Campaign finance reports show competition in races from Grassley and Axne
Iowa’s Republican incumbents in the national election have more money than their Democratic opponents, according to new campaign finance reports.
But Federal Election Commission reports also show that in two of the most competitive races in the state, Democratic candidates have significantly outpaced Republicans. Democratic Senate candidate Michael Franken raised more than $1,750,000 during the last fundraising period, while longtime U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley raised around $609,000.
Grassley, 88, still holds the cash lead, with just over $4 million in his war chest. By comparison, Franken has about $1.1 million. The senator, who is seeking his eighth term, has also raised more than his opponent in the entire election cycle, having raised nearly $6.2 million in total, while Franken has raised a total of $4.6 million. dollars.
It is the first fundraising checkpoint since Franken, 64, won the Democratic primary to face Grassley. The senator’s campaign staff pointed out that during U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s 2020 re-election campaign, Democrat Theresa Greenfield raised more than $10 million so far in the election cycle.
“Iowa Democrats must be disappointed that their ‘star’ recruit is in such a fragile financial position,” Grassley’s campaign communications director Michaela Sundermann said in a press release.
While the retired Navy admiral has edged out Grassley in that span, polls and election forecasts still show Franken trailing the race. A July Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll found Grassley leading by 8%, winning 47% to 39%.
An 8-point lead, however, is much weaker support than Grassley has typically received in elections. Since becoming a senator, the Democratic challengers have not won more than 40% of the vote against Grassley. Previous Iowa polls have shown Grassley’s polls over 50%.
There is no poll showing Franken in the lead, but campaign staff say the latest results, as well as recent fundraising numbers, show a competitive race. Franken’s campaign manager Julie Stauch called the filings a “watershed moment”.
“Clearly the people of Iowa are fed up with Senator Grassley’s failed leadership and lack of results,” Stauch said in a press release.
Republicans lead in three House districts
In the Iowa House races, incumbent Republican U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ashley Hinson and Randy Feenstra all edged their general election opponents by at least $100,000.
U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, the only Iowa Democrat in Washington, is working with more money. Axne raised just over $646,000 in the last fundraising period, while his opponent, Iowa Sen. Zach Nunn, raised around $254,000. She has raised over $4.3 million this election cycle and has over $3 million in cash.
Nunn has raised over $1 million this round and only has $300,000 in the bank.
Axne has the cash advantage, but election forecasters are predicting Republican gains in Iowa’s 3rd District after redistricting. In 2020, the two-term representative won re-election in a district that former President Donald Trump narrowly carried.
Under the new borders of Iowa, the district encompasses more rural and conservative areas. Election handicappers Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball both changed their predictions for the district to “lean Republican” after Nunn’s primary victory. However, the July poll in Iowa found that more 3rd District voters want a Democrat to represent them in the U.S. House than a Republican, at 47% to 44%.
Nunn has garnered strong National Republican support this election cycle. Figures such as US Senator Tom Cotton and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley have joined him and other Republican candidates on the campaign trail this year.
Other Republican House candidates also received national support and endorsements in this year’s races. While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Iowa has focused largely on keeping Axne in office, the party’s campaign arm has also attacked Representatives Hinson and Miller-Meeks on issues such as abortion and the reduction of financing for family farms.
In representative districts, Iowa’s 1st and 2nd likely voters favored Republican candidates by more than 10% in the recent Iowa poll.