Longing for a win, GOP gives Senate hopeful a big microphone
July 12th, 2014
03:44 PM ET
9 years ago

Longing for a win, GOP gives Senate hopeful a big microphone

Washington (CNN) - If you're a national political party salivating over the prospect of winning a seat that's long been in your opponent's hands, what should you do?

One strategy: give your candidate a huge megaphone.

Enter the Republican National Committee, Iowa GOP Senate nominee Joni Ernst - and an address heard by millions around the country.

On Saturday, Ernst delivered the weekly Republican address. The candidate pushed familiar conservative themes: smaller government, opposition to Obamacare and strong national security. Ernst also played up her outsider status and pushed populist themes.


"We know, and we believe that Americans know what's best for their communities more than Washington bureaucrats," she said. The candidate noted she's a mother and grandmother who grew up on an Iowa farm.

And, as she highlighted her status as a member of the military, there was a twist.

"I am a lieutenant colonel and battalion commander in the Iowa Army National Guard," Ernst said. "In fact, I am recording this message a few days early, and by the time you hear this, I will be on active duty leading my troops for the next two weeks."

The GOP hopes Ernst's biography and political bulletins will appeal to enough Iowans to help the party win back the Senate seat that's been in Democratic hands since 1984. Sen. Tom Harkin has held the post for five terms. Early last year, he announced he would not seek a sixth term.

Ernst's chances are mixed. Iowa has Republicans in two top statewide offices – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Terry Branstad. However, the state has voted blue in the last two presidential elections.

Ernst's Democratic challenger is Rep. Bruce Braley. A recent Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa voters showed the race essentially tied, locked within the margin of error, Braley leading Ernst 44%-40%.

Winning the Iowa seat could be key to Republicans' larger political strategy. If the party wins it and five other Democratic-held seats in November's midterm elections, Republicans would control the Senate.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2014 • Iowa • Joni Ernst • Republican National Committee
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Heck – Premiums will continue to rise in red states that are not a part of ACA. You should be happy.

    July 13, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. an Iowan

    Spoken like a true member of Flea Party! Can she not think for herself? Everything she says comes right off a GOP script!
    And quit beating that dead horse called Obamacare!
    Haven't you got anything else??????

    July 13, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Anthony

    According to a new Commonwealth Fund Poll, 73 percent of people who bought health plans under Obamacare are somewhat or very satisfied with their plans. Seventy-four (74) percent of newly insured Republicans like their plans. Even among people who had insurance before- including people whose plans were cancelled last year- 77 percent like their new plans. The poll also found that the percentage of Americans who are uninsured has dropped from 20 percent to 15 percent, with 9.5 million people now newly insured.

    And the Republicans are still running against Obamacare. The House wants to file a lawsuit against the president for delaying the employer mandate, claiming that he does not have the authority to delay the mandate . Of course, the Republicans had tried to get the president to delay the individual mandate, not just the employer mandate. So apparently they thought that the president has the authority to delay the individual mandate. Also, the Republicans had voted to delay the employer mandate themselves.

    July 13, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Lizzie

    Anthony, you believe everything the democrats tell you, how nice.

    July 13, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Kinard

    I love reading the remarks in this section of the news. The cretins claiming to be republican need to take a few lessons in spelling, to advance they're cause though. Maybe it's the only way they know, since republicans really don't care for education much.

    July 13, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. vikingwoman

    I'm really interested in how the GOTP plans to downsize the government! Are they going to eliminate their own jobs?! No of course not! They'll go after the safety nets Americans pay our taxes to have! They also seem to hate education, if the gov of my state is any indication! If they really want to downsize, an inside cleanup of all the duplicate/quadruplicate gov departments/positions would help! How about them Term Limits?! Truth is, like everything in a capitalistic system, government is big biz, so I'm not holding my breath!!

    July 13, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    I number I heard this week is 52.4 Million spent so far on trying to repeal AMA, all failed. This does not count the ridiculous law suit that Boner just came up with.

    July 13, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    I number I heard this week is 52.4 Million spent so far on trying to repeal AMA, all failed. This does not count the ridiculous law suit that Boehner just came up with.

    July 13, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Anthony

    Lizzie, everything I have said can be verified. Can you say the same for yourself?

    Don in Albuquerque, you meant the ACA, right? I don't think the Republicans dare to take on the American Medical Association.

    July 13, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Arun

    The party of talking points has another pathetic candidate that only follows talking points. Do any of these idiots have a thought of their own??

    July 13, 2014 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Repeal again? Most of those on the ACA are rethugs.
    The teaklans don't need a microphone. Anyone listening are brain dead.

    July 13, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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