Iowa GOP Chair: Republicans Surging Ahead of 2020 Elections

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg's shadow is cast on the Iowas state flag as he speaks during a campaign event at Northwest Junior High, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Coralville, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said during a press conference on Thursday that Republicans are gaining momentum ahead of the 2020 elections.

Kaufmann said that they feel “very confident” about President Donald Trump’s chances to win Iowa, Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) ability to win reelection, and other congressional Republicans’ ability to flip Democrat seats during the 2020 elections.

“We feel very solid and quite frankly, in what we’re talking about right now in terms of the effect of President Trump on all of our campaigns, not just Joni Ernst but our congressional campaigns,” Kaufmann said.

Further, Kaufmann said that that the Iowa GOP has managed to close the voter registration gap between Republicans and Democrats over the last several months.

“We’ve seen is that we have gone from a 14,000 differential in February, and that’s a differential of 14,000 more Democrats than Republicans after the highly contested caucuses,” he said.

“We actually shaved off 10,000; we are now below 5,000. And so what we have here is an even playing field,” said Kaufmann.

Kaufmann noted that the most significant difference for freshman swing district Democrats such as Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), between 2018 and now is that they have a “record” to defend. This includes voting for impeaching President Donald Trump.

The Iowa Republican Party chairman noted that in the Cook Political Report, the Iowa first congressional district race between Finkenauer and Iowa state Rep. Ashley Hinson (R) is rated as a “toss-up.” Kaufmann called Hinson a “star.”

In Iowa’s second congressional district race to replace the retiring Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Kaufmann said that Cook Political Report rates the election as a “toss-up” between Democrat Rita Hart and Iowa state Sen. (R) Mariannette Miller-Meeks is also a “toss-up.”

Iowa’s first, second, and third congressional districts represent three of the 31 congressional districts that President Donald Trump won during the 2016 presidential election but House Democrats managed to flip in the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans need to take back 17 net seats to regain the House majority.

Iowa’s third district, represented by Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), represents another key district for Iowa Republicans to take back.

“I’ve got to tell you; I feel good where we’re at,” Kaufmann said.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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