Five Takeaways From Democrats’ Final Gubernatorial Debate

The Democratic candidates for governor gathered in Des Moines last night for their final debate, though this time there were only five people present following Nate Boulton’s withdrawal. It was not the most exciting debate we’ve seen in Iowa politics, nor did it drastically change the dynamics of the race, but there was still some interesting moments. Here’s five quick takeaways from the evening: 1. No one tried to shake up the race. By all intents and purposes, Fred Hubbell is leading the primary with just a couple days to go. In the second debate, multiple candidates aimed their fire at […]

Winning Back The Trump Triers

One of the Democrats’ greatest challenges is winning back the so called “Trump triers.” These are the Democrats, Independents and some Republicans that voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but then switched to vote for Trump in 2016. Extensive interviews conducted by the Washington Post suggest that many of these Trump triers may be pleased with Trump policies, but they remain very uncomfortable with Trump’s tweets, abhorrent behavior and his chaotic management. Do Democrats just write off these people as racist deplorables, or are there common bonds of decency and civility that we all share? Can Democrats bring some […]

On The Road With J.D. Scholten’s Campaign To Defeat Steve King

There’s few summer activities more quinesstential than a father/son road trip in an RV. Stopping at small town restaurants. Sleeping in a pull-down bed. Navigating through country roads. But one extra feature of J.D. Scholten and his father Jim’s tour around Iowa in their new RV is that J.D. is also running for Congress. As Scholten was entering the final months of Democrats’ three-way primary to take on Steve King, he faced a difficult problem: Iowa’s 4th Congressional District is a sprawling, 39-county swath of Western and Northern Iowa. Scholten leads the pack of Democrats vying for the nomination in […]

More Legislators Flip To Fred Hubbell As Primary Nears

As the Democratic gubernatorial field continues to settle following Nate Boulton’s withdrawal, several former top Boulton supporters are backing Fred Hubbell this morning. Senators Bill Dotzler, Tony Bisignano, Representative Jerry Kearns and former Senator Tom Courtney – all previously with Boulton – announced they’re endorsing Hubbell today. And Senator Jim Lykam, Representatives Wes Breckenridge and Phil Miller also joined Hubbell’s team with them. “As a union leader for more than four decades, I’ve seen firsthand how Republican rollbacks of workers rights have hurt our state’s future,” said Kearns of Lee County. “We need a governor who can restore support for […]

How Will History Judge Us On Immigrant Children?

I am surely not the only person who has wondered what it was like to live through various big events from history, events that occurred long before I entered this world in 1950. This curiosity has led me to contemplate events like the Civil War, the growing tensions in Europe and America before World War II, the lynching of black people by vigilantes in the South during the first half of the 20th Century, the internment of Japanese-Americans in the Western United States during the 1940s, and the various waves of anti-Jew, anti-Catholic, anti-Italian and anti-Irish thinking in our country. […]

Democrats Post Strong Fundraising Reports, Out-Raise GOP In Many Races

With all the Iowa political news that happened last week, it may have been easy to overlook some of the state legislative fundraising numbers that came out in the latest finance report. But there was a lot of interesting details in there, as well as plenty of great signs for Iowa Democrats. House Democrats were the standout winners of the latest fundraising numbers. Their candidates out-raised their Republican opponents in 42 of the 69 races where both parties had a candidate filed. First-time Democratic candidates pulled in impressive totals, including Kenan Judge of Waukee, who set a record for new […]

Community Leaders Back Connie Ryan By Wide Margin In Senate Primary

Connie Ryan has spent many long hours up at the Statehouse fighting for progressive causes, and a lot of local and statewide community leaders have liked what they’ve seen. A very long list of elected officials, activists, faith leaders, business owners, labor unions and liberal organizations have lined up behind Ryan in the high-profile primary to replace Matt McCoy in the Iowa Senate. The executive director of Interfaith Iowa since 2002, Ryan has been at the center of nearly every major policy fight in Iowa, making allies and friends along the way. She’s been a constant presence at committee hearings, […]

Weekly Round-Up: New Gov Race Opportunities, Fundraising And Endorsements

So, there was a bit of news that happened in Iowa politics this week. The Des Moines Register story on Nate Boulton and his subsequent withdrawal from the race dominated headlines for most of the week. It shook up a still-fluid primary with less than two weeks to go until the election. And it also overshadowed a key anniversary: Kim Reynolds celebrated her one-year mark as governor on Thursday. Let’s take a look at some of the other storylines that didn’t get full stories from Starting Line this week. Norris Sees New Opportunity To Break Out Starting Line caught up […]