Joni Ernst Doesn’t Want To Be Your Senator

Joni Ernst is running for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2020. She just isn’t necessarily running to be your senator. In her announcement speech last weekend, as well as in subsequent tweets this past week, Ernst laid out her central rationale for another six years in the Senate: fighting and defeating Democrats and the left. “Make no mistake: the forces of the radical, socialist left are on the march across our state and our nation,” Ernst said at her campaign kick-off. “We must – we must – do our part to defeat them! I’m asking all of you, can […]

Ep107: National Vs. Iowa Primary Strategy, Ro Khanna Interview

Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with former Lt. Governor Patty Judge about the debate over candidates running a national primary strategy versus and early state approach. And we interview Congressman Ro Khanna of California about his work on linking rural Iowa to Silicon Valley, combatting social media disinformation, and his role as Bernie Sanders’ campaign co-chair.

Ep106: Ernst Kick-Off, NJ Governor Phil Murphy Interview

Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard and federal reporter Libby Meyer recap Joni Ernst’s first speech for her reelection campaign. And we interview New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who was in Iowa last week to support Cory Booker in the Iowa Caucus.

Why Some Candidates Are Surging, Stalling In Iowa

After this past week’s jam-packed Iowa Caucus weekend, we’re starting to get a new sense of where things stand in the lead-off state. Campaigns demonstrated their organizing strength outside the Hall of Fame event, a new Des Moines Register poll got the chattering class chattering, and candidates tested their message in front of their largest audience yet. And there does seem to be some movement going on. The Register’s poll kicked off a round of stories of who’s up and who’s down here, but I’d like to take a few moments and theorize on why those changes may have come […]

Ep105: Kamala Harris Campaign Manager Interview, Busy Weekend Review

Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with Juan Rodriguez, the campaign manager for Kamala Harris, about the mechanics of running a national campaign, their strategy to turn out new voters, and where Iowa falls in their plans.

Lisa Heddens Named Supervisor, Iowa House Seat To Open

State Representative Lisa Heddens was appointed to a Story County supervisor vacancy tonight, edging out four other finalists. Legislators cannot hold two elected positions at the same time, so she’ll have to step down from her seat in the Iowa House, which should cause a special election later this summer. Heddens served in the Iowa House since 2003, and was a leader on Medicaid and mental health policy issues. House District 46 will now open up, with candidates being chosen at special nominating conventions from both parties after the governor sets a special election date. The Ames-based seat is heavily Democratic, […]

Ep104: Listen To Our New Starting Line Team Members

Meet our new Iowa Starting Line reporters! We kicked off our rather large expansion this week, adding four new full-time political reporters to our team. They join Pat Rynard on the podcast to introduce themselves.

Where Joe Biden Will Be In Iowa During Donald Trump’s Visit

Former Vice President Joe Biden is planning his second Iowa trip since announcing his candidacy for next week, touring blue-collar communities in Southeast and Eastern Iowa at the same time as President Donald Trump visits the state. The dueling Iowa appearances should give Biden the opportunity to contrast his candidacy alone and in real time with Trump. Trump has scheduled an event in Council Bluffs on Tuesday, visiting an ethanol facility for what most expect is an announcement on year-round E-15 ethanol. He will then hold a fundraiser for his campaign with fellow Republicans in West Des Moines. Biden, meanwhile, […]

Bernie Sanders Rolls Out First Round Of Iowa Endorsements

Senator Bernie Sanders is unveiling his first slate of key endorsements from Iowa progressive leaders today. Among them are some local elected officials and party leaders who were first mobilized to activism from Sanders’ previous presidential run, including LULAC State Director Nick Salazar, Dubuque City Councilwoman Kate Larson, and IDP Central Committee Member Emma Schmit. “This incredible group of endorsers are some of the most well-known progressive voices that Iowa has to offer,” Misty Rebik, Sanders’ state director, said in a statement. “Together with our 25,000-strong volunteer base in the state, these progressive Iowans will help us build on our […]

Meet The New Iowa Starting Line Team

Four and a half years ago, a group of friends and I gathered around a table in a downtown Des Moines bar to brainstorm what a new Iowa political blog could look like. I had just gotten finished with yet another exhausting campaign cycle, and was ready to do something different. We had a good name – Iowa Starting Line – and a good idea: provide a behind-the-scenes look at what’s really going on in Iowa politics. Creating a news site from scratch wasn’t easy, but with a lot of hard work, long hours, great sources, and help from my […]