Bernie Sanders Rallies The Base With J.D. Scholten

Bernie Sanders got the band back together at his rally in Sioux City for Steve King opponent J.D. Scholten yesterday evening. A crowd of 500 people, many of whom caucused for Sanders three years ago, packed an auditorium at Morningside College to hear the senator’s familiar lines about economic inequality and universal healthcare. At this rally, however, Sanders’ message was urgent and simple: put aside any frustrations you have with politics and just go vote. “I think that what J.D.’s election is all about is voter turnout,” Sanders said. “And I believe that if working people and young people and […]

Which Iowa Counties Are (And Aren’t) Turning Out Big For 2018

Thousands of Iowans are casting their ballots every single day as we enter the final 20 days of the campaign. Democrats started out with a big lead, but it’s recently narrowed to what the party has typically seen in the past. We’re now at a pretty decent place to start digging into the numbers more (also see our previous post on legislative districts’ early vote). Republicans’ absentee request mailer caused big daily jumps for their totals over the past week, but that’s largely stabilized now. Looking back at the 2014 midterm early vote numbers is still comparing apples and oranges […]

Ep65: 2nd Governor Debate, Northern Iowa Politics With Kurt Meyer

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard recaps what moments stood out to him in last night’s gubernatorial debate between Fred Hubbell and Kim Reynolds. And we interview Mitchell County Democrats Chair Kurt Meyer about what he’s seeing on the ground in Northern Iowa.

How John Delaney Is Directing His Iowa Efforts To Down-Ballot Dems

If Democrats learned anything from the past decade, it’s that holding the presidency while losing statehouses, governor’s mansions and Congress greatly limits your ability to accomplish anything. So, it’s been a delicate balance for 2020 hopefuls as they visit early states like Iowa. You want to introduce and promote yourself, while still helping out the candidates running in tough races this year. As one of just two declared Democratic candidates for president, Congressman John Delaney of Maryland has been in an unique position as he’s traveled Iowa. He doesn’t need to be coy about his intentions of why he’s in […]

Rod Blum Closes Ugly With Race-Baiting Ad

Rod Blum isn’t very subtle with his closing message for his reelection campaign. A new TV ad that appears to have started running today repeatedly hits challenger Abby Finkenauer for saying, “I legislate with my heart too much.” But it’s the first few seconds that will grab people’s attention and could cause backlash. Right after the ad shows Finkenauer saying the line on the floor of the Iowa House, an image of three heavily-tattooed Hispanic men pop up on screen over her: Blum claims that Finkenauer “put criminal illegal aliens back on Iowa streets” while the image of MS-13 gang […]

Jack Whitver Is In Trouble

Republicans may yet lose two senate majority leaders in the same year. That’s seems to be the goal of the Senate Democrats as the party launched a massive ad blitz today to take down Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver in his Ankeny district. Amber Gustafson, a gun safety leader and community volunteer, debuted her first TV ad with a significant amount of funds behind it. Data in the public record shows her spending a combined $113,030 on KCCI and WHO-TV, accounting for 279 spots, for the final three weeks of the campaign. That will keep first-time candidate Gustafson competing nearly neck-and-neck […]

Ep64: Record-Breaking Fundraising & Joan Marttila Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard breaks down the massive fundraising numbers from Iowa’s Democratic congressional candidates. And we interview Joan Marttila about her campaign for House District 94.

Rick Bertrand Denounced Bill Dix, But Bertrand Was Part Of The Problem

Sioux City Senator Rick Bertrand talked a big game in criticizing former Majority Leader Bill Dix’s handling of sexual harassment in the Iowa Senate, but it turns out Bertrand was part of the problem. That’s what was revealed in yesterday’s in-depth Des Moines Register article about the culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol. The investigation unearthed new details about Bertrand’s personal behavior in the Senate, most notably that he made a sexual overture about the top Republican staffer’s wife. “He one night said it was bath night at his apartment, was it okay if he invited my wife?” Ed […]

NextGen Launches Major Digital Effort To Turn Out Young Iowans

NextGen Iowa is launching a major digital advertising campaign that goes through the final weeks of the election, targeting young Iowans to encourage them to vote on November 6. The $162,000 online expenditure in Iowa is part of a national $4 million effort from the progressive organization that is focusing on youth turnout this year. The ad blitz kicks off on October 15 and is targeted at over 170,000 Iowans between the ages of 18 and 35. They will run on a wide array of websites, social media sites and video services, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Hulu, Vevo, […]

Look Out: Data Shows Democrats Eager To Vote In Key Swing Districts

Iowans have started voting as we head into the final weeks of the 2018 election, and campaign staff and volunteer work is paying off in many important legislative swing districts. A look at the early vote data shows high percentages of registered Democrats requesting absentee ballots in a host of top-targeted battleground seats. Interestingly, the top areas in the state for Democratic absentee requests are a mix of urban, suburban, blue collar and rural regions. The only common denominator is the important local races. Let’s take a look at the Secretary of State’s early vote data that was put out […]