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Martin O'Malley: Presidential candidate? Maybe. Clinton rival? No way.

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 14:45:00 PM CDT

It makes perfect sense for potential Democratic presidential candidates to visit Iowa, meeting activists and keeping their options open. That doesn't mean any of them would run against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Case in point: Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. Having keynoted the Iowa Democratic Party's state convention last month, he's coming here again this weekend, headlining events for State Senator Rita Hart and state Senate candidate Kevin Kinney on Saturday, then Council Bluffs and Sioux City events for gubernatorial nominee Jack Hatch on Sunday. Politico's Maggie Halberman notes that O'Malley "has said he's exploring a 2016 presidential run." A Des Moines Register headline writer termed him a "possible rival" to Clinton. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post speculated, "O'Malley is term limited out as governor at the end of this year and undoubtedly thinks a credible run for president might bolster his chances of a spot in a Clinton Administration."

I just don't see it. Laying the groundwork for a potential campaign is not the same thing as preparing to embark on a suicide mission. O'Malley doesn't come across as a guy like Senator Bernie Sanders, who knows he will never be president but might run to shine a light on issues important to him. O'Malley goes way back with Bill and Hillary Clinton. He stuck with Hillary for president even after Barack Obama dominated the 2008 Maryland primary. From where I'm sitting, CNN's Dan Merica had it exactly right when he described O'Malley as an "understudy," "angling to be the person who could step in" if Clinton does not run for president for whatever reason. Maryland's term limits for governors make 2016 an ideal time for O'Malley to run for president, but he's only 51 years old--young enough to wait until 2020 or 2024 if necessary.

Meanwhile, I hope all of this weekend's events are successful, because Hatch, Hart, and Kinney are very worth supporting.

Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.

P.S. - Hart's re-election bid in Senate district 49 is a must-hold for Democrats. Kinney's running in the open Senate district 39, and if he wins, it would virtually guarantee a Democratic majority in the state legislature's upper chamber for the next two years.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Prospects for increasing diversity in the Iowa legislature

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:10:18 AM CDT

Forty men and ten women currently serve in the Iowa Senate. No senators are African-American, Latino, or Asian-American.

Seventy-five men and 25 women currently serve in the Iowa House. Five state representatives are African-American and none are Latino or Asian-American.

Time for a look at how those numbers might change after the November election, now that primaries have determined the major-party nominees in all state legislative districts. Click here for the June 3 unofficial election results and here for the full list of candidates who filed to run in the primaries.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1013 words in story)

Post-primary overview of the key Iowa Senate races

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 12:57:42 PM CDT

Competitive primaries happened yesterday in several of the Iowa Senate districts that will determine control of the upper chamber for the next two years. Full results are on this page of the Secretary of State's website.

My first take on the general election match-ups is below. I still see Democrats favored to hold their majority, with a decent chance of expanding it.

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 1694 words in story)

58 Iowa House seats uncontested, including a dozen in competitive Senate districts

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:20:00 AM CDT

In any given general election, roughly a dozen or two of the 100 Iowa House districts are in play. A first look through the list of candidates who qualified for the primary ballot suggests that this year, fewer Iowa House districts will be competitive than in 2010 or 2012. Republicans have failed to field a candidate in 32 of the 47 Democratic-held House districts. Democrats have failed to field a candidate in 26 of the 53 Republican-held House districts.

Although a few of these districts may see major-party candidates nominated through special conventions after the primary, it's rare for late-starting candidates to have a realistic chance to beat an incumbent. (That said, two Iowa House Democrats lost in 2010 to candidates who joined the race over the summer rather than during the primary campaign.)

After the jump I've enclosed a full list of the Iowa House districts left unchallenged by one of the major parties. I highlighted the most surprising recruitment failures and what looks like a pattern of uncontested House seats in Senate districts that will be targeted by both parties, which may reflect a deliberate strategy. House incumbents with no fear of losing may slack off on GOTV in one half of a Senate district where every vote may count.

A future post will focus on the ten or fifteen Iowa House races likely to be most competitive this fall.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1420 words in story)

Iowa Senate overview: Democrats favored to hold chamber

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:32:09 AM CDT

Democrats appear to be in a strong position to hold their Iowa Senate majority, based on a first review of the landscape since the filing period for major-party candidates ended yesterday.  
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 2804 words in story)

Analysis of the Obama-Romney vote in the Iowa Senate districts

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 10:57:01 AM CDT

The Daily Kos Elections team has been compiling 2012 presidential election results by state legislative district as well as by Congressional district. Yesterday the Iowa numbers were added to the database. You can view Google documents with raw vote totals and percentages for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney by Iowa Congressional district here, by Iowa Senate district here, and by Iowa House district here.

Looking closely at the presidential vote in the legislative districts provides some insight about where the competitive Iowa statehouse races might be next year. After the jump I've highlighted some key data points related to the Iowa Senate races. Later I will post a separate diary with first thoughts about the Iowa House districts.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 1676 words in story)

Democrats have failed to convey the importance of the Iowa Senate

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:41:11 AM CST

On one level, yesterday's special election in Iowa Senate district 22 was no surprise. One would expect a Republican victory in a district with a large GOP voter registration advantage, where Republicans spent far more money and only the Republican candidate ran television commercials.

On the other hand, the special election loss is a big red flag that Iowa Democrats have failed to communicate how crucial it is to hold their narrow Senate majority.

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 766 words in story)

Where things stand in the Iowa Senate races

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:51:34 AM CST

Democrats are assured of maintaining their majority in the Iowa Senate, with one race headed for a recount and another to be decided in a December 11 special election.
There's More... :: (9 Comments, 470 words in story)

Democratic and Republican party spending in the Iowa Senate races

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 19:16:09 PM CST

Candidates for the Iowa legislature were required to submit campaign finance disclosure reports on October 19 and November 2. The Schedule E forms on "In-Kind Contributions" contained the most interesting numbers, because they showed how Democratic and Republican party leaders are allocating resources across the battleground districts.

After the jump I've enclosed in-kind contribution figures for the Senate districts expected to be in play tomorrow. Candidates running in other Senate races did not report large in-kind contributions from their respective parties.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 794 words in story)

Four strategies for interest group Iowa legislative endorsements

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 07:47:54 AM CST

Many candidates for the Iowa House and Senate tout endorsements by outside groups in their campaign communications. Some of those groups pay for direct mail, phone calls, or even advertising supporting their endorsed candidates.

Iowa's influential political action committees and advocacy groups have very different ways of getting involved in the state legislative campaign. Follow me after the jump for examples of four distinct strategies.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1627 words in story)

Vander Plaats group on radio in two races, conspicuously absent in one

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 16:15:00 PM CDT

Three-time candidate for Iowa governor Bob Vander Plaats has made news this fall primarily on the "No Wiggins" campaign trail. However, the social conservative group he runs is supporting some Republican Iowa Senate candidates as well.

Last week the FAMiLY Leader launched radio advertising campaigns in two competitive Senate races--but notably, not in the district where Vander Plaats' longtime right-hand man Matt Reisetter is running.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1023 words in story)

Weekend open thread: Iowa state legislative race edition

by: desmoinesdem

Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:00:00 AM CDT

What's on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? A bunch of posts on Iowa House and Senate races are in the works for the next couple of weeks. Several Democratic candidates for the Iowa House have been targeted by push-polls similar to the one I received attacking Susan Judkins in House district 43. Direct mail pieces are resurrecting some of the dishonest Republican talking points of the 2010 campaign, including non-existent "heated sidewalks" allegedly funded with state money, fancy flowerpots and "bus service for lobbyists."

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee strategists included three Iowa Senate races in the new list of 50 essential state legislative races around the country. Those are Senate district 26, where Democratic incumbent Mary Jo Wilhelm faces Republican incumbent Merlin "build my fence" Bartz, Senate district 46, pitting Republican incumbent Shawn "Go Home" Hamerlinck against challenger Chris Brase, and Senate district 49, an open seat pitting almost-elected 2010 GOP candidate Andrew Naeve against longtime teacher and planning and zoning commissioner Rita Hart on the Democratic side.

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, who is working hard to preserve his 26-24 edge in the chamber, has chaired the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee since 2007. Republicans failed to recruit a strong candidate against Gronstal in the new Senate district 8, covering Council Bluffs and Carter Lake.

This is an open thread. If you've noticed any interesting direct mail, phone calls, radio or television commercials supporting or attacking Iowa House and Senate candidates, please post a comment here, put up your own diary, or send a message to desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com. Most of the candidates are not uploading their campaign advertising to YouTube. Remember not to hang up the phone when you get calls targeting your local state legislative candidates. Instead, take detailed notes if you can, and don't be afraid to ask the caller to repeat the questions.

UPDATE: Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and Democratic Representative Dave Loebsack will be at today's Reichert Oktoberfest in Muscatine supporting state Senate Candidates Brase and Tom Courtney and state House Candidates John Dabeet and Sara Sedlacek.  

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

First look at the Obama and Romney ground games in Iowa

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:45:00 AM CDT

At this time four years ago, Barack Obama's campaign had about 30 field offices up and running in Iowa, compared to six offices for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Obama's campaign has had eight Iowa field offices open this summer and is rolling out another 26 offices around Iowa this weekend. So far, Mitt Romney's campaign has ten Iowa field offices, in addition to the unified Republican headquarters in Urbandale.

After the jump, I compare the field office locations for each presidential campaign, grouped by Iowa Congressional district. Where relevant, I've also noted competitive Iowa House and Senate districts near the Obama and Romney field offices, although I doubt either presidential campaign will do much for down-ticket Democratic or Republican candidates.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 1966 words in story)

Iowa primary election results thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 21:18:02 PM CDT

Polls closed across Iowa at 9 pm, and I will update this post periodically as results come in from around the states. Any comments related to today's elections are welcome in this thread.

P.S.- As expected, Wisconsin Democrats fell short in their effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker.

UPDATE: Results are after the jump.  

There's More... :: (42 Comments, 1483 words in story)

Weekend open thread: Candidate filing deadline edition

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 20:26:59 PM CDT

I'm posting the weekend thread early, because the filing period for primary election candidates in Iowa closed this afternoon. The Secretary of State's Office posted the full list of candidates here (pdf). John Deeth has been covering the filing on a daily basis all month at his blog. Some highlights from races I'm watching are after the jump.

This is an open thread; all topics welcome.

UPDATE: Gotta agree with Senator Chuck Grassley: the History Channel is useless.

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 1726 words in story)

Dorothy O'Brien becomes second Democrat running in Iowa Senate district 49

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 20:19:24 PM CST

There will be a competitive Democratic primary in Iowa Senate district 49. Attorney and small business owner Dorothy O'Brien announced her candidacy today, less than a week after Rita Hart became the first Democrat to declare in this district.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 713 words in story)

Democrat Rita Hart announces in Iowa Senate district 49

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 14:39:15 PM CST

Iowa Senate Democrats announced today that a former teacher and community volunteer, Rita Hart, will run in the new Senate district 49 in 2012. The district is a must-win if Democrats are to retain their slim Senate majority. A map and background on Hart are after the jump.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 697 words in story)

Iowa Workforce Development offices as a 2012 campaign issue

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:00:49 AM CST

The state agency Iowa Workforce Development has replaced 36 field offices with hundreds of new "enhanced access" computer terminals this year.

Although the shuttered offices are unlikely ever to reopen, they may live on as talking points in many competitive Iowa House and Senate races next fall.

There's More... :: (6 Comments, 4433 words in story)

Hancock retiring; Bowman to hold over in Iowa Senate district 29

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 07:07:08 AM CDT

Democratic State Senator Tom Hancock announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election to the Iowa Senate in 2012. His decision means that fellow Democratic incumbent Tod Bowman can hold over in the new Senate district 29 until 2014, but it also means that Democrats must field a candidate in the new Senate district 49 next year.

District maps and background on Hancock and Bowman are after the jump.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 968 words in story)

Andrew Naeve announces candidacy in Iowa Senate district 49

by: desmoinesdem

Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:25:59 AM CDT

Republican Andrew Naeve announced today that he will run in the new Iowa Senate district 49 in 2012. He is a sixth-generation farmer in his mid-20s who serves on the East Central School Board. District 49 covers all of Clinton County and parts of northern Scott County, including the towns of Princeton and Le Claire. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district, but no-party voters have a plurality. As of April 2011, the new district 49 contained 13,524 registered Democrats, 10,139 Republicans and 16,918 no-party voters. After the jump I've posted Naeve's press release and a district map.

Naeve ran for Iowa Senate district 13 last year, losing to Tod Bowman by a 70-vote margin after a recount. The open seat should have been an easy hold for Democrats, who had a strong registration advantage in the district. Notably, Naeve carried Clinton County by more than 500 votes in that race, even though there were nearly 4,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the county at the time. Granted, 2010 was a poor year for Democratic turnout in Iowa, but the number of Democrats who cast ballots in Clinton County last November exceeded the number of Republican voters there by more than 1,000. Naeve must have done well with no-party voters.

No current state senator lives in the new district 49, which is why it will be among the odd-numbered Iowa Senate seats up for election in 2012. To my knowledge, no Democrat has announced plans to run in the district. Some have speculated that Bowman, an educator in Maquoketa (Jackson County), may move to district 49 to resolve being paired with fellow Democrat Tom Hancock in the new Senate district 29. I think it would be wiser for Democrats to recruit someone from Clinton County for this race. Presidential election year turnout should favor a Democratic candidate in district 49, but Naeve has shown he has crossover appeal.

UPDATE: John Deeth writes,

If Bowman were to move within his old Senate district, say, into Clinton County, he would be considered a holdover senator and his four-year term would continue till 2014. However, recent speculation points another direction: Bowman could also stay put in Maquoketa and hold over in District 29 if Hancock, age 63, retires. (Hancock was elected in 2008 so he would have to run no matter what.) District 29 is better for a Democrat by about 3,000 voters.

Hancock retiring would be fine by me. He has signed discharge petitions seeking to bring both the constitutional amendment on marriage and the 20-week abortion ban to votes on the Senate floor.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 368 words in story)
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