IA-SEN: Grassley to Get a Serious Challenger?

(What do you think, Bleeding Heartland readers? - promoted by desmoinesdem)

The progressive blog Down With Tyanny! is quoting a Congress Daily rundown of the 2010 senate races that suggests that Chuck Grassley’s free rides may be about to end.

The success of Iowa Democrats in the last two election cycles has fueled talk that the party can finally take a serious run at Sen. Charles Grassley, who will be running for a sixth term in 2010. Democrats took over both houses of the state Legislature and picked up two House seats in 2006, and President-elect Obama won the state with 54 percent of the vote this year after it narrowly went for President Bush in 2004. Democrats have held the governor’s mansion since 1999, and Gov. Chet Culver will be at the top of the ticket in 2010.

A source at the Iowa Democratic Party said she would be “very surprised if there’s not a high-profile challenger” to Grassley but acknowledged challenging the popular Grassley would be “daunting” to many candidates because of his high approval ratings. “Some folks do feel he’s unbeatable,” she said. Grassley has never faced a serious challenge for his seat, and in 2004 was re-elected with 70 percent, his highest total. Potential challengers include former two-term Gov. Tom Vilsack, Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson and Rep. Bruce Braley. The Democratic source said she expects the field to take shape next year, and said some might be waiting on Vilsack, who has been mentioned as a possible Agriculture secretary for Obama. [That rumor ended yesterday.]

I have to admit that I never really held anything against Grassley, who has always reminded me of the more sensible old-school Republicans that I grew up with. I never figured he was vulnerable either. But when is the last time he had a top-tier challenger? Wil he run again? Is he so tough? Has he been mostly getting a free ride based on his good name? Has Iowa changed that much? It will be interesting to find out.

Tags: IA-SEN
  • I am opposed to any current office-holder

    taking on Grassley, especially Braley. We need him to stay in the House. He has the potential to become very influential, not to mention a force for good on a lot of the key issues.

    I would love to see a top-tier challenge to Grassley, but it should be someone who is not currently in office.

    I’ve always heard Grassley loves his job and has no desire to retire. However, if he gets cut out of a lot of deals Baucus used to let him in on, and he sees a tough campaign looming, he may just call it a day. Relations between Grassley and the evangelicals in the GOP base are not great:



  • I vote for Grassley

    but I might not in 2010 because of his support for this terrible bailout.  What in the world is that guy thinking?

  • He might retire

    I wrote some about Grassley back in October.


  • Assuming Grassley retires, how strong is Vilsack?

    Seems like he did not have an easy time getting re-elected in 2002. How popular is/was he?  

  • Grassley's last tough race

    Was 1980 when he was a challenger. I wish Art Small had run 18 years earlier…

  • good on renewable energy

    He was behind the production tax credit – gotta give him props for that. He doesn’t strike me as a Santorum style mouth breather … we ought to focus on behavior problems first now that we have a majority – cement that sixty plus seats, and maybe think about bumping off blue dogs. We’re going to have to get used to being the majority – the dynamics are different.

Login or Join to comment and post.