Longing for a win, GOP gives Senate hopeful a big microphone
July 12th, 2014
03:44 PM ET
7 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

    If it was fertilized eggs coming across the border, all GOBaggers would be there welcoming them. Children though, no way.

    July 12, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    The kiss of death for her is Sarah Palin standing in the background..

    July 12, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    Any woman who votes republican is a traitor to her gender. They can trot out women candidates, but they still spew the same stupid , proven wrong ideology. small government is for small countries. we have a few more people and a bit more territory now than back in 1776. it's not a choice between big government and small government, it's really a choice between Good government and NO government. and if you think the latter is a good thing, spend a year in Somalia!

    July 12, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. labman57

    The ACA is not going away. Political wannabes who tout their opposition to the health care legislation and vow to have it repealed as part of their campaign rhetoric are blowing smoke up the skirts of the electorate.

    July 12, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    This oiker won't have the luck to join the rest of the GOP OIKERS in Washington , maybe Mogadishu !!!!!

    July 12, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. drake mallard

    Why, why, why, why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't wanna funk in the first place? Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're funked. Conservatives don't give a sht about you until you reach 'military age'. Then they think you are just fine. Just what they've been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be de ad soldiers. george carlin

    July 12, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    if you have trouble with caps.....that's your problem.....mine is eye problems.....yoo much for you to handle ????????welll....I 'm too lagy like to tell you what you can do with that!!!!

    July 12, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    GOP is pretty much gone to dogs. I don't care all these, yes, USA needs to watch on I-94 breakers. If their stay expires–deport. Simple. Don't be stupid and crazy on party lines. God bless. Watch out these India guys that hire IT guys illegally. Kick all this trash. Deport.

    July 12, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    Remember a little statement she made about the Santa Barbra shootings being an "unfortunate accident"? Anybody who cannot tell the difference between an accident and a willful act of unspeakable violence is not fit to serve in any elected position. Not fit and certainly not intelligent enough.

    July 12, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Ernst called the shooting at UCSB an "unfortunate accident." She also promised to "unload" on Obamacare while shooting a gun.

    She's a total whack-job.

    BTW, gop, if you want to win an election, how about actually DOING something FOR our country instead of constantly thwarting the will of the American people who elected President Obama TWICE, retained a Democratic majority in the Senate and cast 1.3 million MORE votes for Dem candidates than repub/tea bags.

    July 12, 2014 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Is that the Quitta in the background? Kiss of death!

    July 12, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Norma Vessels

    If the Republican candidate wins in Iowa, and five other Democratic seats in the November election, the Republicans would control both the House and the Senate. I can't think of anything more scary than that.

    July 12, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. Pander Bear

    Is this the pig castrating woman? This is their candidate? Really?

    July 12, 2014 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Mike in Texas

    Get off the repeal of the ACA garbage. It isn't going anywhere. All you here is crickets now because all the bad things it was supposed to be didn't happen. So my guess is when the employee mandate kicks in and premiums don't skyrocket, the Republicans will have nothing. The funny thing is 74% of Republicans who signed up through exchanges to get health insurance are happy with their policy. What you see here is a case of railing against something without knowing the facts and then you find out......hey this isn't that bad.

    July 12, 2014 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. chrissy

    Too true @ TampaTim! And they dont have a prayers chance in hell of winning the next election!

    July 12, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. Bubba

    If the party wins it and five other Democratic-held seats in November's midterm elections, Republicans would control the Senate. And if Frodo Baggins gets his magic ring back, he can use it to help the Republicans win the White House, And if Sarah Palin could get a brain implant...................
    This article is fantasy on half a bottle of cheap wine.

    July 12, 2014 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  17. king

    I hope the american people havent become so backwards as to see what the repubs obstructional program is all about.
    Their willingness to deliberately stop this country's progress over the guise of small government is worry some. Other countries are investing like hell and catching up to us, while the repubs are allocating our nation' rebuilding money and pouring it into the greedy uber ONE PERCENTERS is not only illogical but dangerous. These folks doesnt give a rats boody about fixing america first, they running to china whose government is investing in the future and not into this country whose loudest critics wants us to go back using typewriters because they dont understand modern technology. We are basickly financing china"s boom through the repubs uber rich buddies, and leaving our country in the stone ages. When people start realizing that this is a race to stay the most technolized country on this planet, they will vote dems, but if they feel its more convenient to suck up all our rrsources and give it the rich to build china, well they should vote repub.

    July 13, 2014 02:06 am at 2:06 am |

    Snooki Palin clone. Really can't wait to see Thad Cochran,Kevin McCarthy,Thom Tillis,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Karl Rove,Lindsey Graham,John McCain,Susan Collins,Hayley Barbour,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Straight no chaser. Hillary will drink to that!

    July 13, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  19. Hector Slagg

    Well, Lessee,
    We've had the democrat liberal plan, high unemployment, food stamps, huge National Debt, businesses moving offshore, more welfare, high taxes, mortgages in arrears, more illegal immigration, etc, etc, etc.

    July 13, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Lizzie

    NATHAN ...... Still great at copying and pasting. Don't you know anything else.

    July 13, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    This MAMA PIG GOP STOOGE has about as much of a chance getting elected as the rest of the GOP has of getting RELECTED in 2014, NOT MUCH!!!!!!

    July 13, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. anthony

    I dont care who win the election as long as they have a new idea. That is a lot better than the stupid liberals who dont have any ideas but still try to attack the other peoble who have diff ideas with them like the mad dogs

    July 13, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. bf

    The Dems are ruing this country. Haven't you had enough after 5 1/2 years? We are in worse shape than ever before. Vote all Dems out of office! Every election time they start with the race card then the war on women. You need to quit falling for that crap.

    July 13, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Hector Slagg

    The ACA ain't going anywhere. Maybe true, just your job, the economy, your welfare. I hear that Health Care Plans are rising a good amount next year. Maybe you on 50 dollar plan. Or maybe a dollar down and a dollar when you catch me plan. You vote for it, you own it. If you think Health Care is expensive now, just wait until it's free.

    Smart Choice; Dump Obama Care.

    July 13, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    bf – Nope. I lost everything but my shorts in the Bush republican reign of error. Obama has fixed republican stupidity without any help fron the over served speaker, the idiot in the senate who filibustered against the bill he introduced. While you celebrate our soldiers deaths in unnecessary wars, record job loss, stock market dropping to half, government shutdowns, auto and housing market demise, etc., most Americans reject republican obstruction.

    July 13, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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