Conlin Wins in Iowa—Is Grassley Vulnerable?

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Roxanne Conlin, a former Iowa Attorney General, won the Democrats’ Senate nomination there Tuesday night and will face incumbent Republican Chuck Grassley in the fall. Logic holds that Grassley should be vulnerable. Iowa has been trending blue, and is perfectly capable of sending Democrats to Washington—Tom Harkin, the Dem half of the state’s senate pair, is pretty liberal and a big supporter of organized labor. Grassley has definitely been feeling some pressure from his state’s increasingly blue hue—he flirted with negotiating on health care reform, for example. Most important, Conlin’s a serious candidate with the ability to raise real money. The Democratic National Committee is certainly excited about her chances. DNC chair Tim Kaine released this statement Tuesday night:

As we look toward November, the contrast for Iowa voters could not be more clear. Voters will choose between Roxanne Conlin, a Democrat who will fight for middle-class Americans, or Republican Chuck Grassley, a senator who has repeatedly put special interests and the insurance companies ahead of the people of Iowa. At every turn Senator Grassley and his Republican colleagues in Congress have opposed President Obama—from the Recovery Act, to the Affordable Care Act, to relief for out of work Americans. Senator Grassley had the opportunity to do right by the American people by standing with the President on health reform, but decided instead to stand with insurance companies. We know where Chuck Grassley stands, and it is not with the people of Iowa. This November Iowans will have the opportunity to elect Roxanne Conlin, a candidate who will work hard every day for the people of Iowa.

I’m not sure Grassley is as vulnerable as Kaine hopes. Sure, one poll had Conlin within 10 points of Grassley earlier this year. But that result hasn’t been replicated since. We can tell one thing from the statement, though: in Iowa, at least, the Dems are perfectly confident about running on their record. If this turns out to be an anti-incumbent, rather than simply an anti-Dem, year, look for Conlin to at least give Grassley a scare. 

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate