News Center

April 10th, 2009

Grassley May Have Primary Opponent

More articles by »
Written by: Craig Robinson
Tags: ,

grassleytirU.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) may face a conservative opponent in the 2010 primary election, after angering many Iowa conservatives by refusing to back a constitutional amendment protecting marriage in his home state.

Just days after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of homosexual marriage, Grassley told the Des Moines Register that he was not going to weigh in on the issue just yet.

“You better ask me in a month, after I’ve had a chance to think,” Grassley said.

He did however say that he favored homosexual civil unions in Iowa.

Grassley has been in Congress for 35 years, having first been elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, and then to the Senate in 1982.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) praised Grassley last week for casting his 10,000th vote in the Senate.

“To cast 10,000 votes is really something. You have to be here a very long time to do that,” he told Des Moines’ WHO radio.

Grassley ranks fourth among current U.S. Senators in total votes cast, trailing only Robert Byrd (D-WV), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Some Iowa Republicans, however, say that longevity in Washington is not a plus.

Last fall, after voting for President Bush’s $850 billion bank bailout, Grassley received an icy reception at the Iowa Republican Convention. It was especially noticeable because he spoke after U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King, both of whom had voted against the bailout, and both of whom received standing ovations.

“It was apparent to everyone,” said a middle aged delegate from Linn County. “Chuck’s not used to that. He’s usually the star, but I’m afraid his star is fading.”

Now, a small but growing number of Republicans are talking about the need for a primary opponent against Grassley in 2010.

With the current mood of anger toward all things Washington, the right candidate, they say, might actually win a primary if there were a low voter turnout. Such a feat would stun the state, since Grassley has been voted the most popular politician in Iowa for the last 14 years.

The trust among Iowa voters toward incumbents may be the most sour since the farm crisis of the early 1980s. And they are sounding off.

Conservative radio host Steve Deace, whose afternoon talk show on the 50,000-watt WHO, draws perhaps the most rock-ribbed Republicans voters in the state.

In a state where voters nearly always prefer to return incumbents rather than throw them out, Deace’s program receives phone calls every day from Republican listeners who want to sound off against “establishment” GOP politicians.

As for Deace, he points to Grassley’s pork-barrel rain forest project of 2005, his ongoing investigation of Christian television ministries, and his 2002 endorsement of moderate U.S. Rep. Greg Ganske over conservative former marine Bill Salier in the senate race against Tom Harkin.

Salier’s low-budget, high-octane campaign rallied conservatives across the state, many of whom had never voted in a primary. Ganske, who had assumed an easy win, barely squeaked by.

Most politicos in the Hawkeye State believe that had Grassley not endorsed Ganske, Salier may have won, and would certainly have faired better in the general election because he would have given voters a choice between right and left.

In the end, Harkin pounded Ganske in the general, and returned to the Senate for a fourth term.

Written By Jamie Johnson
Iowa News-Talk Radio

Angry Iowans Blast Grassley’s Facebook Page

Facebook Page for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
(Comments extracted on Friday, April 10, 2009, 1:45 p.m.)

Chuck Grassley Had a v. good mtg in Mason City tlkg health care rfrm. Iowans gve me lts of fdbck. Thanky AARP and SEIU and NFIB.via Twitter -23 hours ago

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Katie Borwey Judges DON’T MAKE LAW. Those we vote into office ignore our voices. DO WHAT’S RIGHT…..COME WHAT MAY !!!!!!! One more Republican we may need to replace in 2010.

Jake Huff Thoroughly disappointed in your response on a marriage amendment. I thought your aig comments were ridiculous but this is unacceptable. Especially the day before we celebrate Christ going to the cross. Either you believe the word or you don’t there is no gray area here and your answer was pathetic.

Charles Flemming Chuck (may I call you Chuck? you can call me Chuck back, if you want…). I can see that not enough people are putting pressure on you here on Facebook 😉 so I want to add to it. Agricultural subsidies. Or, as I like to call them, Big Farm Welfare. Can we start to eat away at those? Sugar tariffs. Ethanol (I think it’s repugnant to take people’s food and fuel my car with it). You conquer that, dude, and I’ll move to Iowa and vote you to any office you want to hold. We can’t keep on this way. It distorts everything…

Danielle Knutson Senator, how can it take you a month to decide if marriage is between a man and a woman? God set the standard. I think our minds are getting muddled by government school agendas and officials receiving millions of dollars to vote in favor of a small percentage that want to flaunt their life style in our faces ……worst, our childens’ faces.

Greg Griffin Senator, I have not always agreed with everything you have done, but I have voted for you many times. That is about to change. I am a Christian and I thought you were one also, but I am seriously questioning that know. How can you need more then a half a second to make this decision. There is more riding on this then homosexuals getting married, there is a hidden agenda and you have to know there is. Chuck, think about the consequences before you make a bad decision.

Al Stromley chuck you are either conservative or not. its time to make a choice. the people who voted you in are watching. then they will make a choice.

Jeffrey William Baker Chuck don’t ride the fence on the gay marriage thing all you will get is a sore crotch and voters come out against it!

Jay Kepple Hi Chuck, I know you have alot on your plate and I will vote for you and support you, I do wish you would support a marriage amendment. Thank-you, Jay Kepple

Sarah Daniels Heywood Senator: I have faithfully voted for you since I was 18. Never will I do so again. I am absolutely floored at your declaration that you need 4 weeks to “think” about the marriage amendment. You have to “think” about doing the right and moral thing? Today, in our homeschool history lesson my sons and I studied about the courage of the Patriots. Those men were willing to DIE to defend their liberty and sense of morals. Where’s your courage? You do not represent my values. I am so disappointed.

Jake Huff Chuck and many other “christians” are christians in name only. Too many churches are like Chuck. Either you believe the word or you don’t. God is still on the throne and chuck will have to answer for his decisions.

Tim Rittgers Chuck – the Register headlined you as “No stand on marriage amendment” – what gives Senator? I know you’re pro Christian family values, please use your position to promote those values!

About the Author

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country.

Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.

A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states.

Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site,

Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing.

Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

blog comments powered by Disqus