Kathie Obradovich

Kathie Obradovich

Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine.


Register caucus poll shows ‘hands off’ approach to Trump isn’t working

By: - August 21, 2023

The latest Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll of the Iowa caucus race, published Monday, was a blowout. Former President Donald Trump holds more than a 2-to-1 lead over his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Here are some takeaways: Nearly all of 13 non-Trump candidates on this list have twisted themselves into Iowa State […]

Iowa Republicans cheer Trump as most opponents tread carefully

By: and - July 28, 2023

Iowa Republicans emphasized they were open to hearing from all 13 presidential candidates Friday at the state party’s Lincoln Dinner, but many in the audience were ready to send former President Donald Trump back for a rematch. “In Iowa, we are a neutral, objective state,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. “We’re going […]


Questioning presidential candidates is harder than Gov. Reynolds seems to think

By: - July 24, 2023

Gov. Kim Reynolds, who rarely speaks to Iowa journalists, now wants to try her hand at their job. Reynolds announced last week that she plans to personally interview all of the GOP presidential candidates at the Iowa State Fair. And not only that, but she plans to “go beyond just the issues of a presidential […]

Field of presidential candidates faces crowd of Christians

By: , and - July 14, 2023

Republican presidential candidates worked to appeal to about 2,000 evangelical Christians Friday at a Des Moines conference – in some cases despite critical questioning in on-stage interviews by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson. Carlson wrangled with former Vice President Mike Pence on his position that the U.S. should continue to support Ukraine with military equipment and […]

Most abortions are now banned in Iowa, pending court action

By: - July 14, 2023

Gov. Kim Reynolds, on stage at an evangelical Christian conference in Des Moines on Friday, signed into law a bill that immediately took effect to outlaw most abortions in the state. Reynolds said the bill addresses “the most important human rights cause of our time: protecting unborn human lives from the atrocity of abortion.” House […]

Reproductive-rights advocates seek to block newly passed abortion ban

By: - July 12, 2023

Within 12 hours after an expansive ban on abortions passed the Iowa Legislature, the bill was facing a court challenge from a group of reproductive-rights advocates seeking to block the bill before it takes effect. The Legislature late Tuesday passed House File 732, which would ban most abortions after about six weeks of gestation. Gov. […]

Iowa Legislature passes legislation to outlaw most abortions after six weeks

By: and - July 11, 2023

The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature, in a daylong special legislative session, passed legislation late Tuesday to outlaw most abortions in Iowa after six weeks of gestation. The House adjourned just after 9 p.m. Tuesday after sending House File 732 to the Senate with a vote of 56-34. Rep. Zach Dieken, R-Granville, and Rep. Mark Cisneros, R-Muscatine, […]


GOP can’t go back to 2018 to dodge fallout of their abortion ban

By: - July 10, 2023

What Iowa GOP lawmakers and Gov. Kim Reynolds are planning to do in Tuesday’s special session may have started out as the most politically expedient course of action on abortion – but it could backfire in a spectacular way. Here’s why. Reynolds and the GOP majority under the golden dome are coming back into session […]


Abortion ruling heightens risk to judicial independence, balance of powers in Iowa

By: - June 19, 2023

The Iowa Supreme Court’s surprising deadlock on the state’s “fetal heartbeat” bill sets up a difficult and potentially divisive election-year debate among Republicans in the Iowa Legislature – and not just about abortion. It also is likely to inspire even more Republican zeal to weaken the separation of powers and judicial independence in Iowa. Gov. […]


GOP presidential campaign messaging needs a reality check

By: - June 5, 2023

It’s been a while since I attended an Iowa caucus cattle call. After spending most of Saturday at Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride event at the Iowa State fairgrounds, featuring eight GOP presidential candidates, I was most surprised by how little things change. In a lot of ways, it could have been the summer […]


Iowa’s historically small legislative session

By: - May 8, 2023

We heard from Republican lawmakers that the recently completed legislative session was “historic.” It sure was — historically small. With a few exceptions, the major GOP priorities of the legislative session will benefit relatively small numbers of Iowans, in some cases at a gigantic cost to the most vulnerable among us. The prime example is […]


Lawmakers are increasingly disregarding the appearance of unethical conflicts of interest

By: - May 1, 2023

A progressive interest group filed an ethics complaint against a state senator, alleging he had a conflict of interest regarding a bill he was assigned to manage. The Senate Ethics Committee declined last week to move forward with the complaint. That’s not a surprise, given the narrow view Iowa lawmakers have traditionally taken with regard […]