After decades of coasting to reelection, Sen. Chuck Grassley is facing his toughest race yet. Iowa political observers say the 82-year-old Republican senator known for his independent streak could be in danger in a turbulent, no-holds-barred presidential election year. A Loras College poll released Thursday had the Iowa lawmaker in a statistical dead heat against Patty Judge, his Democratic challenger. Grassley led by only one point, 46-45, against the former lieutenant governor. That nominal advantage was well within the poll’s four-point margin or error. (The Hill, 4 July.)
So, the Republicans have made some big promises to the diaspora in their platform. But it’s up to the actual legislators whether they want to implement those promises or not, and any Republican Senator who gets re-elected this November has six years to spend ignoring the platform before he next gets called to account. And as we well know, one prominent Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee is dead set against giving anything to the diaspora: Chuck Grassley, who’s been gunning for us ever since the Ford administration.
In the current election, there’s at least a slim chance of finally putting Grassley out to pasture: Iowa tends to lean more Democratic during presidential election years, and Grassley faces a strong challenger with excellent name recognition. And Democrats Abroad hope to capture the votes of middle-of-the-road emigrants who have been forced by circumstances to become single-minded single-issue voters. So I have to ask: why on Earth have Democrats Abroad been deafeningly silent about Patty Judge?