The Corner

Iowa’s Civil War

Last year, supporters of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign took over the Iowa Republican party. Their rise has frustrated allies of Republican Terry Branstad, Iowa’s longest serving governor:

These days, relations between the two camps are as messy as eating a deep-fried Snickers bar at the Iowa state fair. Iowa Republicans increasingly find themselves either part of Big Liberty, the libertarian bloc led by Spiker and Fischer, or members of Branstad’s center-right circle.

Confidants of both groups say the tensions have nearly crippled the party, which is known for hosting the Iowa Republican caucuses. Branstad doesn’t trust the co-chairmen, and the co-chairmen don’t trust the governor. Behind the scenes, they quarrel constantly over cash and politics, and many veteran Iowa Republicans fear the infighting will embarrass them, especially as presidential contenders start to fly in for appearances.

My full report is here.

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