Candidates at the Iowa Democratic Convention sought to rally a crowd of 400 delegates with a day-long string of speeches Saturday at their state convention. Congressman Bruce Braley is seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Tom Harkin as the fellow Democrat retires.
Braley faces Republican nominee, state senator Joni Ernst. “Campaigns like life, have a lot of ups and downs. This is going to be a tough race between now and November 4th. But if this race is about Iowa values — we’re going to win,” Braley says. In the latest poll by Quinnipiac University poll, Braley led Ernst by four percentage points — compared to March — when Braley held a 13-percentage point lead.
Over the course of eight hours, Iowa’s entire Democratic ticket introduced themselves in a string of 16 speeches, with short breaks for party business. Des Moines developer and state senator Jack Hatch said his campaign for governor would focus on 4 points: education, the environment, energy independence, and raising the minimum wage.
“We’re going to make sure that the Iowa Senate remains democratic, that we can make sure that the Iowa House is going to become democratic,” Hatch says, “and that we’re going to have a state government that respects workers and treat everyone the same.”
Hatch also introduced his running mate, Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon. “When fewer than 50 percent of Iowans say our current governor doesn’t deserve to be reelected, that is really bad news for someone who’s been in office for 20 years,” Vernon says. But Hatch has an uphill battle against Branstad as the recent Quinnipiac University poll shows Branstad continues to lead Hatch.