by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
At age 88, most Iowans would be sitting in a rocker on their front porch listening to the corn grow and watching their great-grandchildren at play.
But Senator Chuck Grassley has a different idea. The seven-term senator has been listening to the importuning from national Republicans to run for what would most assuredly be a slam-dunk eighth term and has decided to grant them their wish.
There are no major league professional sports teams in Iowa. There are some good college football programs at Iowa State in Ames and in Iowa City, where the state university plays. But the closest Iowans get to the major leagues is their iconic Senator Chuck Grassley.
First elected to Congress in 1975, he won a Senate seat in the GOP Reagan landslide of 1980 and hasn’t looked back. …
… Leave it to the Democrats to put up a 32-year-old failed politician to take on the state’s political icon.
… Finkenauer served one term in the House and then was ousted by a Republican woman, Ashley Hinson. Trying to bring the radical agenda to Iowa was doomed to failure.
Grassley’s decision doesn’t seal a Senate takeover by Republicans, but it takes a very large piece off the board. There are still four GOP senators who are mulling their future. Ohio, Alabama, and Missouri are fairly safe GOP seats no matter if the incumbent runs or not, but Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson is facing a very difficult re-election campaign and is holding off on an announcement until later this fall. There are also two difficult races in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, where the Republican senator is retiring. The Republicans will be hard-pressed to keep both those seats.
So taking Iowa off the board will allow the national party to devote more resources in states that will be competitive.