Iowa Party Heads Not Worried About Unity

Oct 13, 2016

The heads of both Iowa’s Republican and Democratic parties say they’re not concerned about party unity. That’s in spite of the fact both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the least-liked presidential candidates in the history of U.S. polling.

On the Republican side of the aisle, scores of prominent GOPers are refusing to support or defend Trump. This include several Iowa state lawmakers.

But chair Jeff Kaufmann says some of these un-endorsements are politically motivated.   

“I’ve always questioned the actual attack of conscience one has if they feel the need to have that internal conversation on social media,” says Kaufmann. “I know when I make a heart-wrenching decision, that last thing I want to do is put it out there for tens or even hundreds of people to see.”

Democrats have been having their own problems. Many saw the party establishment favoring Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the caucuses, and some say this has hurt Clinton with Iowans during the general election.

“We’re tried very hard to make sure that we’ve healed any of the wounds,” says chair Any McGuire. “I think what Hillary Clinton did when she changed some policies to be more like Bernie Sanders, we really have tried to make sure all our Democrats to be comfortable with where they are. I think when they look at the choice here between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they very much are in the Democratic comer.” 

The latest Des Moines Register-Mediacom Iowa Poll shows Clinton trailing GOP Trump by four points. This survey of likely Iowa voters was concluded before a 2005 video surfaced, in which Trump is heard bragging about sexually assaulting women.

McGuire and Kaufmann made their comments Thursday on Iowa Public Radio’s “River to River.”