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Two major election rating outlets have changed their projections of the U.S. Senate race in Iowa, shifting their predictions slightly away from incumbent Republican Chuck Grassley.
Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball both changed their ratings from “safe” or “solid” Republican to “likely” Republican, signifying a more difficult race for Grassley and putting the race in the same camp as Senate races in Utah and Florida.
The ratings change comes after the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, conducted by J. Ann Selzer, had Grassley with just a 3-point lead over Democratic challenger Mike Franken, down from 8 points in July. In the poll, 46 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Grassley, while 43 percent said they would vote for Franken.
An article accompanying one change by Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman of Sabato's Crystal Ball noted Grassley’s age, at 89, could be affecting his electability. In the Iowa poll, 60 percent of likely voters said Grassley’s age is a concern.
Franken also pulled ahead of Grassley in total fundraising as of the latest reporting period, though Grassley leads with three times as much cash on hand.
Grassley ad compares Franken to Biden
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s campaign released a new ad criticizing Democratic challenger Mike Franken’s support of President Joe Biden.
The ad, which will air online and on television, begins with a clip of Franken saying Biden is “doing a fabulous job,” then says Biden’s policies are leading to a recession and a high cost of living.
“This November, we have the opportunity to stop the Biden agenda and get our country back on track. That starts and ends with ensuring that Senator Chuck Grassley is re-elected to the U.S. Senate,” Grassley’s campaign spokesperson Michaela Sundermann said.
In a statement, Franken’s campaign spokesperson C.J. Petersen said Grassley has spent his career opposing efforts to lower costs.
“He's spent this entire campaign bragging about his seniority in the Senate — yet somehow wants Iowans to believe that a political outsider who spent his career serving our country in the Navy is to blame for high prices,” Petersen said. “Senator Grassley has clearly spent decades too long in his Washington bubble and is badly out of touch with what Iowans need."
Progressive coalition launches voting effort
The Progressive Voices United coalition, a group of Iowa liberal and progressive nonprofits, launched a campaign encouraging Iowans to vote in the 2022 election.
The organizations launched a video, titled “What’s Possible,” encouraging Iowans to “be a voter.”
The coalition includes organizations such as Common Good Iowa, Progress Iowa, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and others.
In a statement, Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic encouraged Iowa voters to support things like higher wages, student debt relief and climate action.
“We can dream big again and vote to protect the freedom to access abortion,” he said. “We can elect leaders who fully fund public schools and ensure workers are paid what they’re owed. As voters, we decide what’s possible.”