Despite a toxic environment for the progressive positions she holds, Iowa’s only Congressional Democrat, Cindy Axne, announced today that she would be seeking reelection. Axne announced the Iowa PBS program “Iowa Press.”
The Des Moines Democrat was first elected in 2018 and was reelected in 2020 but never received more than 50% of the vote district-wide. In her 2020 race, Axne won a majority of the vote in just a single county – the liberal stronghold of Polk county.
In a statement to the media after Axne’s news broke, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann highlighted that her decision comes after years of cozying up to other Liberal Democratic House members like Nancy Pelosi and “squad member” Rashida Tlaib. He maintains that those close ties call into question her commitment to Iowa voters.
— Jeff Kaufmann (@kaufmannGOP) November 12, 2021
In September, Axne made remarks that were disparaging of Christians. While on a video conference call, she said they were running “under the guise while they hold the cross, you know, for God or whatever. And they use it like a weapon. And it’s painful to watch. Because they’ve weaponized religion, they have weaponized politics.”
Later, Axne claimed that she would not back down on the situation simultaneously claimed her comments were taken out of context; Axne has yet to apologize for the incident.
CLIP ✂️ AND SAVED 💾
Can be sure you’ll see this again pic.twitter.com/Rrqo3Yemn9
— Calvin Moore (@CalvinMoore_) September 22, 2021
Axne has her work cut out for her. In addition to her lackluster election margins, historically, the midterm elections are tough for the party that holds the Whitehouse. Recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey and local election returns at the school board level and two Iowa special elections seem to indicate that 2022 will be an especially brutal mid-term election for Democrats.
Republicans are expected to devastate Democrats across the county. Some, like GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, believe that the 2022 midterms could look a lot like the 2010 midterm elections where House Republicans won a net gain of 63 seats. As a result, national resources for the effort to defeat her will not be in short supply. Axne has been marked as a top target by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and other conservative-oriented groups.
There are already several Republicans running to unseat Axne and represent Iowa’s third congressional district in DC. Zach Nunn and Nicole Hasso are seeking the GOP nomination. Inside Elections, the political handicapping site rates Iowa’s third district as a “toss-up.”