Still deciding how to vote? Here’s a guide to Iowa Capital Dispatch election reporting

By: - November 3, 2020 6:00 am

“I voted” stickers are scattered over a table at a polling site in Des Moines on Nov. 3, 2020. (Photo By Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

In case you need to do a little cramming before you vote, here’s a roundup of race overviews, issue closeups, debate stories and more from Iowa Capital Dispatch:

Presidential race


President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential candidate debate on Sept. 29, 2020 in Cleveland. (Screen shot from FOX News livestream)

Trump to Iowa voters: Coronavirus vaccine is a few short weeks away

Biden criticizes the ‘stable genius’ Trump at Des Moines campaign rally

Biden in final debate vows an immigration overhaul in his first 100 days as president

Trump in final debate slams pandemic aid as a ‘big bailout’ for blue cities and states

Debate: Trump tells far-right group to ‘stand back and stand by’

Biden says he’ll support election outcome but Trump urges supporters to ‘watch very carefully’

Trump and Biden quarrel over mask mandates and state shutdowns in first presidential debate

Trump, at convention, praises oil pipelines and coal, doubts wind and solar can meet demand

Iowa’s U.S. Senate race

Democrat Theresa Greenfield, left, and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst participated in their second televised debate Oct. 3, 2020, on WHO TV. (Screen shot from livestream)

Race overview: Senate race between Joni Ernst, Theresa Greenfield remains a dead heat

Issue closeups:



Report: Ernst said she’s ‘skeptical’ of COVID-19 death numbers

Ernst, Greenfield spar over which candidate best supports ethanol, agriculture

Iowa’s congressional races

1st District  

U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, left, and Iowa state Rep. Ashley Hinson. (Photos courtesy of the Finkenauer and Hinson campaigns.)

Race overview: Finkenauer, Hinson spar over fundraising, Statehouse records in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District

Issue closeups:  

Coastal donors plow cash into Iowa campaigns

How the Chamber of Commerce learned to love House Democrats

2nd District

Democrat Rita Hart, left, and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks debated on Iowa PBS Sept. 24.(Screenshot from Iowa PBS)

Race overview: Tight 2nd District race features two candidates with state experience

Issue closeups:

Debate: Hart, Miller-Meeks split on federal mask mandate

Miller-Meeks: Reynolds, Trump should continue reopening economy in part to prevent suicides

Hart calls for anti-corruption bill on campaign finance, lobbying, gerrymandering

Miller-Meeks: Increase in fuel tax could pay for infrastructure

Hart: Congress should stop environmental rollbacks, support ethanol

3rd District

Rep. Cindy Axne, left, and former Congressman David Young participate in a debate on Oct. 7, 2020, on WHO TV. (Screen shot from WHO-TV livestream)

Race overview: Axne-Young rematch centers on health care coverage, showing up for work

Issue focus:



Axne, Young trade barbs over ads on health care, allegiance to party leaders

David Young: Stimulus package should advance in stages

4th District

Fourth District candidates J.D. Scholten (left) and Randy Feenstra (right) debated during a televised broad on WHO-TV Wednesday. (Screenshot of debate on WHO-TV)

Race overview: Without Steve King, Iowa’s 4th District is in for a shakeup

Issue focus:

Debate: Feenstra, Scholten disagree on COVID-19 policy, immigration


Scholten’s magic-wand issues: campaign finance and antitrust reform

Voters, voting, election laws, lawsuits


Women dressed as suffragettes encourage all to vote on Oct. 5, 2020, the first day for early voting in Polk County. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Battle for the Ballot: A five-day series on voter access and barriers to the ballot

Des Moines’ suburbs are changing. So are the women voting in them.

Iowa surpasses 1 million absentee ballot requests

Election Day troubleshooting: What do to if your absentee ballot is absent, you’re not registered or other voting issues

What happens in Iowa if elections are too close to call?

Mysterious ‘pop-up PACs’ activate in some competitive U.S. Senate races

‘It’s a 2020 election. Everything is crazy’: Iowa county auditors prepare for Election Day

Lawsuit seeks to block counties’ use of private money for election expenses

Judge invalidates absentee ballot applications in Johnson County lawsuit

For more campaign reporting and Election Day updates, see

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