Politics

Clay Masters / IPR

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney descended on Dubuque Saturday in the final days of their campaigns. Both candidates were promoting their own brand of change.

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney flew into the Dubuque airport and greeted a crowd of more than 2,000 people in a hangar behind a sign that read “REAL CHANGE ON DAY ONE”.

Appearing with Romney was his wife Ann and NASCAR legend Richard Petty… who offered a race car driver’s perspective on the economy.

Judicial Retention

Nov 1, 2012
Shane Vander Hart / Flickr

As it was two years ago during the midterm election, judicial retention is again a contentious issue in Iowa. Ben Kieffer talks with members of the Iowa State Bar Association to help lay out all the facts and arguments pertaining to the retention of Justice Wiggins, as well as the different opinions on what makes a judicial system political.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

With the presidential election looming, hardly anyone is paying attention to Ron Paul anymore. The Texas Congressman ran for the GOP nomination, but has not endorsed his party’s nominee. In several places including the battleground state of Iowa, many of Paul’s supporters are still involved in politics – but not on behalf of Mitt Romney. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah McCammon reports, they’re keeping the focus close to

home.

401(K)2012 / flickr

It’s the tail end of election season, meaning many Iowans have received calls, or survey requests online, all to see where political support stands with voters. But how much do we know about these polls, and the organizations that conduct them? Host Ben Kieffer finds out more about what these polls mean, and how much impact they are on voters. Then Megan Took, the executive director and legal counsel for the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, discusses campaign spending within the state of Iowa.

Sandhya Dirks

The first presidential debate is this week, and the presidential candidates are a little busy. So are the Vice Presidential Candidates. Paul Ryan just concluded a two day tour stumping up and down the Mississippi River, talking about the economy. To find out whether his message hit home, Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks talked to voters.

Drake University / Facebook

Former President Jimmy Carter says he disagrees with President Obama’s assessment this week of Egypt’s relationship to the United States.

The Democrat addressed students and faculty at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday. During a forum focused primarily on social justice issues, Carter was asked if he agrees with President Obama’s statement that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.

"No, I think Egypt is an ally of the United States," Carter says. "We know Egypt well."

Sandhya Dirks / Iowa Public Radio

Most of the attention in the presidential race is focusing on the Democratic and Republican parties.  But there are, of course, third-party candidates … including former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who is running as a Libertarian.

Johnson’s name will appear on the November ballot in Iowa after he survived a challenge from supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. He’s faced similar challenges in several other states including Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Clay Masters / IPR

Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over. And both presidential candidates were in Iowa yesterday.  Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were using new jobs numbers to sway voters.

More than 8,000 people crowded outside Jessup Hall at the University of Iowa. A late afternoon rain soaked the crowd… many dressed in Hawkeye yellow and black as well as ponchos.  But the sky cleared up for Vice President Joe Biden to introduce the president.

AP Photos

It’s the day after the conventions—do you know where you candidate is? If you guessed Iowa, you would be right. While President Obama stops at the University of Iowa, Republican Nominee Mitt Romney stumped at Northwestern College – a private Christian school. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, Romney rallied the Republican base and tried to woo the youth vote.  

Michael Perry / Sneezingcow.com

On today's River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa delegates at the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida and what challenges their party now faces in the next 10 weeks before the presidential election.

Then, author Michael Perry gives a glimpse of the life of an 82-year old man in rural Wisconsin in his new book, Visiting Tom: A Man, A Highway and the Road to Roughneck Grace.

Gary Johnson campaign

Libertarian-minded voters will have a presidential candidate on the ballot in Iowa this November—but it won’t be Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who galvanized so many Iowa voters when he ran for the Republican nomination. Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson will have his name in the running, after a unanimous decision by a  three-person bipartisan panel.

Republican Party of Iowa

The Republican National Convention is underway in Florida, and while Iowa may not have the largest delegation, it’s still getting a lot of attention because of Iowa’s swing-state status.

The delegation also has been the source of controversy within the party, because most of its members have supported Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon speaks with delegation chairman Drew Ivers, who's also the former chairman of Paul’s Iowa campaign.

One of the wackier sideshows in Iowa’s political theater happened earlier this summer  - when the Republican State Senate candidate in the 34th district declared the United States Government illegitimate, and dropped out of the race.

Randi Shannon then announced she was becoming a State Senator in something called the Republic for the United States of America.  Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks took a closer look at the political fringe.

WNYC

If you were hoping the political ads would go away after the Iowa caucuses…well, no luck. As you’re probably well aware, Iowa is a swing state in this presidential election.  Both President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are fighting hard for our six electoral votes in what's looking like a very tight race.

Reporter Anna Sale of WNYC (http://www.wnyc.org/) in New York is also a writer for the political blog, “It’s a Free Country.”  She's been spending the week in Iowa as part of a tour of key swing states.

Politics Day

Jul 18, 2012

Recent political ads from both presidential parties have caused hand-wringing on both sides of the isle. This Politics Day we talk with political experts Chris Larimer, associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa, and Dennis Goldford, professor of politics at Drake University, about the latest developments on the political stage.

On Politics Day, IPR’s Dean Borg talks with two political scientists, Bruce Nesmith from Coe College and Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa, about the current strategies of President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney including the recent political gaffes and how the incidents may impact the candidates. Later on, Dean talks about the potential influence Ron Paul could have in Iowa’s Republican party in light of the coming GOP state convention.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio


President Obama is becoming a familiar face in Iowa again. Yesterday, he made his third visit to the state this year, which he won in 2008.
Mr. Obama discussed renewable energy at a manufacturing plant in Newton before rallying about 2500 supporters at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

If Mr. Obama’s job four years ago was to woo voters, this time the message is more like “I Still Need You.”

"This election’s gonna be even closer than the last one. And by the way the last one was close. People don’t remember, it was close," he says.

Romney visits Iowa

May 16, 2012
Clay Masters/IPR

Iowa supporters of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney showed up at a hotel in downtown Des Moines to get a firsthand look at the presidential candidate. Romney spent the majority of his speech talking economic issues.

Ron Paul isn't expecting to get the GOP nomination. He says he'll no longer campaign in states that haven't held primaries. But he and his supporters are pushing for delegates in states like Iowa - who've already voted but have yet to award delegates at the state convention.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls Syria one of the “most serious and gravest concerns of the international community.”  Greece still hasn’t formed a government, which has caused a slump on Wall Street.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Jim McCormick, Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University and David Skidmore, Professor of Politics and International Relations at Drake University about these stories.  They also discuss an honor for former Iowa Supreme Court Justices and the Obama administration's evolving stance on same sex marriage.

At a time in our politics when every debate seems to be dominated by rancor and partisanship… retiring Representative Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield got up on the floor of the Iowa House last month and proclaimed his love for his colleagues, their staffs and the political system.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Rep. Swaim and Representative Lance Horbach as they prepare to leave lawmaking behind.  He also speaks to Mike Glover, who recently retired as Senior Legislative and Political Correspondent for the Associated Press in Des Moines, about his long career covering Iowa politics.

Approval ratings for Congress are holding steady in the teens, but as bad as you think partisanship is – the authors of a new book say “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.” Host Jonathan Ahl talks with some of Iowa’s former Congressmen to get their impressions of partisanship today, as compared to when they were serving in office. What’s your solution for getting our dysfunctional Congress back on track?

In critical swing states like Iowa, President Obama’s re-election campaign is already in full gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground. Meanwhile Governor Romney’s had to focus on one primary race after another, as he sews up the nomination. As Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports, the President’s campaign hopes their head start will make the difference in November.

President Obama makes another stop in our fair swing state of Iowa. Mitt Romney pivots toward the general election... campaigning with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, as the Veepstakes heat up. And the trial of John Edwards on federal campaign finance charges in North Carolina. Host Ben Kieffer talks with analysts Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa and Dennis Goldford of Drake University about these and other issues in our weekly political discussion.
 

Funding for Iowa’s public universities is still up for debate at the statehouse. Join guest host Jonathan Ahl as we discuss a multi-million dollar budget gap between what Senate Democrats and House Republicans have proposed for higher education. Later in the conversation we’ll talk about government transparency and about the pros and cons of a longtime effort to create an Iowa Public Information Board.

John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Joyce Russell and Sarah McCammon discuss the week ahead in the Iowa Legislature.

The scheduled date of adjournment has come and gone, at the Iowa legislature, along with lawmakers’ per diem expenses.  But are the extended hours at the Statehouse unusual?  Host Ben Kieffer looks back on memorable moments from past legislative sessions, with longtime political reporters.  They also discuss the work of the Iowa Caucus Review Commission, and the state’s looming Congressional races.  Guests include the Associated Press' Mike Glover, the Des Moines Register's Kathie Obradovich, and Iowa Public Radio's Joyce Russell.

As we enter the waning days of the legislative session, behind-the-scenes negotiations on the big issues remaining to be resolved begin in earnest.  Lawmakers have yet to agree on budget targets, education reform or commercial property tax relief.  But, how will upcoming elections impact those negotiations?  Host Joyce Russell  talks with Democratic and Republican leaders about the issues lawmakers want to take on the campaign trail this fall… and how that may impact debate over issues yet to be decided. 

Politics Day

Apr 10, 2012

A recall election of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is set for June 5th.  That comes a year after Walker signed a bill removing collective bargaining rights from some public sector unions.  Join host Ben Kieffer as we take a look at our neighbors to the northeast in what some political analysts are calling a microcosm of what might occur on a national level.  Plus former Pennsylvania senator and winner of the Iowa caucuses Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign and U.S.

2012 Gender Gap

Apr 4, 2012

The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll shows President Obama with an 18-point lead among women in 12 possible battleground states. That’s prompted Republican Mitt Romney to start talking more about his wife Anne on the campaign trail. We'll explore the growing gender gap among voters and how it could impact the 2012 election. Ben's guests are Dianne Bystrom of the Carrie Chapman Center for Women and Politics, Chris Larimer of the University of Northern Iowa's Political Science Department, former Iowa Senate Republican Mary Kramer and former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge.

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