Primary day. It just doesn't quite have the same ring to it as caucus night. But, oh, well. It'll still be interesting. Here's what I'm watching...
The Boz/Fallon--It's tough to beat an incumbent. Can Ed Fallon do it? Will his grassroots effort, without the last-minute ad blitz Leonard Boswell has put up, be enough in what looks like a "change election?" Boswell has the establishment behind him, plus six terms in Congress. Fallon has his organization from when he ran from Governor, whether that was once or almost twice. Plus, that business on the side..
Tom Harkin vs. ???--The Repubs hardly offer up household names in their U.S. primary battle. George Eichhorn seems to have the establishment behind him. Christopher Reed got some props from some of the people I talked with after their debate last Friday on Iowa Public Television. Steve Rathje...? He skipped the debate for some reason. I avoided having to make sure I didn't butcher his name. I'm still not 100% sure how to say it. Is it RATH'-gee or ROTH'-gee?
The 4 in 4--4 Dems running to eventually run against Republican Tom Latham in the 4th Congressional district. Becky Greenwald feels like she has more of the establishment behind her. Kevin Miskell has Joe Trippi, one of Howard Dean and John Edwards top guys. Kurt Meyer and William Meyers...will voters get confused by their last names?
Altoona District 42--Dems Geri Huser vs. Matt Ballard. Huser's been in the legislature for a dozen years now. Ballard is the local Teamsters president. Huser's, Ed Skinner, has power and money. Will he really "let" her lose in a primary? Can Ballard get the union folks to all stand up behind him?
Johnston District 69--Repubs Eric Helland vs. Al Lorenzen. Helland has been hitting Lorenzen hard with tv ads. Helland has the backing of the Right to Life and the Iowa Taxpayer folks. He's hitting Lorenzen has a Johnny, er, Al Come Lately to the Republican Party. Lorenzen says one one of the most beloved Republicans of them all in Iowa, former Governor Bob Ray, encouraged him to run.
Tom Harkin--Yeah, I know he's not on the ballot (well, technically he is. But you know what I mean). But will he finally get off the fence and endorse a Presidential candidate today/tonight? It seems unlikely Hillary Clinton would officially drop out tonight. But there are reports some superdelegates (who don't come out before the polls close) will endorse after the polls close. Harkin's wife, Ruth, is a big Clinton backer.