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 […]

Just How Well Does Everyone Know Patty Judge?

Patty Judge has been involved in statewide politics since 1992 when she was first elected to the State Senate, serving two terms. She was elected as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 1998 and served 8 years. She was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 2006.  But do Iowans really know her and her progressive positions? One must ask that question when you see the Quinnipiac Poll showing 17% of Grassley supporters plan to vote for Clinton.  Why are they splitting their tickets to vote for Clinton and Grassley? The Des Moines Register’s articles on Sunday and Monday point to both Democrats […]

Meet Iowa Democrats’ All-Female Tickets

When voters go to the polls in the Northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee and Clayton this year, this is what they’ll see in the Democratic column of their ballot: President: Hillary Clinton U.S. Senate: Patty Judge Congress: Monica Vernon State Senate: Jan Heikes State House: Patti Ruff Voters in Marion and Dubuque will see similar all-female tickets from the Democrats. In Marion, Senator Liz Mathis and State House candidate Molly Donahue are on the ballot. In Dubuque, Senate President Pam Jochum and Representative Abby Finkenauer fill out the down-ballot slots. Those three districts make up a particularly historic ballot for […]

Retired Justice Calls Grassley Obstruction “An Unpatriotic Act”

Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson is speaking out and holding Senator Grassley accountable for his obstruction of the Supreme Court hearings. Anderson says Grassley’s refusal to hold hearings is an abdication of a sworn duty to “support and defend” the Constitution. He says Grassley’s obstruction of the President’s nominee is a “dereliction of his sworn duty and an unpatriotic act.” He quickly added that he doesn’t question Grassley’s patriotism but does condemn his stonewalling as an unpatriotic act. Anderson says the definition of a patriot is “a person who loves and supports one’s country.” He continued, “I see […]

Patty Judge Hits The Doors In Search Of Suburban Vote-Switchers

In the year of Donald Trump, Democrats are increasingly looking to make inroads into independent and Republican-leaning suburban voters, typically those with higher education and higher income. So that’s exactly where Democratic Senate candidate Patty Judge was this weekend, going door-to-door with State House candidate Jennifer Konfrst in West Des Moines. If Judge is to pull off an upset win against six-term incumbent Chuck Grassley this November, she’ll need Trump’s poor poll numbers to pull down Grassley’s, who has aligned himself closely with the bombastic nominee (though Trump is in an essential tie in Iowa in recent polls). Grassley has […]

First Post-Convention Iowa Poll: Clinton Up 4, Grassley Up 10

A new NBC/Marist poll of Iowa was released this afternoon, the first major poll to come out for the Hawkeye state since the two national conventions and Donald Trump’s Khan family attacks. Hillary Clinton now leads Trump in Iowa by 4 points, 41% to 37%. That’s only up 1 point from their July poll that had Clinton leading 42% to 39%. That might be disconcerting to Clinton supporters to only be ahead by 4 points after Trump’s worst stretch of weeks yet during the campaign. Clinton has pulled much further ahead in other states like Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado. The Trump […]

Chuck Grassley Doubts TPP Will Pass Anytime Soon

During a visit to Emmetsburg on late Friday afternoon, Senator Chuck Grassley expressed doubt that the Trans Pacific Partnership would become reality anytime soon. While the trade agreement is expected to benefit Iowa’s agricultural exports , concerns over workers rights, environmental protections and manufacturing have stalled its advancement. “It’s my feeling that right now TPP is very much tied to the politics of the presidential race,” Grassley said in response to a farmer’s question about TPP and NAFTA. “Even though President Obama wants TPP passed, since both President Trump… I mean, Trump and Hillary have come out against it, one […]

Chuck Grassley Sets All-Time U.S. Record For Obstruction

The long-serving Senator from Iowa set a record yesterday, though one many won’t be happy about. Tuesday marked 125 days since President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, with Senator Chuck Grassley still refusing to hold a hearing for him. The last time it took 125 days for the Senate to take action on a nominee was in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson nominated Louis Brandeis. There’s been a lot of important milestones in this Supreme Court process, but yesterday’s certainly outdid them all. Senator Grassley will now be forever known as the worst obstructionist in all of […]

Joni Ernst Gets Shafted At RNC, Probably For The Best

By the time Iowa Senator Joni Ernst finally took the stage at the RNC convention last night, the crowd in the arena was smaller than what she would typically find at a Montgomery County chili dinner. Ernst began her speech around 11:10 PM Eastern, missing out on the primetime spot she was supposed to have. It may have been for the best, however, as she proceeded to give a so-so speech that failed to capitalize on the former combat veteran’s personal appeal. The lead-up to her big moment must have been excruciating for Ernst. Melania Trump was moved up on […]

Grassley Bogs Down Entire Judiciary, Not Just Supreme Court

For those who have been watching Senator Chuck Grassley’s tenure as the new chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his Supreme Court blockade wasn’t a big surprise. It was merely the culmination of a clear trend of obstruction of President Barack Obama’s nominees to all levels of the judiciary. And now Grassley is going one step further: at the end of this upcoming week, on July 15, the Senator from Iowa will shut down the judicial nominating process this summer and likely through the election. Roll Call cited the Senator as saying it was due to the so-called “Thurmond Rule,” which supposedly […]