Author

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.

More Republicans registered in Iowa ahead of election, new data shows

By: - November 1, 2022

Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 90,000 active voter registrations in Iowa, according to an Iowa Secretary of State report released Tuesday, but there are more registered Democrats in three of the state’s four congressional districts. With the election one week away, there are more than 2.2 million Iowans registered to vote, and over 1.8 million […]

Nearly three-fifths of likely voters support gun rights amendment, poll finds

By: - October 28, 2022

More than half of likely voters said they planned to support the gun rights constitutional amendment on the ballot in the Nov. 8 election, according to the most recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. The majority, 58%, of likely Iowa voters said they plan to vote in favor of the proposed amendment, which would subject […]

Arguments to lift block on Iowa’s ‘fetal heartbeat’ law begin Friday

By: - October 27, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ allies will be in court Friday, asking a judge to reinstitute the state’s “fetal heartbeat” law in light of the recent U.S. and Iowa Supreme Court decisions overturning constitutional protections for abortion. The controversial case is moving forward just ahead of the midterm elections, as Democrats work to capitalize on most voters’ […]

Who can fix inflation? Iowa congressional candidates focus on taxes, spending

By: - October 26, 2022

Government spending and high taxes have worsened recent inflation’s effects on low- and middle-class Americans, Iowa’s Republican congressional candidates argue as they aim to take back U.S. Congress. But Democrats say investments are necessary to help families struggling with recent soaring prices and say these programs can be financed by raising taxes for the wealthy. […]

Reynolds credits early school reopening for small drop in students’ scores, but data unclear

By: - October 24, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Iowa’s speed in returning students to classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic led to smaller reductions in student performance than in many other states. But analysts said data from the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress assessments show mixed results on the effects of different school reopening timelines. Iowa students’ scores in 4th-grade […]

Auditor candidates say their lawsuits against the state show they are effective watchdogs

By: - October 21, 2022

State Auditor Rob Sand and Republican challenger Todd Halbur both cited their lawsuits against the state to show why they are the best choice to serve as an objective watchdog over Iowa government. The candidates for state auditor participated Friday in a debate on “Iowa Press.” Sand, a Democrat, has served as state auditor since […]

Reynolds’ campaign has $2.5 million headed into November; Dejear’s has $366K

By: - October 20, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds has more than six times as much cash on hand as her opponent Democrat Deidre DeJear heading into the final stretch of the campaign season, new campaign finance reports show. Reynolds reported raising more than $2.2 million during the reporting period, according to reports filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure […]

Shooting survivors call for Iowans to reject pro-gun amendment

By: - October 19, 2022

Two survivors of shootings encouraged Iowans Wednesday to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment restricting infringement on gun ownership and use. Iowans are now able to vote early or by mail in the Nov. 8 elections. On the ballot is the proposed “Keep and Bear Arms Amendment,” which raises the legal standard to justify restrictions […]

Democratic congressional candidate Christina Bohannan calls for immigration reform, education funding

By: - October 19, 2022

Solving Iowa’s problems like rural health care accessibility will require federal immigration reform and investment in public education, Democratic congressional candidate Christina Bohannan told business owners and members at the Greater Des Moines Partnership forum Wednesday. Bohannan, a state representative from Iowa City running in Iowa’s reshaped 1st congressional district, said if elected, she would […]

Campaign finance reports reflect competitive federal races

By: - October 18, 2022

Fundraising totals are ticking up for candidates in the most competitive of Iowa’s congressional races this year as incumbents like Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne seek reelection. Grassley’s challenger Mike Franken, a retired Navy admiral, has raised more than twice as much money as the senator during the third quarter this […]

Congressional candidates grapple over workforce issues, immigration

By: - October 18, 2022

As Iowa reckons with recent inflation and lingering impacts of the pandemic, Republican candidates for Congress are asserting they can fix workforce shortages and other economic troubles if they take control in this year’s midterm elections.   But Democrats argue that the actions taken by President Joe Biden’s administration to address economic struggles are working, and […]

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson released from hospital following kidney infection

By: - October 18, 2022

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson was released from a Cedar Rapids hospital Tuesday morning after undergoing treatment for a kidney infection, her office announced Tuesday. The representative was admitted Sunday evening to UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Chief of Staff Jimmy Peacock said in a statement Monday. She remained hospitalized overnight Monday for treatment, […]