How Not To Deal With The Press, A Rod Blum Example

Congressman Rod Blum does not seem to like reporters. Like, he really, really does not like them. At least that’s the case for two Iowa reporters that Blum has clearly built up a hatred for after they asked him tough questions or ran investigative stories on his businesses. He lashed out at both this week, in one case creating a negative story for himself out of nothing. The first incident wasn’t that big a deal, it just highlights how he holds grudges. On Wednesday, Blum lashed out at KCRG and their reporter, Josh Scheinblum, who inadvertently gave Blum his most […]

Abby Finkenauer’s First TV Ad Recalls Days When Politics Didn’t Divide

Abby Finkenauer will launch the first TV ads of the general election in Iowa’s nationally-watched 1st Congressional District race this Tuesday. Her first spot on the airwaves is called “Dinner Table” and focuses on a spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation. The ad begins with Finkenauer describing a typical Saturday night with her family while growing up: talking politics around the dinner table after getting back from church. “We didn’t all agree,” Finkenauer says. “But nobody walked away angry, or not family anymore. That’s how it should be – at home, and in Congress.” She goes on to explain that she’ll […]

The State Of Iowa Races Three Months Out

Iowans will head to the voting booth three months from today on November 6 to vote in one of the most consequential elections in the state’s history. How are each of the major contests shaping up at this stage, two months after the primary and following a relatively quiet summer? Democrats have been optimistic about the chances of a “blue wave” this year, but many still held on to a good deal of skepticism given Republicans’ dominance of recent Iowa elections. Donald Trump won counties in 2016 that Republicans hadn’t carried in decades. Would things really flip back to blue […]

Trump Forgets Rod Blum’s Name In Problematic Iowa Trip

If you missed any of President Donald Trump’s visit to Iowa today, don’t worry. You’ll likely see video clips of the roundtable he held just outside Dubuque for months to come in Democratic campaign commercials. Trump brought several of his cabinet secretaries and his daughter Ivanka with him to a visit at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta for a workforce development event. Governor Kim Reynolds sat right next to him. Trump himself came off as much more coherent than he is at some of his campaign rallies, but there were many things said that could come back to haunt […]

Abby Finkenauer Brings In $765,000 In 2nd Quarter Fundraising

State Representative Abby Finkenauer’s campaign to take on Congressman Rod Blum continues to pick up steam following her large win in last month’s Democratic primary. Finkenauer will report raising over $765,000 in the second quarter of 2018, which appears to be the most ever raised in a single quarter by an Iowa Democratic congressional candidate. That brings Finkenauer’s total raised for her campaign up to $1.8 million, ensuring she’ll be one of the best-funded Democrats in the state for her nationally-watched campaign in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Her campaign tells Starting Line that they’ve received donations from over 65,000 individuals […]

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 […]

Abby Finkenauer Wins Primary, Could Be Youngest Woman Elected To Congress

State Representative Abby Finkenauer has won her primary to be the Democratic nominee for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. If she defeats incumbent Republican Rod Blum in November, at 28 she may well be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Another young female candidate in California is running too, but no woman younger than Finkenauer has won a congressional seat before this year. Finkenauer won her four-way primary in convincing fashion, capturing 67% of the vote. Thomas Heckroth came in second with 19%. Iowa’s 1st District will be at the top of the target list for Democrats nationally. EMILY’s List […]

Weekly Round-Up: New Gov Race Opportunities, Fundraising And Endorsements

So, there was a bit of news that happened in Iowa politics this week. The Des Moines Register story on Nate Boulton and his subsequent withdrawal from the race dominated headlines for most of the week. It shook up a still-fluid primary with less than two weeks to go until the election. And it also overshadowed a key anniversary: Kim Reynolds celebrated her one-year mark as governor on Thursday. Let’s take a look at some of the other storylines that didn’t get full stories from Starting Line this week. Norris Sees New Opportunity To Break Out Starting Line caught up […]

Weekly Round-Up: RV Tours, Unique Ads And More Attacks

With just 18 days left until the June 5 primary, there’s more developments from the campaign trail every day than we have to time to write about. Like our story last Friday, here’s our end-of-week roundup piece for all the campaign news we didn’t do full stories on. Abby Finkenauer’s Newest TV Ad Hits Working Families Theme State Representative Abby Finkenauer begins airing her second TV ad for the 1st District primary today. The ad is titled “Good Lives” and focuses in on a working-class families message. Finkenauer is seen talking with locals in a restaurant while she discusses her […]

New Endorsements, Ads And Trips As Primary Draws Closer

With just three and a half weeks remaining in the Democratic primary, the candidates are criss-crossing the state and blanketing the airwaves and mailboxes with ads. They’re also rolling out endorsements from late-deciding leaders to project momentum. Here’s a look at some of the key developments from this week and what’s ahead. The First Gubernatorial Debate Make sure to block off some time this Sunday evening for the Democrats’ first gubernatorial debate. All six candidates gather in Davenport for a debate sponsored by KWQC and the Quad Cities Times – it starts at 6:00 PM and you can watch the […]