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.

GOP presidential hopefuls tear into each other and absent Trump at second debate

By: and - September 28, 2023

The candidates polling from second to eighth in the race for the Republican nomination for president largely agreed on policy, fought over their records and took aim at former President Donald Trump at their second debate of the year Wednesday night. Trump, who leads polls of the race by substantial margins, skipped the event at […]

Presidential candidates wrap up state fair political events

By: - August 20, 2023

Presidential hopefuls Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Libertarian Chase Oliver held the final political stops at the Iowa State Fair Saturday, finishing out the parade of 2024 candidates who came to campaign in the first-in-the-nation state. As of Friday, more than 800,000 people had walked through the state fair gates. Among attendees have been 14 […]

Democratic challengers to President Joe Biden speak at Iowa State Fair

By: and - August 13, 2023

While much of the political attention at the Iowa State Fair was focused on the Republican 2024 presidential contenders, two Democratic challengers to President Joe Biden also took the stage Saturday at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox. Democrats Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who are running for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, […]

Trump, DeSantis and more 2024 candidates pack Iowa State Fair

By: - August 13, 2023

The Republican frontrunners in the 2024 presidential race — former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — competed for attention Saturday on the packed Iowa State Fairgrounds along with a handful of other candidates. Republicans Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ryan Binkley also held events on the fairgrounds, while Democrats Marianne Williamson and […]

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez emphasizes national electability while aiming for debate stage

By: - August 11, 2023

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez does not have the name recognition that some of his competitors for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination can boast, but he told Iowans he was uniquely able to draw certain groups of voters away from the Democratic Party. “I have absolutely no doubt that I would be a impossible candidate for […]

Iowa Democratic Party chair airs concerns about RFK Jr. ‘antisemitic comments’

By: - August 11, 2023

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart said 2024 Democratic challengers to President Joe Biden are welcome to campaign in Iowa, but said she was concerned about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s “antisemitic” comments. Hart, joined by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a fellow Democrat, spoke about the state fair and Iowa caucuses Thursday during the recording of “Iowa […]

U.S. Sen. Scott calls for end of DOJ ‘weaponization,’ criticizes FL Black history curriculum

By: - July 28, 2023

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, campaigning in Iowa, said if elected president, he would take on the “weaponization” of the Department of Justice. Scott focused on law enforcement Thursday after a federal grand jury added three new felony charges against former President Donald Trump. At a campaign event in Ankeny, Scott was asked how the charges should factor […]

DeSantis says Harris is spreading ‘phony narratives’ on Florida Black history curriculum

By: - July 27, 2023

CHARITON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday in Iowa that Vice President Kamala Harris is spreading “phony narratives” about the Black history curriculum in Florida. DeSantis, who is seeking the GOP nomination for president, spoke to reporters about the conflict after a campaign event in Iowa. Earlier in July, the vice president said Florida’s new history […]

Casey DeSantis launches national ‘Mamas for DeSantis’ group in Iowa

By: - July 7, 2023

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis is working to harness the “parental rights” movement that has played a powerful role in states like Iowa and Florida to support her husband Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign. Casey DeSantis held a solo event with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Thursday, launching the “Mamas for DeSantis” group to mobilize mothers […]

ND Gov. Doug Burgum launches campaign ads in Iowa, New Hampshire

By: - June 13, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Doug Burgum released two ads Monday that will air in Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign announced. The $3 million ad campaign will air on TV stations the first two states to hold nominating contests — the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary — in 2024. Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, […]

Former VP Mike Pence launches 2024 bid, criticizes Trump’s Jan. 6 actions

By: - June 7, 2023

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his candidacy for president to a crowd at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, focusing on the differences between him and former President Donald Trump, who is also running again in 2024. While Pence praised the conservative successes he and Trump achieved in office, he said he is […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis travels Iowa, aims to solidify himself as top Trump alternative

By: - June 1, 2023

PELLA, Iowa — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hit the ground running in his second day on the Iowa caucus trail Wednesday as he hopes to cement himself as the main alternative to former President Donald Trump in an expanding field of Republican candidates. DeSantis gave speeches to crowds of hundreds at Sun Valley Barn in […]