Here’s the big news tonight out of Iowa:
Des Moines real estate developer Theresa Greenfield has officially won Iowa’s Democratic Senate primary, which means she’ll take on sitting Sen. Joni Ernst, one of the upper chamber’s more vulnerable members, later this fall.
Greenfield was the Democratic Party favorite: She’d picked up the endorsements of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as well as backing from powerhouse groups like Emily’s List and Iowa’s AFL-CIO. The party has already begun ramping up its spending in the race, which is among those that will be one of the most closely watched and expensive during the general election this fall.
Greenfield grew up on a farm as the daughter of a crop-duster. She previously worked as an urban planner and now runs a real estate development company. In a campaign ad, Greenfield goes after Ernst’s trademark “make them squeal” tagline, which she’s previously used to claim that she’ll curb wasteful spending — though she’s since voted to support major tax breaks including the 2018 cuts.
Greenfield has emphasized that she’ll focus on bolstering the social safety net if she’s elected, and cited her past reliance on Social Security as an example of why she finds such efforts important.
While former Vice President Joe Biden registered a disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa’s Democratic presidential caucuses, strategists on both sides of the aisle expect the presumptive nominee to do better than Hillary Clinton, who lost by 9 points to Trump in Iowa four years ago. Polling in the state has been sparse, but according to RealClearPolitics, Trump currently leads Biden in the state by an average of 4 points, 48 percent to 44 percent.
Democrats argue that the red-leaning state, which voted twice for Barack Obama before voting for Trump in 2016, still has purple hues. In 2018, when Iowa elected Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) to a full term, it sent three Democrats to Congress after voting out two Republicans. And compared with the rest of the country, Iowa has the largest concentration of counties that voted for Obama in 2012 and went to Trump four years later.
“Partisan realignment can be a slow process, and the top of the ticket can sometimes take time to bleed down the ballot,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “If Trump in fact wins Iowa again, the Democratic Senate nominee will have to hope that Biden narrows the gap at least a little bit and that some ancestral Democrats, particularly in the eastern part of the state, split their tickets down the ballot.”
A 2019 Morning Consult poll of people in Iowa who voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016 found that 81 percent approved of Trump’s job performance, up from 74 percent in 2017. His disapproval rating had dropped by 5 points, to 17 percent, over the time frame. The 2019 poll was conducted from April 1 through Oct. 28 among 934 Obama-Trump voters, with a 3-point margin of error, and the 2017 poll surveyed 324 Obama-Trump voters from Feb. 1 through Aug. 31, with a 6-point margin of error.
We won big in Iowa in 2018. Let’s do it again in 2020. We’re still waiting to see white supremacist Rep. Steve King (R. IA) does in his primary but either way, let’s get ready to flip Iowa completely blue for Joe Biden and so we can pick up another Senate seat. Click below to donate to Greenfield, Biden and their fellow Iowa Democrats campaigns:
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: