John Stineman, a Republican strategist in Iowa, said Trump’s advertising buy is small enough that it is likely “a stroke to the base more than it is a fear-motivated thing.” Still, Stineman, who has long predicted a competitive race in Iowa, described the Democratic base in Iowa as being “as activated as it could be.”
POLITICO: ‘Blood in the water’: Dems get unexpected opening against Trump in Iowa
Since the start of the year, Democrats in Iowa have added about twice as many active voters to their rolls as Republicans, nudging ahead in total registration for the first time in years. The farm economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. And though Trump still holds a small lead in the state, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, he’s now airing TV advertisements there — a tacit acknowledgment that the campaign anticipates a contest.