state of shock after last week would be an understatement. Just a few presidential cycles ago, Republicans were using anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives to help defeat Democrats. […]

Monday Power Ranking: State Senate Races

Once again, Iowa Democrats enter another campaign cycle in which their majority in the State Senate, their last bastion of power in state government, holds on by a 26-24 margin. Democrats can’t afford to lose a single seat, or if so, they must pick up another seat elsewhere in a tough district. The difference between Iowa becoming an all-Republican governed state comes down to a handful of local legislative races in districts of only about 60,000 people each. So let’s take a look ahead to these important looming campaigns. And a note on the rankings – this far out, with […]

Final Straw Poll Thoughts: How Minnesota Killed It

Minnesotans Killed Our Straw Poll. Were they Just Jealous? For thirty odd years, the Iowa GOP held a straw poll the summer before a presidential caucus. Voters could travel to Ames, buy a ticket and vote for their favorite candidate. Lots of merriment was had in the carnival like atmosphere, and by the end of the day a winner, who may or may not have had the legs to go the distance to the actual nomination, emerged. In 2011, Minnesota’s Michelle Bachmann won the Straw Poll. A few days later her campaign began to crumble, the national establishment branded her […]

Why Not Some Democrat-Republican Debates In The Primary?

Imagine Donald Trump squaring off 20 feet from Bernie Sanders arguing about the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.  Imagine Martin O’Malley jumping out of his seat to interrupt Mike Huckabee’s comments on gay marriage with a question.  Imagine these things happening in a theater filled to capacity but equally divided between Democratic and Republican activists. It does not have to be farfetched.  These presidential candidates could create a new debate product which benefits their campaigns and the electorate. Bernie Sanders is telling the DNC he wants more debates, and wants them sooner.  Martin O’Malley has to make his mark […]

Martin O’Malley Super PAC Hits Bernie Sanders’ Record On Guns

The 2016 Democratic primary got a little chippy today with Martin O’Malley’s Super PAC taking one of the first big swings at another candidate. Generation Forward, the Super PAC set up to back the Maryland Governor for President, released a web video this morning criticizing Bernie Sanders’ past position on gun issues. The simple 15-second ad hit Sanders’ vote against the Brady Bill, his stance on protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits, and noted that the NRA helped campaign against one of Sanders’ opponents. Gun control has played second-fiddle in national discussion to racism and the Confederate flag in the aftermath […]

Lord, Hear Our Prayer: Pope’s Climate Message Already Appearing In Local Iowa Parishes

Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter about environmentalism has put the climate change debate into the spotlight. Laudato Si’ calls for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet,” and urges Catholics to recognize the damage human activities have caused on Earth. It sends a strong message that is getting a lot of attention in the news. But arguably the most important messengers are priests. They have direct access to the people in their parish, and could serve as a strong mouthpiece to spread the message of Laudato Si’. If they do not bring Pope Francis’ […]

Shocker: Ravi Patel Withdraws From 1st District Race

In a very surprising development for the 1st District Democratic primary, Ravi Patel has announced he is withdrawing from the race. Patel entered the campaign back in February after being seen as a rising star by some in the party who had encouraged him to run. The president of Hawkeye Hotels, Patel had already impressed many with his massive fundraising haul from the 1st quarter. In a statement first announced from his Twitter account, Patel indicated his desire to see a united Democratic Party in the effort to unseat Republican Rod Blum. “For me, running for Congress was a great […]

Gary Kroeger Nabs State Legislator Endorsement in 1st District Race

1st District Democrat Gary Kroeger has added an important name to his corner for his Congressional campaign. Timi Brown-Powers, the freshman State Representative from Waterloo, has endorsed Kroeger. Brown-Powers had previously backed Monica Vernon and often attended her events earlier in this year and last, but recently decided to align herself with Team Kroeger. “We need the candidate who can win in that district, and of the four, I only have faith in two of them, with Gary Kroeger being the one I feel I can hold the most accountable,” Brown-Powers says of the competitive 1st District field, having not […]