A Look At Iowa Candidates’ Messages Before Post-Labor Day Sprint

The Iowa State Fair has come and gone, with another year of political candidate visits in the books. Starting Line attended nearly all the of the Soapbox speeches hosted by the Des Moines Register, but got a little distracted with fair food afterward and I didn’t write them up right away. Instead, let’s do a review of the Iowa candidates’ speeches, which are still quite relevant as each perfectly encapsulated where the candidate is at in their race. It will be interesting to watch how their pitch changes post-Labor Day as we move ever closer to early voting. None of the […]

New Iowa Registration Numbers Post-Primary And What They Mean

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office released this morning the updated registration totals for July, which are the first to show major shifts from the June 6 primary. Overall, Republicans saw the largest registration gain, adding 10,094 voters to their rolls while Democrats had 4,823 new registrants. No Party totals dropped by 9,499. Those top-lines are pretty good for Republicans, but lets take a deeper look to see why registration levels changed and where. As before with the early vote numbers, you can take a look at the spreadsheets I threw together if you want to play around with it […]

Digging Into Iowa Primary Numbers To See How Voters Make Their Decisions

Before we move completely on the general election, let’s take one last look at some of the specific numbers from last week’s Iowa primary. For a website like Starting Line, we love having numbers to pore over and didn’t want to move on before examining a few more interesting trends. One thing I think you can discover in these numbers is how voters make their decisions in little-publicized, low-turnout elections. For many of the Iowa primary races, press coverage was limited to a handful of news articles and campaigns didn’t spend nearly as much on advertising as will happen in […]

Youth Movement: Democrats Turn To Younger Candidates In Primary

For years Democrats in Iowa have bemoaned the lack of younger elected leaders within the party. While 13 Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are 40 years old or younger, only 4 Democrats are. That’s led to some concern about who will lead the party into the future. After last week’s primary, however, a new crop of young Democratic candidates emerged from their elections. Some are certain to be serving in the Legislature next year, others were selected to carry the party’s banner in must-win swing seats. There’s still a long way to go for Iowa Democrats to fully build up a new […]

Key Takeaways From The Iowa Primary Results

Iowans didn’t have to stay up too late last night to see who came out on top of the main primary races on both the Democratic and Republican side. For the most part things played out as people expected. Starting Line will spend part of the next week taking some dives into specific primary results and what it means for the general. For the moment, let’s take a look at some of the main takeaways from the night:   Hogg Keeps It Close, Has A Bright Future Things looked bleak for Rob Hogg when the Des Moines Register released a poll on […]

What To Watch For In Today’s Iowa Primaries

It’s primary day in Iowa! Polls are open until 9:00PM, and campaigns are going all-out today to get their identified supporters to the polls. What should Iowa politics watchers keep their eye on tonight? Starting Line has a few suggestions below. You can also watch myself and The Iowa Republican’s Craig Robinson do live commentary on the results tonight with the ABC 5/WOI team. We’ll be covering the results on The CW Channel (Channel 9 in Des Moines, I believe), then on Channel 5 during their 10:00 newscast. Make sure to tune in for some good, informed analysis!   Iowa Senate In […]

A Day On The Trail With Jim Mowrer

Jim Mowrer has heard this speech before. Sitting at a table in Plymouth Church’s Waveland Hall two weeks ago, Mowrer listened as Mike Sherzan gave his pitch about his business background and issues he cared about. The speech Desmund Adams gave later hit on his usual key topics of building coalitions to win elections. And when Mowrer got up to address the 50 attendees at the early morning Women for a Concerned America organization, he slid easily into his own talking points. “My entire career has been about service to Iowa and service to my country,” Mowrer says. “I grew […]

First Critical Ad Up In 3rd District Primary, Other Hits Surface

Just mid-last week, the campaigns of Jim Mowrer and Mike Sherzan were discussing a pledge to keep things positive for the remainder of the 3rd District primary. Whatever loose agreement they constructed quickly went out the window at the 3rd District debate last Wednesday, though the criticisms there of each other were relatively light. Democrats in the Des Moines/Council Bluffs district have wondered for a while if the candidates would begin criticizing each other, given that some believe that Sherzan and Mowrer could end up in a very tight race on election night. Today, however, the 3rd District race has moved into […]

Democrats Keep Up Pressure On David Young’s “Vote-Switching Scandal”

Democrats in Iowa are working to make sure that voters don’t forget about David Young’s recent votes on LGBT protections in defense and energy spending bills. The first-term Congressman in the 3rd District is seen as potentially vulnerable this November, and any high-profile misstep could tarnish the little-known Young. At a 3rd District Democratic debate last night, Desmund Adams repeatedly referred to Young as “Congressman Flip-Flop.” Mike Sherzan blasted Young last week as “voting for discrimination.” Another one of Young’s potential Democratic opponents, Jim Mowrer, held a press conference today to drive home the point, calling it a “vote-switching scandal.” […]

Another Look At Updated Early Vote Numbers For The Primary

With just two weeks left before Iowa’s primary elections on June 7, let’s take another look at the early vote totals across the state. A lot has changed since we first discussed the numbers three weeks ago. The Secretary of State’s office is posting these totals regularly now, so you can always go check yourself on their website. Also, here’s the useful list of candidates running. One caveat for the numbers I’m posting here – you’ll note that in some places the return rate of absentee ballots is very low. My guess in most of these cases is that those are areas […]