Fourteen Iowa House Democrats who seem content to stay in minority forever

Feb 17, 2018

money isn't the only thing that matters

But I watched Susan Judkins lose to Chris Hagenow in my House district by 22 votes in 2012, after Republicans ran tv ads attacking her and the Truman Fund didn’t even spring for a positive radio spot, let alone tv. Then I watched Jennifer Konfrst lose narrowly in 2016, after Hagenow was able to go on tv a full month before she did. She knocked thousands of doors. She raised more money than most of the incumbents mentioned here, without relying on PACs. She did the other hard work too. She was just buried under Republican spending.

Money alone won’t win a race, but our problem has not been a lack of good candidates or “fire in the belly.” We had great candidates in a lot of those 2016 races. We simply will not be in a position to take back these districts if our candidates continue to be outspent by $100,000 to $200,000 per race.

I took no joy in writing this piece. As you know, I write dozens of policy-oriented posts for every one that focuses on campaign finance. I felt compelled to write this because I believe Democrats will remain in the minority for the foreseeable future if incumbents in your position continue to give the Truman Fund $20,000 to $30,000 per cycle.

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