As Iowa Democrats wait to find out who their party’s presidential nominee will be, the Iowa G.O.P. has begun preparing for the fall campaign. Stewart Iverson, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, was among those who spoke at a Republican rally in Des Moines Thursday. According to Iverson, Republicans have been "down in the dumps" for the past few months, but Iverson said now’s the time for a Republican revival.
"There’s one way to change it and that’s us working together to get things done," Iverson said. "That’s the only way it’s going to change, so unlike the Democrats who like to complain and then they complain about complaining, you know, I don’t understand because I’m an eternal optimist and to me the glass is always half full and when the glass is half full, I said, ‘You know what? That’s not a bad start. We can take care of the rest of it.’"
According to Dave Roederer, chairman of George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign in Iowa, Bush beat Kerry here by less than four votes per precinct. "Think of that — just four votes and we also know that after the Caucuses Democrats registered an additional 60,000 people and the Republicans about 8,000 people," Roederer said at this week’s Republican rally. "That shouldn’t bother us too much, but what it says is that we’re going to have to work and we’re going to have to work hard."
Iverson, the Republican Party of Iowa’s leader, considers state legislative races "crucial" so Republicans can regain a foothold at the statehouse where Democrats hold the governorship as well as a majority of seats in both the House and Senate.
"We have to have at least one body — the House or the Senate — and if we don’t get that, folks, we’re in real trouble," Iverson said. "In the two short years that the Democrats have been in control…they have shown us how much they can tax. they have shown us how much they can spend and all of us are going to get sent the bill so we are going to have to go to work to get Republicans elected." Democrats, meanwhile, say they’re well-positioned to retain control of the legislature.
In April, the top leaders in both the House and Senate predicted Democrats would win something close to a super majority — meaning 30 of the 50 seats in the Iowa Senate and 60 of the 100 seats in the Iowa House. Democrats, so far, have held a fundraising edge for legislative races as well as the voter registration edge Roederer acknowledged.