Living in Society

Iowa’s 2022 Midterms

Big Grove Polling Place Nov. 6, 2018

As the last month of summer proceeds to Labor Day, the official kickoff for the fall election campaign, our county party is not that organized. Partly, that’s to be expected as voters and activists engage in elections later each successive cycle.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn continues to make the case to the Democratic National Committee that Iowa should be first in the nation during presidential election years. The party has much bigger problems to address going forward than presidential preference.

The big news is there does not appear to be a state party coordinated campaign that helps synchronize efforts. Lack of a coordinated campaign creates an environment where every activist is free to do what they want regarding support of candidates. The county party chair asserted this was a good thing, freeing the group to turnout Democratic votes to increase county margin. It takes more than Democratic votes to win elections and that has in part been the work of individual campaigns. We don’t need a coordinated campaign for the simple reason of having one. What we have without one is a recipe for chaos. A skosh of chaos is okay.

Our county believes the best way they can help Democratic causes is to turnout as many Democratic voters as possible to offset the rest of the Republican state in statewide races. I call this the margin argument, which is spurious at best. Remove the votes from our county from the tallies for federal races in recent cycles and the outcome would be no different. The problem with the margin argument is precincts like mine, which have voted Republican in recent cycles, get lost in the push to turn out Democratic votes in our more populous areas. We need Democrats to win down ticket races and the margin approach doesn’t effectively help.

My years of working at the orchard made weekend campaign work difficult because of my schedule. As a retired septuagenarian, I’m reluctant to make phones calls and door knock people I don’t know, as I did in the past. Making phone calls and door knocking appears to be the main organizing activity being used in the county. I need to find another way.

I would feel better if more central committee members attended last night’s Zoom central committee meeting. By Labor Day, I hope to have an approach for this cycle because this year, more than previous, Democrats will need the help.