Scenes From This Year’s Rainy Steak Fry

The steaks might have been warm at today’s second annual Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, but not much else was. A steady rain began falling on the field at Des Moines’ Water Works Park shortly into the second speaker’s turn on stage. A crowd of over 500 cold and wet souls had dwindled to about 100 by the time the event ended, but overall the Democratic activists seemed to enjoy a day of meeting the party’s statewide ticket and some national names. Starting Line will do a quick write-up of some of the speeches later today or tomorrow, but for […]

Remembering A Good Man, Leonard Boswell

Several minutes into Leonard Boswell’s speech this May at the Polk County Democrats Spring fundraiser, I got a bad feeling in my gut. It was wonderful to see the former congressman up on stage, clearly enjoying himself as he went on a bit past his allotted time, but it very much felt like a final swan song. Boswell spun a few stories from his time in Congress, praised his former leader Nancy Pelosi (who he was introducing) and reflected on his path from farmer and Vietnam veteran to elected official. Unfortunately, my recorder picked up too much background noise, or […]

Democratic Veterans Group Booted From State Fair Veterans Parade

The Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus says they’ve been marching in the State Fair Veterans Parade for the past ten years, yet were denied participation at the last minute this year from an official in Kim Reynolds’ administration. The group says they were already approved this year to join the parade, but were called on Friday by Chair of the Iowa Veterans Commission Dan Gannon, a Reynolds appointee, and told they could not participate because they were political. They were apparently not given a specific rule as to why the change was made. “We were informed Friday, after we followed the instructions […]

Statewide Democratic Candidates Smash Republicans’ Fundraising Totals

It may be time for Iowa Republicans to sound the alarm bells. Fundraising totals just posted today for Iowa’s latest reporting period show Democrats destroying their GOP counterparts in every single competitive statewide race. All told, Democrats’ statewide candidates raised a combined $2,866,382 to Republicans’ $1,250,516. However, largely thanks to Governor Kim Reynolds’ war chest, Republicans still have a combined cash-on-hand advantage in those same races: $4,015,141 to Democrats’ $2,700,608. This latest report covered the six weeks after the June 5 primary. Fred Hubbell led the way with an eye-popping $2.6 million raised. Unlike in some past finance reports, all […]

Cecile Richards In Iowa: Turning Out Women Key To Midterm Victories

Turning out female voters who typically only vote in presidential races will be key to Democrats’ success in Iowa’s midterm elections, former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told a packed room in Des Moines of over 250 women on Thursday. Speaking to the Polk County Democrats’ annual Women’s Event fundraiser, Richards congratulated Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for their recent Iowa Supreme Court victory on the 72-hour waiting period for abortion. But she reminded them that the November election could determine just how long-lasting those wins are. “This battle to protect access to women’s healthcare and affordable healthcare in this […]

Promising And Problematic Areas For Iowa Democrats

Democrats in Iowa are feeling good as they head into the 2018 elections, boosted by turnout and registration data from the primary that shows their base energized and involved. The party added over 24,000 new registered Democrats in a month and saw their largest primary turnout in decades. But the numbers weren’t all positive across the state. Certain counties, including those that saw large shifts to Donald Trump and the Republicans in 2016, didn’t enjoy the same kind of improvements in Democratic momentum. While 38% of registered Democrats turned out to vote in Story County, only 17% showed up in […]

Registered Democrat Numbers Surge In Iowa After Primary

There’s a lot more registered Democrats in Iowa following last month’s high-profile, competitive primaries for governor and three congressional districts. Updated voter registration numbers from the Secretary of State’s office today shows 24,189 new registered Democrats over last month’s pre-primary numbers. They’re up 28,352 voters if you compare to the May numbers, before early voting started. Republicans grew their voter registration totals by 3,479 in the last month. Registered Democrats still trail registered Republicans in Iowa, 618,388 to 642,827, but it brings them much closer to parity after being down 45,000 to Republicans, which was some of their worst numbers […]

Jason Kander’s Army Of Voting Rights Interns Come To Iowa

Jason Kander may have a new personal electoral goal for himself now that he’s announced his candidacy for the Kansas City mayor’s race, but his voting rights crusade will march on in Iowa and other states. “Nothing has changed about our program here in Iowa,” Let America Vote’s Iowa state director Zack Davis told Starting Line yesterday. “We are continuing to move forward and are looking at ways to actually grow the internship program.” That’s a good thing for Democratic candidates in Iowa who are set to benefit from one of the largest ground game operations from a national group […]

Digging Into The Data: Fun Numbers From Iowa’s Primary

Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday night’s primaries across Iowa, let’s take a closer look at some of the trends and the county-level turnout numbers. There’s some interesting information there that helps explain what happened, why campaigns end up the way they do and where the Democratic Party is at. Keep in mind, however, that these are all numbers from the “unofficial results.” Late-arriving absentee ballots and other things may change numbers ever so slightly when the official canvass is done later. As always, here’s the spreadsheet I was working with. When Races Swung, They Swung Hard One […]

Democrats’ New Generation Of Leaders Win Primaries, Look To November

Many of Democrats’ elected officials at all level of Iowa government will look a lot younger if things go well this November. A new generation of young Democrats won primaries and secured nominations in last night’s primary in key races across the state. Half of Iowa Democrats’ congressional candidates will be under 40. As will half of their non-incumbent statewide candidates. And exciting, young Democrats prevailed in several local legislative primaries that will ensure them a seat at the Statehouse. That all is no small feat in a state with a much older population that often prefers to vote for longtime […]