Thoughts on Gary Johnson's Des Moines rally and Iowa prospects

Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson made his first Iowa campaign stop this year over the holiday weekend. His September 3 rally in Des Moines attracted hundreds of people, making it possibly the largest Libertarian event in Iowa history. You can watch his full speech at C-SPAN or Caffeinated Thoughts.

Johnson will qualify for the ballot in all 50 states and is consistently polling far better than the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the only other minor-party candidate routinely included in public opinion surveys. I continue to hear the Libertarian’s radio ads on various Des Moines-based stations and have seen pro-Johnson television commercials by the Purple PAC on some cable networks.

The four most recent Iowa polls measured Johnson’s support at 8 percent (Emerson College), 12 percent (Quinnipiac), 6 percent (Suffolk), and 12 percent (Marist). Polls have historically overstated support for third-party candidates. Nevertheless, if the competition between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump remains very close here, even a 2-3 percent showing for Johnson could determine who wins Iowa’s six electoral votes.

Though I wasn’t able to attend Saturday’s rally, listening to Johnson’s stump speech reinforced my view that he is on track to outperform all previous Libertarian presidential candidates in Iowa by a considerable margin.

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IA-Sen: Previewing Braley's case to Iowa voters

Representative Bruce Braley’s campaign for the U.S. Senate has steadily rolled out endorsements this month. Eight labor unions have backed Braley’s Senate bid so far, joined today by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

Since Braley lacks any competition in the Democratic primary, these endorsements aren’t newsworthy at face value. However, a closer look at the announcements points to five major themes the Braley campaign will highlight over the next 19 months.

UPDATE: Added a sixth theme below.

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New Rove ad: "He promised change, but things changed for the worse"

Karl Rove’s super-PAC Crossroads GPS launched another television commercial slamming President Barack Obama yesterday, less than a week after its last ad hit tv screens in Iowa and nine other swing states. “Basketball” targets women who initially supported Obama for president but are discouraged about the economy. The video and transcript are after the jump.

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