Can Iowa Democrats return two US House seats? Mathis and Bohannan rally supporters in eastern Iowa
Iowa State Sen. Liz Mathis (left), D-Hiawatha, and State Rep. Christina Bohannan, D-Iowa City, call out the names of the raffle winners during a campaign event Saturday at Sutliff Farm & Cider House in Lisbon. Mathis is running for Congress against Republican U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson, and Bohannan is running against Republican U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks, (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
Iowa State Sen. Liz Mathis (left), D-Hiawatha, and State Rep. Christina Bohannan, D-Iowa City, call out the names of the raffle winners during a campaign event Democrat on Saturday at Sutliff Farm & Cider House in Lisbon. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
LISBON — If Democrats have any hope of overthrowing Republican-held U.S. House and Senate seats in Iowa, it’s going to be won on the fringes and centered on mobilizing voters around abortion rights, opposition to former President Donald Trump and putting Republicans on the defensive. vote against the federal infrastructure act and the Democrats’ climate, health care and tax bill, former U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, said.
“It’s going to be won at the margins – whether it’s on abortion, whether it’s on a number of other issues where there may not be a huge effect just to this issue – but there are will be enough that anyone who takes on a number of these issues can put this together, I think, and have a winning campaign, especially at the House and Senate levels,” Loebsack said, echoing national voices. Democrats expressing growing optimism about rescuing their majority in the midterm elections.
With Labor Day serving as an unofficial kickoff to the fall campaign season, Loebsack joined Iowa’s Democratic state and federal election candidates gathered Saturday at Sutliff Farm & Cider House in Lisbon for a rally campaign to help elect Liz Mathis and Christina Bohannan. About 350 people attended, according to the Mathis campaign.
Mathis, a Democratic senator from the state of Hiawatha, is running to unseat Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa Ashley Hinson of Marion in Iowa’s newly reconfigured 2nd congressional district.
Bohannan, a University of Iowa law professor and Democratic state representative from Iowa City, is running against Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa in the new 1st congressional district from Iowa.
Former Iowa State Democratic Senator Rita Hart, who lost to Miller-Meeks by six votes in 2020 after a recount – the narrowest margin of victory in a US House race since 1984 – hosted the event alongside Loebsack, who retired from Congress at the end of 2020 after 14 years representing Southeast Iowa’s 2nd congressional district.
Mathis and Bohannan criticized Hinson and Miller-Meeks for voting against the enacted federal infrastructure bill while praising the projects supported by their funding.
The couple also called on Republican incumbents to vote against a House bill that would have extended health care benefits to veterans exposed to poisonous fireplaces and other hazardous substances during their military service.
While Hinson and Miller-Meeks voted against the US House of Representatives bill, HR 3967, both voted for the US Senate version of the bill, S. 3373, which was passed and became law.
Democratic congressional candidates also criticized House GOP incumbents for voting against the Cut Inflation Act.
The legislation, signed into law last month by President Joe Biden, attempts to tackle inflation by reducing the federal deficit and raising taxes on high-income businesses. It increases clean energy tax credits, allows Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors, caps insulin costs at $35 per month for Medicare patients and expands subsidies temporary grants to millions of households receiving assistance to pay health insurance premiums in the public market.
The federal legislation was approved on direct party-line votes, with all Democrats approving and all Republicans opposing.
Republicans, including Hinson and Miller-Meeks, have argued that the legislation represents more taxes and federal government spending and said it would not curb inflation.
State Representative Christina Bohannan of Iowa City, a candidate for Congress, speaks during a Democratic campaign event Saturday at Sutliff Farm & Cider House in Lisbon. She is running against U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
“She can’t tell the truth about her record because what she did was vote against anything that would improve the lives of ordinary Iowans and then tried to take credit for the good ones. things somebody else did,” Bohannan said of Miller-Doux. “And it’s time for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — yes, Republicans — to come together and end this kind of political division and extremism that plagues our country.”
She and Mathis called eastern Iowa “ground zero” for midterm Democrats.
The couple have been named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program, which backs high-profile candidates running in swing districts that Democrats see as key to retaining or increasing their narrow five-seat majority to bedroom. Democrats lost both Iowa House seats in the 2020 election.
“When this all started, like almost all Democrats, I was seriously concerned about our chances” in the midterm elections in Iowa and across the country, Loebsack told The Gazette ahead of the event.
“But I think we’re going in the right direction right now,” he said. “There’s no way I’m predicting we’re going to be successful and somehow hold the House and the Senate and all that. But I think we have a much better chance.
Loebsack pointed to recent ratings shifts and internal campaign polls showing eastern Iowa races are tightening as evidence the momentum is heading toward Democrats in the battle for the House.
Both the Roll Call and House Elections changed their forecasts for Iowa’s 1st and 2nd congressional district campaigns in favor of Democratic candidates from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.”
Iowa State Senator Liz Mathis of Hiawatha, Democratic candidate for Congress, addresses a crowd during a Democratic campaign event Saturday, 2022, at Sutliff Farm & Cider House in Lisbon. (Geoff Stellfox/The Gazette)
“We can take what we’ve learned in this purple district that I find myself in as an Iowa state senator and expand it,” Mathis said. “And that means talking and messaging people about the things they want to hear solutions for, like the economy and inflation, right? Like reproductive rights. And health insurance and social security do not touch each other.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement that if elected, Mathis and Bohannan “will automatically endorse the harmful policies of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi in Congress.”
“Iowans who want reduced inflation, secure borders and secure communities will vote for Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks in November,” Berg said.
Hinson’s campaign manager, Sophie Crowell, echoed Berg in a statement, saying Mathis supports “Biden and Pelosi’s tax hikes, forcing Iowans to pay off other people’s student loans.”
“A vote for liberal Liz is a vote for two more years of Nancy Pelosi as a speaker, more reckless spending and higher gas prices,” Crowell said. “While Ashley Hinson will always stand up for Iowa families, Liz has proven she’ll side with Pelosi against the Iowans every time.”
VScomments: (319) 398-8499; [email protected]