IA-03: Sherzan highlights values through "different way of doing business"

Many candidates point to successful careers to communicate their leadership or management skills. Mike Sherzan, one of three Democrats seeking the nomination in Iowa’s third Congressional district, is highlighting his experience as founder and chief executive of a financial services firm in order to show that he values hard work and putting people first.

Last Friday, Sherzan became the first candidate in IA-03 to start running television commercials. I enclose below his introductory spot and latest direct mail, which build on his earlier promise to be "a voice for hardworking families."

UPDATE: Have added the second tv ad for Sherzan, which launched on April 26 and hits similar themes, with a focus on treating women fairly in the workplace.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Congressional 1Q 2016 fundraising news roundup

You’d never guess Representative Steve King was facing a primary challenger backed by Iowans with deep pockets by looking at Federal Election Commission filings alone. King isn’t raising money like an incumbent who’s worried about getting re-elected, and his Republican opponent Rick Bertrand didn’t disclose any fundraising or spending.

Follow me after the jump for highlights from all the first quarter FEC reports from Iowa’s U.S. House candidates. One Democrat out-raised all four of our state’s incumbents, and another Democrat nearly did so.

Continue Reading...

IA-03: Mike Sherzan promises to be "a voice for hardworking families"

The first direct mail piece on behalf of a Democratic candidate in Iowa’s third Congressional district hit our mailbox yesterday. Mike Sherzan’s mailer incorporated several messages tested in an internal poll a few weeks ago, regarding Sherzan’s working-class family background, respect for hard work, and fair treatment of employees, including "equal pay and equal opportunity" for women. Follow me after the jump for photos and the text.

The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel reported on Sherzan’s recent tour of the district. Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich recently profiled the other two Democratic candidates, Jim Mowrer and Desmund Adams.

Any comments about the IA-03 race are welcome in this thread. The winner of the June 7 primary will take on first-term Representative David Young in a district with an even partisan voting index. The latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office indicate that the sixteen counties in central and southwest Iowa contain 158,291 active registered Democrats, 170,361 Republicans, and 152,430 no-party voters.

Continue Reading...

IA-03: Mowrer campaign says internal poll shows big lead in Democratic primary

An internal poll conducted for Jim Mowrer’s campaign indicates that the Iraq War veteran "holds a commanding advantage over both of his opponents" seeking the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s third Congressional district. Some 36 percent of respondents would support Mowrer if the primary were today, according to the limited information released to Bleeding Heartland. Desmund Adams registered 17 percent support and Mike Sherzan 13 percent. After respondents heard "balanced messages on Mowrer and Sherzan, along with a slightly shorter message from Adams (to account for campaign funding discrepancies), […] Mowrer wins 50 percent of the vote to Sherzan’s 20 percent and Adams’ 18 percent." I enclose below the one-page polling memo from the firm GBA Strategies.

Mowrer’s campaign declined to provide further findings from this survey or details from the questionnaire. I was most interested in the wording of the "balanced messages," but no dice. (Perhaps Iowans who received this polling call will contact me to fill in the blanks.) Campaign manager Andrew Mulvey said the messages contained neutral biographical background, not negative information akin to another survey on the IA-03 Democratic race that was also in the field last week. Bleeding Heartland posted positive and negative messages from that poll here. Both Mulvey and Mowrer told me that their campaign did not commission the other survey, which Bernett Research Services conducted.

As mentioned in the GBA Strategies memo, the internal poll for Mowrer gave respondents less information about Adams because of "campaign funding discrepancies." Year-end financial reports indicate that unlike the other two contenders, Adams will not have the funds for district-wide paid media before the June 7 primary.

Adams has been holding events around IA-03 since declaring his candidacy last July. Sherzan launched his campaign in December and is touring all sixteen counties in IA-03 this week. Mowrer joined the race in August and has attracted the most support from Democratic insiders and from organized labor. On March 24, his campaign announced endorsements from former Iowa Democratic Party chairs Roxanne Conlin and Scott Brennan. The same day, Mowrer unveiled constituency outreach chairs for veterans, women, Latinos, LGBT voters, and youth/students.

Any comments about the IA-03 campaign are welcome in this thread. Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for Adams, Mowrer, or Sherzan. Please read these guidelines before writing.

UPDATE: Added below a March 29 press release from the Adams campaign.

Continue Reading...

IA-03: Poll is testing negative messages about Jim Mowrer and Mike Sherzan (updated)

UPDATE: I got this call myself on March 22 and recorded the questions, so was able to fill in gaps below.

A poll is in the field testing negative messages about two of the three Democratic candidates running in Iowa’s third Congressional district. I haven’t received the call, but I discussed it with two respondents, one of whom shared notes on the poll with me. I encourage all activists to take notes on political surveys, whether they are legitimate message-testing polls, like this one, or push-polls. Campaigns use message-testing to collect and analyze data about candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and which talking points resonate with voters. In contrast, as Kathy Frankovic explained here a push-poll is "political telemarketing masquerading as a poll," designed solely to disseminate negative information.

Three Democrats are seeking the nomination in IA-03: Desmund Adams, Jim Mowrer, and Mike Sherzan. The respondents who told me about this poll heard negative messages about Mowrer and Sherzan only. Both had said on the first ballot test that they were supporting Mowrer. If any Bleeding Heartland readers receive the same call, please say you plan to vote for Adams and then let me know whether the caller presents a list of unflattering statements about him. (UPDATE: Another respondent reports that he indicated strong support for Adams but was not given negative information about him.)

It’s possible that whoever paid for this call—my hunch is Sherzan’s campaign—is more concerned about Mowrer than Adams, because Mowrer has a lot of support from Democratic insiders and more funds to raise his name recognition across the district before June 7.

Continue Reading...

Guidelines for Bleeding Heartland guest authors advocating for candidates in Democratic primaries

This morning I wrote about a state legislative race where two Democrats are seeking the nomination.

This afternoon I received a robocall from Pat Murphy’s campaign in Iowa’s first Congressional district, directing me to the GOP Monica website to "get the facts" about rival candidate Monica Vernon’s Republican past.

Earlier this week, I wrote two posts about the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, which is getting much more attention in Iowa and nationally now that Patty Judge has entered the race.

Meanwhile, supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Tom Fiegen posted two guest pieces here in two days on behalf of their favored candidate.

All of which reminded me that it’s time to post guidelines for writers advocating for Democratic candidates at Bleeding Heartland. Unfortunately, competitive elections can bring out bad behavior on political blogs.

Continue Reading...
View More...