The Key Races To Volunteer In During The Last 3 Weeks

Hillary Clinton will get to 270 electoral votes with or without Iowa. It’s time for Iowa Democrats to look out for their own and make sure our state doesn’t become the next all-GOP controlled Wisconsin or Kansas. Democrats hold the slimmest of margins in the Iowa Senate, and are facing an all-out campaign advertising onslaught from Republicans. Outside money is pouring in for legislative GOP candidates and incumbents – far more than in previous years – and some within the party believe Democrats could get outspent three-to-one in some of the swing districts. Losing one Democratic-held senate seat without picking up any others […]

Iowa At Real Risk Of Becoming A Red State

For months now, nervous Iowa Democrats have looked at electoral prediction maps with despair as states like North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona head to toss-up status while Iowa remains in a light red hue. Today a poll found that even Texas was only three points in favor of Trump. There’s been a frustrating lack of reliable polling for Iowa since the 2005 Access Hollywood video surfaced, but there’s concern among Democrats that the perennially purple state hasn’t moved enough from its solid pro-Trump reputation this cycle. For Iowa to be the only state Barack Obama won in 2012 to go for Donald Trump would […]

Iowa Secretary of State Calls Trump Vote Rigging Talk “Not Helpful”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate pushed back today against growing fears on the right that the 2016 election will be “rigged” for Hillary Clinton, a sentiment inflamed by Donald Trump. As his candidacy has slumped in the polls, Trump has told his supporters on Twitter and at rallies that “large scale voter fraud” will hand the election to Clinton. Trump has not yet provided any clear instances of such fraud, and election officials around the country – Republican and Democrat – are beginning to publicly criticize and refute those assertions. “I take the integrity of our elections very seriously,” Pate, a […]

Dave Loebsack Barnstorming For Down-Ballot Democrats

When the dust settled from the 2014 election that devastated Democrats, Congressman Dave Loebsack was the last man standing for the party on the federal level. Many wondered at the time whether he’d step up in a new leadership role for the state party, one that had typically been taken on by other top Democrats during Loebsack’s ten years in Congress. The answer during the 2016 cycle appears to be yes. Loebsack held a number of fundraisers for down-ballot legislative candidates like Liz Mathis last year, and then really ramped up his efforts after drawing a weak opponent for the general. When […]

As Trump Goes Nuclear, Could His Iowa Backers Face Same Scrutiny?

There are two reasons state and local campaigns don’t typically engage in extremely personal attacks on political opponents: 1) The candidate or people running the campaign are decent-enough human beings to not bring up their opponent’s very personal failings, embarrassing moments or private life, and 2) It usually backfires. Now, as we all know, some times the desire to win will overcome that first reason. It is the second that keeps our Iowa politics from devolving into tabloid-style muck. Yes, Iowans are seeing a lot of very nasty stuff in TV ads right now, but it revolves mostly around policy differences or obscure […]

A Tale Of Two Reagan Dinners

Iowa Republicans’ twin Reagan Dinner fundraisers provided oddly perfect bookends to possibly the most volatile four-day stretch ever in American politics, encapsulating everything the beleaguered party experienced throughout it. The state party hosted their annual Reagan Dinner in Des Moines on Saturday night, while the Scott County Republicans held their own of the same name in Bettendorf on Tuesday night. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton headlined each. I attended both events. The Des Moines event, held in the upstairs ballroom at the Iowa Events Center, was a dimly-lit affair with red backdrops, a dark setting that matched the mood of the attendees and […]

The Map That Should Concern Every Iowa Democrat

The political data site FiveThirtyEight published a story today that looks at where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have the potential to pick up new support over their party’s vote totals in 2012. The conclusions are not good for Iowa Democrats. Iowa takes on a dark shade of red in their map, which looks county-by-county at voting demographics and how that lines up with shifts in Democrats and Republicans’ support. Our state is one of the uniformly red in the country. Wisconsin and Minnesota have their similar issues as well, though Maine seems to be the worse off. That’s the state where […]

The Death Of Iowa Nice

When I think back on all the crazy moments I’ve witnessed during the 2016 cycle, one often stands out above the rest. It was in early August at a Donald Trump rally in Des Moines, and Governor Terry Branstad was at the podium giving a warm-up speech. The crowd broke out into chants of “Lock her up!”, as they often started to do in the weeks after the overheated RNC convention. The look on Branstad’s face in that moment was one I won’t forget. He stood there silent, standing awkwardly rigid after just delivering a vicious attack on Hillary Clinton. […]

There Are No Rules

To many Democrats and independents watching the debate, the most shocking part of Sunday’s forum didn’t come during the personal attacks on sexual misconduct. It happened when Donald Trump promised to prosecute and jail Hillary Clinton over her email server if he is elected president. That sounded exactly like what a dictator would do. Lock up your opposition when you take power. Trump essentially was formalizing into his candidacy the “lock her up!” chants at his rally. It was a chilling, disturbing moment for America, to say the least. But there’s no way Trump could ever actually make good on that […]

Iowa GOP’s Congressional Candidate Peters Ditches Trump

Dr. Christopher Peters, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district, is announcing today that he will not vote for Donald Trump for president. His decision comes after the release of Trump’s 2005 comments where he bragged about sexually assaulting women. Peters will “abstain from voting in the presidential election,” according to his press release this morning. “A large number of former and current Republican politicians have now disavowed Trump,” Peters says in a column he’s publishing today. “All of them have far more political clout than I do, and to be honest, I don’t think people should care so […]