1st District once again a “toss-up”

July 24, 2015 0 Comments

As expected, the race for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District is heating up. Pat Murphy, former Iowa Speaker of the House and the Democratic nominee who lost to current Congressman Rod Blum in 2014, has entered the race. The 1st Congressional District leans Democratic with urban areas of Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and […]

Continue Reading »

The race for the few

July 21, 2015 0 Comments

At what point do voters say enough? As in, there are enough candidates in the race from which to choose, all other interested parties please wait until 2020. With 16 candidates now in the GOP field, a reasonable question to ask before joining is: Are there any votes left? According to the Des Moines Register, […]

Continue Reading »

The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog Theory of Iowa politics

July 15, 2015 0 Comments

I was recently asked to be a contributor to the “About the Caucuses” blog sponsored by “The Caucus Project” at the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University.  While that blog will generally be different than the blog I write here, I thought my first entry for “The Caucus Project” would […]

Continue Reading »

Make debates random

July 9, 2015 0 Comments

The Washington Post is reporting on the potential problems and backlash of Fox News using national polls for tabulating the top ten candidates based on polling averages. This debate is worth reading about and has implications for Iowa because there are considerable differences between national polls and polling in individual states. Consider the following exercise: […]

Continue Reading »

Chris Christie’s chances…not good

June 30, 2015 0 Comments

Governor Chris Christie announced his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for president today.   What are his chances?  Not good. First, the positives. Four out of the last six presidents are former governors, and Christie is a Republican governor of a “blue” state, presumably making him someone who can “reach across the aisle.” Christie’s agenda […]

Continue Reading »

Did Walker overplay his hand?

June 28, 2015 0 Comments

Republican presidential candidates were quick to criticize the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex equality.  For candidates relying on the social conservative vote in Iowa (e.g. Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal), however, Friday’s ruling was a chance to stand firm against what some call an “assault” on religious freedom. But one candidate went further […]

Continue Reading »

Contenders and pretenders

June 18, 2015 0 Comments

Donald Trump’s official entrance into the 2016 presidential campaign drew a considerable amount of attention as expected.  Trump, should he make the cut for one of the debates, is also likely to attract attention more for the things he is likely to say rather than the substance of his policy proposals. At this point, it […]

Continue Reading »

State government turning into Congress?

June 2, 2015 0 Comments

Few question that Congress has become increasingly polarized over the last 30 years, and indeed research examining roll call votes supports this notion (summary of research can be found here).  Such polarization, some argue, is the cause of the significant drop in the productivity of Congress in terms of legislation passed (summary of this research […]

Continue Reading »

New candidates, same storyline

May 28, 2015 0 Comments

Two more Republican candidates are now officially running for the 2016 GOP nomination for president: former US senator Rick Santorum and former New York governor George Pataki.  Although it is still early in the race (8 months until the caucuses), the addition of Santorum and Pataki to such a crowded field is not “game changer.” […]

Continue Reading »

Straw Poll struggling for relevance

May 21, 2015 0 Comments

The announcement that Mike Huckabee will not participate in this year’s Straw Poll is a major setback for the event.  Already, the biggest name in the GOP field (Jeb Bush) has declined.  That decision, as I noted in a previous blog (found here), made sense from a vote-getting perspective.  Huckabee’s decision, however, is more fundamental. […]

Continue Reading »