A Day On The Trail With Pat Murphy

Iowa Starting Line will be doing a series of posts where we follow along a major primary candidate for most of a day as they campaign. We hope it gives a different, unique look into who the man or woman running for office is, beyond just their stump speeches and debate points. We followed Pat Murphy for a day the weekend before last: Pat Murphy began his Saturday early in the morning, serving up a hot meal to the needy at 7:30 AM at the Labor Harvest food shelter near downtown Dubuque. It’s a volunteer service he’s done for over […]

At Forums Democrats Spar Over Labels In 1st District, Mostly Agree In 3rd District

Tornadoes to the southwest of Des Moines threatened to cut short the 3rd District Democrats’ forum in Johnston on Wednesday night, but the candidates in the room were at least all blowing in the same direction on policy issues. Meanwhile, the 1st District forum proved a much stormier affair with Pat Murphy constantly pressing Monica Vernon on her past Republican Party affiliation. The difference in tone and discussion was sharp between the 1st and 3rd candidates. It was clear there’s some real animosity between the two 1st District rivals who battled in the 2014 primary as well. The 3rd District […]

Debates Nixed; Get It Together, 1st District Democrats

A week ago it was reported that the 1st District Democrats central committee had scheduled five forums for the three Democratic Congressional candidates. Now? No more, though maybe still one, as the committee announced yesterday morning they would be cancelling the forums due to “scheduling conflicts.” Few in the 1st District is very happy about the cancellations and campaigns signaled frustration with the process. After speaking with numerous activists and campaign contacts in the 1st District, it appears communications problems and internal disagreements caused those attempting to organize the events to decide it was too much of a hassle. “There […]

Pat Murphy Strongly Considering 1st District Rematch, Sources Say

Starting Line has spoken to nearly a dozen sources in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District and statewide insiders who report that Pat Murphy is still strongly considering another run for Congress, and is more likely than not to jump in the race. The former Speaker of the Iowa House, Murphy won a five-way Democratic primary in 2014, but came up about 7,000 votes short in the general election that saw wealthy businessman Rod Blum win 51% of the vote. 2014 was already a terrible national year for Democrats, and Bruce Braley’s lackluster campaign certainly didn’t help anyone else on the ticket. […]

Monday Power Ranking: 1st District – Democrats

Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is home to one of the most fascinating primaries in the country. With Rod Blum widely seen as the country’s most endangered Republican incumbent, Democrats are eager to retake Bruce Braley’s old seat. Here’s how we see the race shaping up right now: 1. Monica Vernon The second place finisher from 2014 and Jack Hatch’s running mate maintains her front-runner status for 2016, but just barely. Patel’s fundraising abilities won’t make this an easy race for Vernon. Fortunately for Vernon, she has the strong support of Emily’s List behind her – she was the first endorsed […]