Who Do Democrats Think Should Run For Governor In 2018?

The Iowa Democratic Party’s state convention dragged long into the night yesterday, and there were stretches where voting and the agenda moved very slowly. So what to do? How about start speculating about 2018? Obviously this year’s presidential election and maintaining control of the Iowa Senate are paramount at the moment, but the race for Governor in 2018 will shape the longterm future of Iowa more than anything else. Retaking Terrace Hill would finally allow a host of progressive policies to move forward and vastly help rebuild and strengthen the state party in a way that nothing else can. Terry […]

Early Morning Competition at IDP Convention For SCC Seats

The Iowa Democratic Party’s state convention officially began at 9:00 AM this morning, but much of the real action took place in small conference rooms beforehand. The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders factions competed for seats on the party’s State Central Committee. At earlier district conventions in late April, Democratic delegates selected the at-large Congressional District members of the SCC. The Clinton-Sanders groups split those 16-16. The chairs of the IDP’s various caucus committees, like the Latino Caucus, Stonewall Democrats Caucus and Veterans Caucus, also receive a vote on the SCC. Those were voted on this morning. Once again, the Sanders […]

What Will Bernie Sanders’ Legacy Be? Iowa Supporters Weigh In

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the presidency is starting to wind down, but the impacts of his incredible run will be felt for years to come in the Democratic Party, progressive politics and the American electoral system. Around this time last year the early hints of a highly successful insurgent campaign were on clear display in Iowa, as he repeatedly drew surprisingly large crowds at his early events. Now he’s focused on party reforms and issue planks in Philadelphia, and his movement looks to live on far beyond the convention. Starting Line reached out to a number of Bernie Sanders supporters […]

David Johnson On How His Switch Could Shake Up The Iowa Senate

When Iowa State Senator David Johnson left the Republican Party last week over issues with Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the news quickly went national and international. But while Johnson’s act of registering as an independent generated tough stories for Donald Trump and Republicans, the longer-lasting impact will be felt at the Iowa Statehouse in this election and the next legislative session. The Iowa Senate was split 26 Democrats to 24 Republicans. With Johnson’s departure, it would stand as 23 Republicans and one Independent. Republicans have badly wanted to take back the Iowa Senate for multiple cycles, but continually come […]

Ryan Drew To Run In Sands’ Open HD 88 As Democratic Candidate

Democrats have recruited an impressive candidate for the now-open House District 88: Ryan Drew, an operating engineers leader from Burlington. Longtime incumbent Tom Sands surprised many last week when he decided to withdraw his name from the ballot two days after the primary. Within hours, Republican Jason Delzell announced he was running. Both Delzell and Drew will have to be nominated at a special convention of their local parties, likely to be held in August. So far, no other names have emerged. Starting Line included Ryan Drew in our list last year of “15 Loyal Democrats You Want On Your Side In […]

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 […]

Des Moines Gay Bar Owners Reflect On A Shattered Safe Space

The show went on for attendees and organizers at the Des Moines Pridefest in the East Village today, but the celebrations were mixed with sorrow over the tragic news from the Orlando terrorist attack. Some first learned of the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub upon arriving to the annual LGBT festival. The news took on a particularly disturbing toll for a community that has found refuge and acceptance at gay nightclubs and bars. Long before the East Village earned its role as the hip, up-and-coming neighborhood for young professionals, The Garden and The Blazing Saddle bars anchored the area as […]

GOP’s Secret Switch To Put Jason Delzell In House District 88

An outsider may have captured the Republicans’ presidential nomination, but the establishment forces still hold the power locally in Iowa. Voters in Des Moines, Louisa and Muscatine counties were denied the chance to select their next GOP nominee for House District 88 thanks to incumbent Tom Sands’ surprise retirement two days after the primary. Instead, a small group of party insiders will convene a meeting in August to select their candidate. The establishment seems to already has their pick, however: Jason Delzell. He announced his candidacy to the press not even two hours after Sands’ statement. Sands has already endorsed Delzell. This […]

Chuck Grassley’s Reelection Just Got Off To A Disastrous Start

Talk to Democrats privately in Iowa and you’ll know they’re not kidding themselves: despite the Supreme Court controversy, defeating Chuck Grassley is an uphill climb. Most are simply excited that the possibility even exists this year to knock off the six-term incumbent. Could Patty Judge defeat Grassley? Absolutely. But a whole lot of factors have to come together. Yesterday, those factors started to come together. First, for Grassley to be truly vulnerable, his obstruction of the Supreme Court nomination needs to stay in the news. That came roaring back into focus the day after the Democratic primary. “[T]here are invertebrates […]