Kathie Obradovich

Kathie Obradovich

Kathie Obradovich is editor-in-chief of the Iowa Capital Dispatch, an affiliate of the nonprofit States Newsroom. She has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as a political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs.


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

By: - August 21, 2023

The first 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’s the topline: Trump, 42% DeSantis, 19% Tim Scott, 9% Nikki Haley, 6% Mike Pence, 6% Chris Christie, 5% Vivek Ramaswamy, […]


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

By: - July 25, 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 campaign and […]

Field of presidential candidates faces crowd of Christians

By: , and - July 15, 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 […]


GOP presidential campaign messaging needs a reality check

By: - June 6, 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 […]


‘Parental rights’ advocates don’t really trust parents

By: - March 6, 2023

We’ve been hearing often from Iowa Republicans that they “trust” parents. Gov. Kim Reynolds spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic saying she trusted parents (more than school administrators) to decide whether their kids should attend classes in person and wear masks to protect themselves and others. The centerpiece of her agenda this year was giving […]


‘Don’t say Kim?’ Governor’s bill would regulate schools’ use of nicknames

By: - February 19, 2023

The Republican Party’s obsession with sex and gender identity has reached a fever pitch in the Iowa Statehouse this year. Gov. Kim Reynolds and her gang of helicopter mothers are clutching their pearls so hard they must be cutting off oxygen to their brains. At this rate, they will end up banning rainbows before the […]


Senate Republicans’ ejection of media from chamber hurts all Iowans

By: - January 10, 2022

The 2022 session of the Iowa Legislature will begin today, much as lawmakers have convened for most of the past 175 years: with speeches and ceremony, the reuniting of friends and the renewal of partisan enmity. One significant difference: The Iowa Senate will exclude the Statehouse media from access to the floor of the chamber. […]


Grief over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and dread for what comes next

By: - September 23, 2020

Bereft. That’s the only word I can think of that fits how I felt at the news of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. It’s not just about the loss of a stalwart warrior for equality and justice for people like me. Without Ginsburg, perhaps our country still would not recognize a constitutional right against sex […]