Which Iowa Counties Are (And Aren’t) Turning Out Big For 2018

Thousands of Iowans are casting their ballots every single day as we enter the final 20 days of the campaign. Democrats started out with a big lead, but it’s recently narrowed to what the party has typically seen in the past. We’re now at a pretty decent place to start digging into the numbers more (also see our previous post on legislative districts’ early vote). Republicans’ absentee request mailer caused big daily jumps for their totals over the past week, but that’s largely stabilized now. Looking back at the 2014 midterm early vote numbers is still comparing apples and oranges […]

NextGen Launches Major Digital Effort To Turn Out Young Iowans

NextGen Iowa is launching a major digital advertising campaign that goes through the final weeks of the election, targeting young Iowans to encourage them to vote on November 6. The $162,000 online expenditure in Iowa is part of a national $4 million effort from the progressive organization that is focusing on youth turnout this year. The ad blitz kicks off on October 15 and is targeted at over 170,000 Iowans between the ages of 18 and 35. They will run on a wide array of websites, social media sites and video services, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Hulu, Vevo, […]

There’s Now More Democrats Than Republicans In IA-03

Democrats are increasing their number of registered voters at more than double the rate of Republicans in Iowa, according to the latest registration numbers released by the Secretary of State’s office today. In the 3rd Congressional District, Democrats have overtaken Republicans’ registration advantage for the first time ever since the district’s current lines were first redrawn in 2012. It’s also the first time that Democrats outnumber Republicans in three of the state’s four congressional districts. Statewide, there’s 1,724 newly-registered Democrats since the September report. Republicans only gained 786 new registered voters for their party. But the No Party crowd grew […]

Democrats’ Digital Ad Strategy Lagging Behind Republicans’ In Iowa

Earlier this year, Facebook began making public every political ad that is run on their platform as part of their effort to create a more transparent process following criticism of Russian influence in the 2016 election. You can now easily find every ad deemed “political” in their Ad Archive, including those currently running, by searching for any candidate’s name. Starting Line pored over every ad run by or about Iowa’s statewide, congressional and state legislative candidates. One consistent theme stuck out: Republicans are running far more creative and comprehensive ad campaigns designed at both persuasion and rallying their base; Democrats […]

Republicans Attack Cindy Axne For Defending… Puppies (Yes, Really)

We have an early frontrunner for this year’s dumbest and most dishonest Iowa political ad. It comes to us courtesy of the Republican Party of Iowa, who have a 30-second ad up attacking Democratic 3rd Congressional District candidate Cindy Axne for being a “lobbyist.” Now, this is one of those political hit jobs that can be “technically” true while it’s also wildly misleading. Yes, Axne registered as a lobbyist at the Iowa Statehouse for a single day-of-action event where she talked with legislators. For whom did she register with? The Iowa Voters For Companion Animals. She was at the Capitol […]

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 […]

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 […]

One Last Look At Some 3rd District Candidate Stories

Starting Line is taking one last look at the most competitive Democratic primary in the state: the 3rd District race for Congress. Here’s a small bit on each of the three candidates of campaign accomplishments and stories you might not yet have heard about them. Cindy Axne Closes Primary With 100th House Party A recurring criticism of past Democratic congressional candidates in Iowa that have lost in recent years is that they simply did not travel their district enough. This is especially problematic in the 3rd District where incumbent Republican David Young visits all 16 of his counties every single […]

Weekly Round-Up: Glasson’s Legalization Pitch, Axne Hits 100, Early Vote Record

Two days! Just two days to go! Campaign volunteers were treated to some nicer weather this weekend for door-knocking for their favorite candidates during GOTV. That’s all that’s left at this point. The final debates were held this past week (see our takeaways from the gubernatorial one here and the 3rd District one here). Now everyone is simply focused on turning out their supporters on Tuesday. Here’s a look at our weekly round-up of campaign news that you might have missed. Cathy Glasson Backs Legal Recreational Marijuana It can be difficult for candidates to break out of the noise in […]

Key Takeaways From 3rd District Democrats’ Debate

Democrats saw their only debate for the 3rd Congressional District last night in Des Moines, with Cindy Axne, Pete D’Alessandro and Eddie Mauro using what time they had to distinguish themselves before the vote on Tuesday. There was very little back-and-forth between the candidates, but it was still much more engaging than your typical forum. The moderators pressed the Democrats on key differences they have between each other, and asked tough questions on the feasibility of some of their ideas. You can watch the whole thing here if you missed it. Here is Starting Line’s seven takeaways from the debate […]