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New Iowa caucus links and discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 08:03:26 AM CDT

More than a half-dozen potential presidential candidates have visited Iowa since Bleeding Heartland's last news roundup on the field. Any comments about the 2016 Iowa caucus campaign are welcome in this thread. Lots of links are after the jump.

Lest anyone think that ordinary people are unable to influence public discourse, consider this: Rand Paul's latest Iowa visit will likely be remembered for how he ran away from the DREAMers who confronted Representative Steve King.

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The Lord of the Ringkissers: Return of The Family Leadership Summit

by: natewithglasses

Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 18:14:55 PM CDT

(Always appreciate first-person accounts like this. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Today was the 3rd The Family Leadership Summit hosted by The Family Leader. This event has become a kingmaking event for Bob Vander Plaats and The Family Leader with national and state Republican officials coming to kiss their rings. This event has been talked about as replacing the Ames Straw Poll. For the second year in a row - I decided to make the trek to see what this is all about with allied organization - Progress Iowa.

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Iowa reaction to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling (updated)

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 13:23:00 PM CDT

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today in favor of Hobby Lobby's right not to provide contraception coverage in its health insurance package for employees. The Obama administration had already exempted some religious organizations and non-profits from the contraception mandate in the 2010 health care reform law. Today's ruling allows a closely-held (that is, not publicly traded) for-profit corporation to claim religious rights that override the rights of their employees, not to mention the need to comply with federal law.

You can read the full text of the Supreme Court's decision and dissents here (pdf). Justice Samuel Alito wrote the "opinion of the court," joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy. Strangely, Kennedy wrote a separate concurring opinion "in an attempt to show how narrow the Court's decision was." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer dissented. The majority ruling appears to apply only to contraception health care services, as opposed to other medical procedures to which some groups have religious objections (such as vaccinations or blood transfusions). Still, Ginsburg seems on track when she warns that the court "has ventured into a minefield" by "approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation." Analyzing today's decision, Lyle Denniston predicted more litigation will be needed to clarify the limits of the new religious exemption for closely-held companies.

For background on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case (formerly Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius) and the implications of the ruling, check the Alliance for Justice and SCOTUSblog websites.

After the jump I've posted comments from various Iowa elected officials and candidates. So far Iowa Democrats have been quicker to respond to the Hobby Lobby ruling than Republicans. I will update this post as needed.

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Coalition forming against Monte Shaw before IA-03 nominating convention?

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 13:59:13 PM CDT

Roughly 500 Republican delegates from the third Congressional district will meet at Des Moines Christian School in Urbandale on June 21 to select a nominee against Staci Appel. I consider Monte Shaw the best-placed candidate going into the convention, despite his fourth-place finish in the June 3 voting. Several signs point to the other campaigns developing a strategy to stop Shaw at the convention. Executing that strategy won't be easy.
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IA-03: Robert Cramer closes out campaign on faith and family

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 17:28:13 PM CDT

From his first campaign press release to his official bio and opening television commercial, Robert Cramer emphasized his business background, fiscal and economic issues in his bid to represent Iowa's third Congressional district. Remarkably, the former board president of the FAMiLY Leader organization led by Bob Vander Plaats even said he had no plans to introduce bills on social issues if elected to Congress.

But over the past six weeks, and especially during the final days of the GOP primary race, the Cramer campaign has emphasized faith and family more in its messaging. From where I'm sitting, that's not a bad strategy in a six-man field where everyone wants to cut spending, reduce government regulations and repeal Obamacare. Bleeding Heartland covered Cramer's first tv ad here. More commercials and family values talk from this "Christian businessman" are after the jump.  

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IA-Sen: Sam Clovis lands Steve Deace, Bob Vander Plaats endorsements

by: desmoinesdem

Tue May 13, 2014 at 12:40:03 PM CDT

Talk radio host Steve Deace, an Iowa social conservative icon, announced his support for Sam Clovis yesterday in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Deace asserted that Clovis is "most prepared to actually govern" and pointed out that he "was the only candidate who publicly did everything he could to assist Iowa's historic judicial retention election of 2010, which in our opinion is the most important election we've ever been a part of." Furthermore, Deace noted that "those working and volunteering for Sam Clovis' campaign are some of the most devoted patriots and principled conservatives we know in Iowa politics."

I'm only surprised it took him so long to make up his mind. Deace considered Clovis, State Senator Joni Ernst, and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker. You can read how each of those candidates responded to the radio host's questions here, here, and here. Clovis sent the most detailed reply by far. Ernst was the only candidate who did not reply directly, but had her campaign consultant David Polyansky respond on her behalf. In a not very subtle swipe at Ernst, Deace urged conservatives not to let "the media" pick the Republican nominee and praised Clovis for being "willing to have a serious and substantive discussion about the future of the country," in contrast to those who "just regurgitate talking points or get by on focus grouped catch phrases."

Meanwhile, three-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats endorsed Clovis this morning. I've posted the campaign's press release after the jump. Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs that Clovis has the courage of his convictions and is "most prepared to make a difference" in the U.S. Senate. It's the very least Vander Plaats can do after his long flirtation with a Senate campaign kneecapped Clovis for many months. Who knows how many donors and volunteers stayed on the sidelines while Vander Plaats kept dropping hints that he might run for Senate, in what appears to have been a marketing strategy for his latest book. Clovis worked hard to support the campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices in 2010, and in return Vander Plaats gave him a gesture that's likely too little and too late.

A number of right-wing groups have previously endorsed Clovis, including Citizens United, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, Tea Party Patriots, and the Gun Owners of America. But his campaign's fundraising has been weak, and the latest FEC filing showed only $54,845 cash on hand as of March 31. In three weeks we'll find out whether conservative activist energy can deliver for Clovis, in the absence of statewide direct mail and paid media.

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Things we don't need: Constitution lessons from Robert Cramer

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:03:00 PM CDT

As the six Republican candidates in Iowa's third Congressional district made their pitches to the GOP district convention on Saturday, the central Iowa twitterverse focused on this memorable line from Robert Cramer's stump speech: "Liberals want to give out condoms; I want to give out Constitutions." It's part of Cramer's larger ambition to make IA-03 "the most constitutionally literate district in the nation."

Fact is, Cramer is just about the last person I would want giving out constitution tutorials. We're talking about a guy who gave $30,000 to Bob Vander Plaats' 2010 gubernatorial bid. Vander Plaats famously opposed the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 ruling invalidating part of the state's Defense of Marriage Act. Over time, the wisdom of that ruling has become increasingly accepted. More and more state courts and federal judges, including a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, have rejected same-sex marriage bans on equal protection grounds.

But even if you didn't agree with the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling, it takes a person truly ignorant about our Constitution to get on board with Vander Plaats' campaign agenda. He promised that if elected, he would "immediately issue an executive order putting same sex marriages on hold until the Legislature and, ultimately the voters, pass judgment on it." That's not how the system works. A governor doesn't get to nullify an Iowa Supreme Court decision. He doesn't get to force the state legislature to approve a constitutional amendment of his choice either.

After losing the 2010 gubernatorial primary, Vander Plaats became head of the FAMiLY Leader umbrella organization. Cramer agreed to serve as that group's board president, while Vander Plaats made it his top priority to oust Iowa Supreme Court justices through the statewide retention elections.

This being a Republican primary, I doubt many GOP voters in IA-03 would be put off by Cramer's lack of constitutional literacy and support of the anti-retention campaign. The fact that his construction firm took federal stimulus money for road bridge projects will probably be a bigger minus. Not that I think there was anything wrong with bidding on contracts that allowed Cramer's firm to hire 30 or 40 additional people in 2009 alone.

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Weekend open thread: Big Iowa GOP changes

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 10:10:00 AM CDT

The Republican Party of Iowa and the Iowa Democratic Party held district conventions yesterday. Nothing particularly important happened at the Democratic conventions, but the GOP gatherings continued the march toward overthrowing the "Liberty" faction that gained control soon after the 2012 caucuses. No one from the Ron Paul orbit won a seat on the newly-elected State Central Committee, which will take over after the party's state convention in June. They are likely to replace Danny Carroll and Gopal Krishna in the party's top leadership positions.

I've listed the new State Central Committee members after the jump. Notable names include Governor Terry Branstad's legal counsel Brenna Findley and William Gustoff, both elected to represent the third district. Gustoff is a partner in the law firm headed by U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker and State Representative Chris Hagenow. In 2011, Branstad named Gustoff to the State Judicial Nominating Commission, but the Iowa Senate did not confirm him. Findley briefly was an attorney with Whitaker Hagenow after she left Representative Steve King's staff to run for Iowa attorney general in 2010.

According to Kevin Hall of The Iowa Republican blog, "Liberty" activists handed out flyers at all four district conventions urging delegates not to vote for fourteen State Central Committee candidates. All fourteen of them won seats on the committee anyway.

Another interesting development: the GOP platform committee in the first district removed the plank declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman. Katherine Klingseis reported for The Des Moines Register that the new platform language asserts the government should have no role in marriage. Some delegates tried and failed three times yesterday to restore the traditional marriage plank through amendments. UPDATE: According to conservative blogger Shane Vander Hart, one of the IA-01 convention votes on platform language went 116 to 89 to remove so-called "defense of traditional marriage" from the district GOP platform.

Kathie Obradovich wrote up the six IA-03 candidates' pitches to Republican convention delegates. For now I consider it more likely than not that the nomination will be decided at a special district convention.

UPDATE: More thoughts on the Iowa GOP State Central Committee changes after the jump.

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Fewer Iowa lawyers seeking judgeships

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 09:11:00 AM CDT

The applicant pool for Iowa's judicial vacancies has been declining in recent years, Mike Wiser reported for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier on March 30. Iowa courts administrator David Boyd has been analyzing trends across the state and concluded that during the past decade, "The applicant pools [for District Court judgeships] were shrinking not only in terms of quantity but in quality, too."

Applications for court vacancies are down by about half of what they were 10 years ago in four of the eight judicial districts, and down by a third in another two, according to Boyd's figures.

Wiser's article identifies three main reasons for the trend. First, District Court judges earn an annual salary of $138,130, which is well above the state average but below what high-performing attorneys can earn in private practice. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady asked state legislators to increase judges' pay by 4.5 percent, but State Representative Gary Worthan, who chairs the Iowa House Appropriations subcommittee on the judicial system told Wiser, "we've got other priorities this year."

Second, years of state budget cuts to court support staff have also made the work of a judge less appealing, according to several people Wiser interviewed.

Finally, University of Iowa School of Law professor Patrick Bauer and others cited the successful 2010 campaign against retaining three Iowa Supreme Court justices. That crusade was the first and perhaps the last time a politically unpopular ruling ended judges' careers in Iowa. Nevertheless, it has deterred some attorneys from aspiring to become judges. Bob Vander Plaats and his fellow social conservatives failed to end marriage equality in Iowa, but they have left their mark on the judicial system.

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Iowa marriage equality five-year anniversary thread

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:40:00 AM CDT

Five years ago today, the Iowa Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision in Varnum v Brien, striking down our state's Defense Of Marriage Act. Some Democratic politicians welcomed the change, while others were more circumspect or ducked the issue for a few days. The early Iowa Republican reaction to the court ruling will sound more pathetic and cowardly with each passing year.

At this point I can't see any realistic path for conservatives to undo marriage equality. Even if Republicans held their Iowa House majority and gained control of the state Senate (which I consider unlikely), passing a constitutional amendment in both chambers in two separately elected legislatures would be a heavy lift. Last year and this year, an amendment to ban same-sex marriages didn't even make it through committee in the Republican-controlled Iowa House.

Bob Vander Plaats spent most of 2009 and 2010 trying to take rights away from same-sex couples and force justices off the Iowa Supreme Court. Five years ago today, he was the front-runner in the GOP race for governor. Now he's out hawking a book. His standing among Iowa Republicans has fallen so far that he is essentially invisible in the Congressional campaign of Robert Cramer, a guy who donated $30,000 to "Team Vander Plaats" during the 2010 election cycle.

Somehow my hetero union has survived five years of sharing rights with Iowa's LGBT couples. And it's not just my marriage soldiering on: the latest statistics show Iowa's divorce rate at its lowest point since 1968. Several factors account for the trend, including the high cost of divorce and more couples delaying or forgoing marriage. Regardless, it's nice to see the divorce rate falling, because if the trend were going the other way you can be sure self-styled "marriage defenders" would blame the "homosexual agenda," among other things.

Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread. Highlights from the latest Des Moines Register poll findings on gay marriage are after the jump.

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IA-03: First look at Robert Cramer's campaign messaging

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:27:24 AM CDT

With six candidates seeking the Republican nomination in Iowa's open third Congressional district, I've decided to focus on individual campaigns rather than news roundups on the whole field at once. Robert Cramer's up first, since he is already running his introductory ad on television.

Cramer is defining himself as the business mind in the field, not a bad place to be in a GOP primary. Although he is emphasizing his connection to "conservative principles and enduring values," he is downplaying his social conservative activism. If you need any proof that Bob Vander Plaats' ship has sailed, even in Iowa Republican circles, look no further than Cramer's case to primary voters.

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Danny Carroll to chair Iowa GOP, Gopal Krishna co-chair (updated)

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 19:45:00 PM CDT

The Republican Party of Iowa's State Central Committee convened today to choose a successor to A.J. Spiker, who resigned as state party chair to work for U.S. Senator Rand Paul's RandPAC. Danny Carroll, who became party co-chair in February, was the only person nominated for the chairman's job. Carroll is a well-known social conservative and lobbyist for Bob Vander Plaats' FAMiLY Leader organization. He served four terms in the Iowa House before losing his seat to Eric Palmer in 2006, then losing a rematch against Palmer in 2008. In 2010, he was a leading supporter of Vander Plaats' gubernatorial campaign and famously vowed never to vote for Terry Branstad. Earlier this year Carroll told Radio Iowa that he and the governor have a "cordial" working relationship.

According to Kevin Hall's liveblog of today's proceedings, seven of the eighteen State Central Committee members abstained from the vote on Carroll. Later, an Iowa GOP press release indicated that there were no dissenting votes on Carroll's nomination, prompting several members to tell the Des Moines Register that they inadvertently voted yes on Carroll, "mistakenly thinking they were casting a vote to close nominations and move to ballots." Hall also argued that it was inappropriate for Iowa RNC Committeewoman Tamara Scott to nominate Carroll, since she and he are both paid lobbyists for the FAMiLY Leader.

Shortly after Carroll's election, State Central Committee member Gopal Krishna was the only candidate nominated for state party co-chair. He has previously served as party treasurer, and he and Carroll both sought the position of party chair in early 2009. At that time the State Central Committee preferred Matt Strawn.

Carroll and Krishna may not remain in their new jobs for long, since a new Iowa GOP State Central Committee will be elected later this spring. UPDATE: Radio Iowa's O.Kay Henderson posted audio and highlights from Carroll's press conference on March 29. He confirmed that he will seek to stay on as party chair after the new State Central Committee takes over.

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IA-Sen: Now or never for Sam Clovis

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 12:53:42 PM CST

Sam Clovis dodged what could have been a fatal blow to his U.S. Senate campaign when Bob Vander Plaats decided not to run. But to have any hope of winning the GOP primary, the Sioux City-based college professor and former radio host needs to raise real money and consolidate social conservative support quickly.  
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Weekend open thread: Time-wasting edition

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 20:15:48 PM CST

What's on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? I've decided that the best way to deal with NBC's horrible Olympics coverage is to tape and watch later or the following day, fast-forwarding over the endless commercials and filler material. It's amazing how few events and competitors you see during hours of watching NBC. Prime-time is the worst, but even the daytime coverage is very light.

Ever heard the old blogging expression, "Don't feed the trolls"? New psychological research shows that it's good advice, because being an internet troll is correlated with personality traits such as "Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others)." I appreciate commenters who bring substance or a different perspective to the table, but engaging with trolls is pointless.

Speaking of wasting time, how would you like to be one of the people who supposedly helped lay the groundwork for Bob Vander Plaats to run for Iowa's U.S. Senate seat? Whether sincere fans or soulless political consultants, they turned out to be props helping him drum up publicity for his new pet project. Outside a certain conservative subculture, few people would have cared that this has-been wrote a book, if not for the extensive media speculation in recent months that Vander Plaats would join the IA-Sen Republican field.

This is an open thread. All topics welcome.

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IA-Sen: Bob Vander Plaats opts out to promote new book

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:36:00 AM CST

Jennifer Jacobs has the exclusive for today's Des Moines Register: three-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats has decided not to run for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat. He had previously appeared to be leaning toward running and had promised to make a decision by February 15. While some observers may be surprised he opted out, given polls showing him leading the GOP field, no one can be surprised by his reason:

Instead, his priority is his new book, "If 7:14." It's based on a Bible passage that says if people pray and turn from their wicked ways, God will hear and heal their land.

Vander Plaats said he has been booked for speaking engagements across the country, including at the Billy Graham Evangelical Association in North Carolina a few weeks ago, the New Canaan Society in Florida, a conference in Texas next week with pastors from large churches, and the National Council of Religious Broadcasters the following week.

"When God seems to be blessing an initiative, and there's a lot of opportunity with that initiative, it's hard to walk away," he said.

That's the BVP Iowans know and love (or at least love to hate): always happy to promote himself.

I think Vander Plaats recognizes that his ship has sailed in Iowa politics. He would have zero chance of beating Bruce Braley in a statewide election and might not even win a Republican primary. All he could accomplish in a Senate campaign is mess things up for Matt Whitaker and Sam Clovis. They are fighting over the "principled conservative" niche against establishment-friendly GOP candidates Joni Ernst and Mark Jacobs. I would call Clovis the big winner from today's news, since he is the most natural fit for social conservative voters who might have been drawn to BVP. Clovis is trying to repeat the grassroots strategy Rick Santorum used in his 2012 Iowa caucus campaign.

UPDATE: Added the press release from the FAMiLY Leader below. Vander Plaats is such a shameless showboater.

SECOND UPDATE: Added more details below from Steve Deace, a big supporter of Vander Plaats's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

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IA-03: Robert Cramer joins GOP field

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 16:31:56 PM CST

Yesterday Robert Cramer became the fifth declared candidate in the GOP primary to represent Iowa's third Congressional district. His official campaign announcement, which I've posted below, characterizes Cramer as "a full spectrum conservative candidate" who is "deeply involved with conservative causes in his community and in Iowa since 1996." He is president and chief administrative officer of a construction business his father helped create more than 50 years ago. Cramer previously served on the school board in Johnston, a suburb of Des Moines, and has chaired the board of the FAMiLY Leader, a social conservative group led by three-time gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. Governor Terry Branstad nominated Cramer for a position on the Iowa Board of Regents last year, but the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate did not confirm him.

Incidentally, State Senator Brad Zaun, who will soon join the Republican field in IA-03, voted against sending Cramer and two other Board of Regents nominees to the Iowa Senate floor as a "symbolic gesture to show his displeasure with the fact that wealthy political contributors typically serve on the Board of Regents." However, Zaun ultimately supported Cramer's nomination when it came before the Iowa Senate.

Thanks to his personal wealth and business contacts, Cramer should be able to raise plenty of money for a Congressional campaign. Whether he can distinguish himself from the rest of the field is another question. Zaun, Matt Schultz, David Young, Monte Shaw, and Joe Grandanette will also be campaigning as both fiscal and social conservatives.

If no candidate wins at least 35 percent of the vote in the June primary, a district convention will select the Republican nominee in IA-03.

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New IA-03 Republican candidate discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 16:25:00 PM CST

Still no new word from State Senator Brad Zaun and Secretary of State Matt Schultz, but the Republican field in Iowa's open third Congressional district is expanding. Joe Grandanette and David Young are already running, and Robert Cramer told the Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs today that he is "90 percent there" and "just putting together a plan" for a campaign.

Cramer served on the Johnston school board for nine years and is currently the chairman of the board of the Family Leader, an Iowa organization that pushes for evangelical Christian conservative policies. He's co-president of Cramer & Associates, Inc., a Grimes-based bridge construction company that does work around the Midwest.

Last year Governor Terry Branstad appointed Cramer to serve on the Iowa Board of Regents, but most Iowa Senate Democrats blocked his confirmation.

Meanwhile, State Senator Charles Schneider told the Des Moines Register's Jason Noble yesterday that he will not run for Congress. He was just elected to the Iowa Senate for the first time in 2012.

Any comments about the IA-03 race are welcome in this thread. Jake Porter, the Libertarian candidate for Iowa Secretary of State, released a statement on Matt Schultz's likely Congressional campaign. I've posted that after the jump. Speaking of secretary of state candidates, the 2006 GOP nominee for that office, Mary Ann Hanusa, expects to decide whether to run in IA-03 before the off-year Iowa caucuses on January 21. Hanusa is a two-term state representative from Council Bluffs. She would be favored to win re-election if she stays put in Iowa House district 16.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention David Oman, a former staffer to Governor Branstad during his first stint as governor. He is wealthy enough to self-fund a Congressional campaign and is thinking about this race. Oman unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for governor in 1998. I think he is perceived as way too moderate to win a primary now.

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New IA-03 Republican candidate speculation thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 11:45:00 AM CST

Representative Tom Latham's surprise retirement announcement last Tuesday was an early Christmas present to some ambitious Republicans (who now have an opportunity to move up) as well as to Democrats (who now have a prayer of winning IA-03).

Here's a new thread on potential GOP contenders for the vacant seat next year. My thoughts on many possible candidates are after the jump. Appearing on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" program, Latham said he does not expect to endorse a candidate in the GOP primary to represent IA-03. He added that he might become a lobbyist or work for a charity after leaving Congress.

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IA-Sen: Another poll shows Braley slightly leading all Republicans

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:19:51 AM CST

Lining up with a Republican pollster's survey last month, Quinnipiac's latest Iowa poll shows Democrat Bruce Braley with single-digit leads over all of the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, despite record low approval for President Barack Obama. Full results are here. Key findings:

President Barack Obama gets a negative 38 - 59 percent job approval rating among Iowa voters, according to a poll released today, his lowest score in the state and one of his lowest in any state or national survey conducted by Quinnipiac University. [...]

President Obama gets negative scores of 30 - 67 percent among men, 45 - 51 percent among women, 7 - 93 percent among Republicans and 31 - 62 percent among independent voters. Democrats approve 82 - 15 percent. [...]

In the 2014 Senate race, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democrat, gets 43 percent, while U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, the Republican, gets 40 percent. Braley tops other possible Republican contenders:
44 - 38 percent over State Sen. Joni Ernst;
46 - 37 percent over businessman Mark Jacobs;
44 - 36 percent over former U.S. Senate aide David Young;
45 - 34 percent over radio commentator Sam Clovis;
46 - 40 percent over political activist Bob Vander Plaats. [...]

Iowa voters say 46 - 41 percent that they want the Republican Party to control the U.S. Senate.

The usual caveat applies: this poll of 1,617 registered voters has a statistical margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, but a survey of Iowa voters eleven months before the midterm election doesn't necessarily reflect the group of Iowans who will cast ballots next fall.  

Any comments about the U.S. Senate race are welcome in this thread. Braley will be pleased to be leading every Republican, even among respondents who overwhelmingly do not approve of President Obama's job performance and narrowly prefer GOP control of the U.S. Senate. He should be behind in this survey.

Iowa Republicans can take heart that Braley is below 50 percent against every opponent, despite having higher name recognition.

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IA-Sen: News roundup on the Republican field

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 13:28:34 PM CST

Time to catch up on news about the many Republicans running for or thinking about running for Senator Tom Harkin's seat next year. Links about most of the contenders are after the jump.

Any comments about the IA-Sen race are welcome in this thread.

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