Trump’s Right On One Thing: The GOP Delegate Selection Is Awful

Each passing weekend Donald Trump’s chances of securing the Republican Party’s nomination slips further and further away. It’s on those Saturdays typically when party meetings convene to select individual people to serve as national delegates to Cleveland from the district and state level in many states. And Trump’s getting killed in that process. The Trump campaign’s failure to organize for these delegate selections has undermined him plenty, but that doesn’t mean his point about an unfair process is completely unfounded. Sure, you can make fun of Trump for getting shut out in Colorado, but who on earth can defend the […]

Paul Pate Smears Voting Rights Case As Only About Rapists and Child Molesters

It was to be expected that most Republicans and conservatives would be opposed to the Iowa Supreme Court restoring many felons’ voting rights. As Secretary of State, Republican Paul Pate finds himself defending the current law. And on Saturday at the Republicans’ district conventions around the state, he made incendiary, flame-throwing speeches over why he’s opposed to the voting rights expansion. Since being elected to the Secretary of State office in 2014, Pate has kept a relatively moderate and low-key profile in the job. Gone were Matt Schultz’s taxpayer-funded crusade against voter fraud. Pate instead focused on an online voter registration […]

Men Comprise 82% of Ted Cruz’s Delegate Haul From Iowa Districts

In the fight to stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination, opponents often point to his awful polling numbers in a matchup against Hillary Clinton. Historically terrible numbers among female voters are driving Trump’s theoretical thrashing in the November election. So it was perhaps a bit odd to see such a male-heavy slate of delegates come out of the district conventions, which were dominated by Ted Cruz supporters. Cruz backers handily won 11 of the 12 delegates up for grab at the district conventions on Saturday, which will badly damage Trump’s chances if the national convention goes to a […]

Trump Incompetence Lets Cruz Sweep Iowa’s 3rd District Delegates

Is it really that difficult to find three solid supporters for your candidate in an entire Congressional district? If you’re the Donald Trump campaign, the answer is yes. A clear contrast developed early between the Ted Cruz and Trump delegate operations at Iowa Republicans’ 3rd District convention in Creston on Saturday. Matt Schultz, a key Cruz endorser and on the campaign’s official slate of delegates, greeted attendees as they entered the building and had promotional materials on hand. Two of the three delegates on Trump’s initial official slate wouldn’t even commit to support Trump. Republicans from the district that covers […]

Iowa GOP’s 3rd District Platform Is Totally Bonkers, Especially On Gay Rights

What does a political party believe? That’s a tough question to answer, especially in the era of candidate- and personality-driven elections. Does who a party elects as their presidential nominee reflect their policy stances? What about a state party’s candidate for Governor or Senate? Or is it the collection of diverse individuals who vote for a party, who certainly don’t all adhere to the same stand on every single issue? The traditional way a party expresses its core beliefs is through its party platform. Those platforms’ influence was waned over the decades, but it’s still an important document. Unfortunately for […]

Grassley’s Reelection Gets Downgraded From “Safe Republican”

  The pressure continues to build on Chuck Grassley over the Supreme Court hearings, and national political analysts now see it as having an impact in his reelection bid. Grassley faces blowback both at home and nationally on his refusal to hold a hearing for nominee Merrick Garland. That led Larry Sabato to move Grassley’s race from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican” in his Crystal Ball ratings today. Sabato cited the influence of national politics with the Supreme Court hearing and Patty Judge’s entrance into the race on the Democratic side as indications that Grassley may not have a cakewalk […]

Rating The GOP Nomination Apocalypse Scenarios

Donald Trump hit a major roadblock in Wisconsin last night, winning only 6 delegates to Ted Cruz’s 36. That makes it much more likely that Republicans are headed to a contested convention in Cleveland. Trump still has a chance to get to the 1,237 number needed to win the nomination on the first ballot, but he’d have to win 56% of the remaining delegates in the states ahead to accomplish that. Many Republican establishment leaders and longtime conservative activists who can’t stand Trump are celebrating today after Trump’s stumble, but are the alternative scenarios any better? Yes, Trump as the nominee […]

Some Big Questions For Democrats’ Iowa Caucus Review Committee

Late last week the Iowa Democratic Party released the list of members of its long-awaited caucus review commission, formed to take a look at how to improve the Democrats’ caucus process. The party says it’s part of their tradition in finding ways to better the caucus, but the scale of the effort is clearly in response to the considerable criticism laid on the IDP following the close contest on February 1st. The first big question is just whether this commission will accomplish real changes, or if it’ll simply serve as a face-saving measure for the IDP and Andy McGuire. There’s some […]

Want Better Education Funding? Elect More Democrats To The Iowa Legislature

Another year, another unacceptably low increase in public schools funding in Iowa. With the end of this year’s legislative session in sight, education advocates and Democrats are closing out the year in frustration, seeing only a 2.25% increase in education funding for the 2016-2017 academic year. Disappointing schools and children has become a bit of a guarantee from the Iowa Legislature and Governor Terry Branstad in recent years, so this year’s “compromise” came as little surprise. It’s at least an improvement over the extremely paltry 1.25% enacted last year after negotiations and standoffs over the fund drug the session into the […]

Even In Conservative Northwest Iowa, Grassley Faces SCOTUS Backlash

Senator Chuck Grassley was looking for somewhere safe, friendly and familiar as he toured the state this week, so he headed to the deep-red northwest corner of Iowa for three open town hall meetings. After all, where could be better than counties where he won between 81 percent and 90 percent of the vote in his 2010 re-election? But he soon found out nowhere is safe. Because even in these conservative outposts, Grassley encountered fierce opposition and concern over his role in refusing to hold a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. [I freelanced this story for the Daily […]