Iowa SOS will need permission for future emergency election changes

Secretary of State Paul Pate will need approval from the Legislative Council in order to use his emergency powers to alter election procedures, under a bill Governor Kim Reynolds signed on June 25.

While Republicans have a majority on that legislative body, it’s not clear they would use that power to prevent Pate from repeating steps that led to record-breaking turnout for the June 2 primary.

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Joni Ernst picks a strange fight with Theresa Greenfield

“You know, I haven’t heard Theresa Greenfield say one thing that Chuck Schumer hasn’t told her to say,” Senator Joni Ernst declared today on her Twitter feed. “And that’s not what Iowans expect in a leader.”

Several political reporters quickly noted the role reversal in Ernst’s call for six debates with her Democratic opponent. Usually challengers want more debates in order to raise their profiles before the general election. An incumbent making that demand is likely trailing, as the three most recent published polls on Iowa’s Senate race suggest.

Other endangered Republican senators have similarly called for frequent debates this fall, a sign of justified fear that President Donald Trump’s sinking approval will drag them down in November.

Another thing about Ernst’s taunt struck me as more strange, though. If she wants to make the election about who slavishly follows her party’s leader, Iowa’s junior senator is on exceptionally weak ground.

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The ghost of 1980

Based on the latest Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register, Dan Guild wonders whether history will repeat itself, with an unpopular president taking down U.S. senators from his party. -promoted by Laura Belin

The presidential election of 1980 was by far the most important election of my lifetime. It gave power to social conservatives who had never tasted power before (Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford were both pro-choice). It also brought to fore and gave explicit expression to white racial resentment when Ronald Reagan spoke of “welfare queens” driving Cadillacs.

The 1980 election changed not only Republican politics (every GOP nominee since has been pro-life) but also Democratic politics. In the aftermath of the Reagan presidency, Democrats began talking about “ending welfare as we know it.” President Bill Clinton signed a major welfare reform bill 45 days before the 1996 election, in which he had a significant lead.

What is difficult to explain to those who have no memory of 1980 is how shocking the results were. It was not just that Reagan won, but that Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in decades. The GOP picked up twelve Senate seats, beating some well-liked Democrats with national reputations.

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IA-Sen: New Des Moines Register poll confirms Joni Ernst is vulnerable

Iowans haven’t voted a sitting U.S. senator out of office since 1984, but a third poll taken since the June 2 primary shows Senator Joni Ernst slightly trailing Democratic nominee Theresa Greenfield.

One poll might be dismissed as a fluke. Two polls might be explained away by the fact that groups supporting Greenfield commissioned the surveys. But Selzer & Co, which conducts the Iowa Poll for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom, has no dog in this fight.

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Two polls show Greenfield leading Ernst, Iowa in play for Biden

The 2016 elections were so devastating for Iowa Democrats that I thought Iowa had probably relinquished swing-state status and would not have a targeted U.S. Senate race in 2020.

However, Senator Joni Ernst’s approval numbers have been sliding for some time. The first two polls published following last week’s primary election show Democratic Senate nominee Theresa Greenfield slightly leading Ernst.

The same surveys point to a highly competitive race between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden for Iowa’s six electoral votes.

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Kimberly Graham knows universal health care is our only choice

Elisa Hernández Pérez is an immigrant from Spain living in Iowa City. -promoted by Laura Belin

When I moved to Iowa from Spain, my mom’s main worry was not whether I would be too cold in the snowy winters, nor if I would make friends quickly, nor if I would miss the food or going to the beach. Her main worry was what could happen to me if I found myself in need of even the most basic health care.

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