Finkenauer must convince the National Democrats that Iowa is worth investing in after losing in 2020 and convince the Democrats Voters that she is the best candidate after her loss to current GOP representative Ashley Hinson.
In an interview, Finkenauer praised her record during her tenure in the House of Representatives, among other things as the youngest woman to ever support a bill that the Chamber passed shortly after taking office. She cited the circumstances of the pandemic and external funds spent in her race to lose, though she also pointed out found out she topped the top of the ticket in November.
“It becomes even more important that we tell the truth, we speak it louder, we appear in front of the people in a way that we simply couldn’t in 2020,” said Finkenauer.
She criticized Grassley for his record, specifically saying that tax and health care votes had been part of her campaign against him since he was last re-elected.
“He was someone I always looked up to and believed would actually move things forward. I wouldn’t agree with everything and the Democrats … “, said Finkenauer, citing the decades in which Grassley served alongside the then Democratic Senator. Tom Harkin. “Unfortunately he has really left us behind with his votes lately.”
Although Grassley will turn 89 on election day, Republicans are optimistic that he will seek another term. Most Republicans don’t believe the race will be competitive if he competes again, as Grassley has won every re-election with more than 60 percent of the vote. The Democrats have not won a Senate race in Iowa since Harkin’s last win in 2008.
“Look, I don’t see anything that would stop me from serving another six years if I choose to,” Grassley told POLITICO earlier this year.
The Republicans responded to Finkenauer’s offer by comparing them to the most liberal members of their party and pointing out their loss last year after just one term. Katharine Cooksey, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said, “It’s not surprising Iowans only fired you last year.”
“Today Abby signed up as a two-time loser,” said Cooksey.
Several Democrats, including State Auditor Rob Sand and former Congressional candidate JD Scholten, have already given up their candidacy. But Finkenauer will probably still have an area code. Retired Navy Admiral Michael Franken, who lost the 2020 Senate primaries, is considering another application for the Senate. Cindy Axne, the only remaining Democrat in the congressional delegation, has not ruled out a nationwide candidacy. Dave Mühlbauer, a farmer and former district chairman, was the first Democrat in the race.
If Finkenauer becomes the Democratic candidate and Grassley runs again, this will lead to a blatant generation gap among the candidates. Finkenauer said in the interview that it’s not about age, but about delivering for the state.
She said she was not “for anything and everything on a Biden agenda,” and said she did not do this during the Trump administration in the House of Representatives. However, she has touted some of the Democrats’ early successes, most notably the passage of the child tax credit into the Covid Relief Act.
“There’s so much here that our Senators and Republicans who represent Iowa at the federal level, in particular, have voted against it. And all the investments that are flowing into our communities and moving us forward have voted against. “ She said. “You don’t stand for anything at the moment.”