Terry Branstad Donates To Steve King Primary Opponent Randy Feenstra

Current Ambassador to China and former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad donated $1,000 to the campaign of Randy Feenstra, the Republican primary opponent of Steve King, newly-released fundraising numbers show this afternoon. It’s the latest sign that key Iowa Republican leaders have had enough with the behavior and controversies of King, hoping to see him ousted in a primary rather than the general election. Finance records put out today show Branstad making the donation on March 14. Branstad is the highest-profile Iowa Republican leader yet to publicly show their support for King’s challenger, though he has not publicly endorsed yet. Feenstra, […]

Steve King Brings Some Friends To The State Of The Union

Congressman Steve King announced that he would bring one half of the far-right YouTube star duo Diamond And Silk to the State Of The Union as his honored guest. Each member of Congress gets one ticket to give out to the balcony seats for the President’s address on Tuesday evening. In a tweet, King said that Lynette Hardaway (the Diamond of Diamond of Silk) won a coin flip to get the seat, but that both women would join him at a congressional event the next day. Iowa’s Democratic members of Congress are all bringing Iowans; King’s guest is from North […]

IA-04 Poll: Steve King’s Support Sinking Back Home, Dem Leads Matchup

Congressman Steve King faces worsening reelection prospects in Iowa’s very conservative 4th District, trailing a generic Democratic candidate by eight points. A new poll of the Northwest Iowa district shows King garnering just 37% of likely voters, while 45% say they’d vote for “whatever Democrat runs.” A hypothetical rematch with his 2018 opponent J.D. Scholten has King at 39% and Scholten at 44%. A sizable portion of the electorate would also like to see King resign outright from Congress. 43% of respondents said King should resign; 44% believed he should not. The poll was commissioned by the Majority Rules PAC […]

The Beginning Of The End For Steve King?

Steve King may have narrowly survived his closest reelection yet earlier this month, but he’s not out of the woods just yet. The firestorm of outrage over his latest dalliances with white supremacists and groups with Neo-Nazi ties appears to be having lasting impacts with both Republican insiders and voters. A primary to King is almost certain in 2020, one that could be well-funded and backed by prominent Republican leaders. Governor Kim Reynolds warned King last week that he “needs to make a decision if he wants to represent the people and the values of the 4th District or do […]

In Iowa, The Trump Era Realignment Intensifies

Two waves hit Iowa on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Democrats, the red one was just a little bit stronger and in just the right places for Republicans to win statewide and in specific state legislative seats. The election results continued the trend of intensifying polarization in Iowa and national politics, exacerbating both parties’ weaknesses and strengths in different communities. That process started many cycles ago, but Donald Trump really sped things up. Fred Hubbell carried only 11 counties, a steady decline from Barack Obama’s 38-county win in 2012, though better than Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance where she won just six. And […]

The Most Shocking Number From Iowa’s Election Night

Democrats were feeling good early on last night. Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer had both made history in their congressional victories. J.D. Scholten was actually leading Steve King. Democrats swept a series of Iowa House races in the Des Moines suburbs. Fred Hubbell jumped out to a big lead when Polk County came in fast. But as the evening wore on, the mood soured. Kim Reynolds picked up steam as rural counties reported, and she started winning a handful of blue-collar Eastern Iowa counties that Democrats needed to hold. Eventually, she won. How? Many Democrats were stunned that both Finkenauer […]

Potential Scenarios For Tonight’s Iowa Elections

It’s here. It’s finally, finally here. Iowans are headed to the polls this morning, and there’s already reports of long lines and enthusiastic new voters registering at their voting place. After high-profile campaigns that have lasted an intense 16 months or more, most candidates, volunteers, staffers and rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans are just eager for it to be done – and to see who wins. Democrats have become cautiously optimistic in the past week, though memories of devastating election nights in 2016, 2014 and 2010 weigh heavy on their minds. But there are very legitimate reasons to feel good about […]

King Makes Anti-Gay Attacks, Then Joins Reynolds At Rally

Congressman Steve King ended his campaign in as hateful of a way as possible Monday, attacking national Republicans for funding a gay congressional candidate in California. Just a few hours after making those comments, he shared a stage with Governor Kim Reynolds for the statewide Republican ticket’s final rally of the campaign. “They sent money over to support a candidate in a primary in California who was a, uh, had a sex-same partner that they put all over glossy mailers,” King said at an event earlier today. “I don’t know if they were holding hands or what was the deal. […]

These Counties Have Already Surpassed Their 2014 Early Vote

Iowa is on pace to easily surpass its final 2014 early vote totals before Election Day. Democrats’ numbers are looking particularly strong, pulling away by a strong margin from Republicans in the last week. There are 35,192 more registered Democrats who have voted early than registered Republicans. At this point in 2014, Democrats held only a 6,829 lead. Let’s dive in to all the numbers, including a look at what counties are turning out strongly for either party (as always, you can look at my full county spreadsheet here). First, here’s the current statewide early vote totals: Requested Voted Dem […]

The Other Part Of Steve King’s Event Was Just As Revealing

The week-long controversy over Steve King’s views on race and diversity came to a head yesterday during a candidate forum in Des Moines. Pressed by a member of the public over whether King’s ideology aligns with the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, King exploded in anger, shouted at the man and had him tossed from the room. Starting Line captured the full exchange here: Steve King blows up at questioner who pressed him on the Pittsburgh massacre #IA04 pic.twitter.com/7sFQyY9fOW — Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) November 1, 2018 The state and national pressure on King has been mounting since the weekend massacre in […]