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 […]

Ep103: Amy Klobuchar Interview & U.S. Senate Candidate Announcements

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard interviews Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar about her plan to help struggling farmers, new restrictive abortion laws, and her Honest Ads proposal. Plus, we talk with Patty Judge about the developing Democratic primary field for Senate, the big upcoming Hall of Fame Dinner, and Trump’s E15 decision.

Theresa Greenfield Pitches “Farm Kid” Upbringing In Senate Launch

Theresa Greenfield made it clear in her campaign launch video that she’ll go toe-to-toe with Senator Joni Ernst over who the real “farm kid” is in the 2020 Senate race. A small business owner who grew up on a farm in a rural Minnesota town near the Iowa border, Greenfield announced her anticipated Senate run this morning in a video. “Some call this flyover country. Way too many in Washington fly over it and forget about it,” Greenfield says in the video. “Well, my family was into a different kind of flying. My dad was a crop duster. And farming […]

See You Again In June!

Hey everyone – Starting Line will be going dark for the next week and a half as we prepare to bring on new staff to help cover the Iowa Caucus. We are opening a new office, getting all the paperwork sorted out, shoring up our finances, and getting story ideas ready. To get all this administrative stuff done, we need to take a break from writing and reporting for several days. So, you won’t see stories back on Starting Line until June 3 or 4 (our new email newsletter will still be sent out during this time). The new Starting […]

Health Care Ads Bolster Finkenauer And Axne

A new seven-figure ad campaign will promote the work of Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer for their efforts to protect Iowans with pre-existing conditions and reduce the cost of care and prescription drugs. The national group Protect Our Care is running the ad campaign, called “Better Care, Lower Costs” across the country, focusing on twenty districts, including Iowa’s 1st and 3rd districts. Last week, Protect Our Care launched its first digital ads in support of these 20 House members that promoted Axne’s and Finkenauer’s support for the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 987), which seeks […]

Inside Abby Finkenauer’s Quiet Rise In Congress

Two weeks ago, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer presided over the U.S. House chamber, sitting in the Speaker’s chair as the chamber discussed and passed a major flood relief package. The bill was of particular importance to Iowa, which has seen crippling flooding in recent months. Congresswoman Cindy Axne, who made history last year with Finkenauer as the first female members of the House from Iowa, stood in the well and explained her amendment that added funds for the state. It was an important moment for Iowa, with both of their newly-elected female representatives prominently involved in a major federal aid effort […]

Long List Of Prominent IA-02 Dems Endorse Rita Hart

In a show of organizational strength, Rita Hart announced today the endorsements of 73 local leaders in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District for her campaign. It included people in all 24 counties across the district and nearly every local Democratic state legislator. The slew of endorsements is reflective of the deep well of support Hart was within the Democratic Party. She spent six years in the Iowa Senate and was Fred Hubbell’s running mate in 2018, impressing activists and fellow lawmakers during that time. She personally took the initiative on several major policy items, including hosting a statewide water quality summit […]

Starting Line/Change Research Poll: Biden, Sanders Locked In Iowa Tie

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tie in Iowa atop the large field of Democrats running for the presidential nomination. An Iowa Starting Line/Change Research Poll of 615 likely Democratic caucus-goers that was conducted this past week, May 15 to May 19, found both Biden and Sanders garnering 24% among the Democratic candidates. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.9%. Three contenders trailed the leaders with healthy percentages of support: Pete Buttigieg at 14%, Elizabeth Warren at 12%, and Kamala Harris at 10%. Beto O’Rourke came in at 5%, while Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang both […]

Eddie Mauro Launches Senate Run To Take On Joni Ernst

Des Moines coach and businessman Eddie Mauro is launching his run for the U.S. Senate today, aiming to be Democrats’ nominee to take on Senator Joni Ernst next November. Mauro’s been traveling the state for several months in advance of a possible candidacy, building up a campaign team, and showing up at many caucus events. His new website is here. Mauro holds events today in Carroll, Fort Dodge, Ames, and Des Moines as part of his roll-out. He begins the race with several endorsements, including from state representatives Charlie McConkey of Council Bluffs and Ako Abdul-Samad of Des Moines. “Washington […]

The Candidates With A Secret Weapon In Iowa

With a presidential field that now numbers 23, Democratic candidates need every tiny advantage they can find in Iowa to deliver them delegates on caucus night. For a lucky few contenders, they come to the state with a special connection in their pocket thanks to long-established friendships, past organizational building, or a family bond. And, as we all know, relationships are everything in the Iowa Caucus. Now, okay, most of what we’re listing aren’t exactly “secret” weapons, but they are important advantages that seven candidates have over the rest of the field. Of course, just about every candidate has some […]