Iowa Republicans move back convention date, helping Senate chances

Iowa's Republican Party reversed course and moved its party convention date back to mid-June, a move that could help its chances at the state's open Senate seat.

Iowa Republican Party Chairman A.J. Spiker had pushed to move the party convention date to mid-July. Many in the party including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had lambasted the move as giving likely Democratic nominee Bruce Braley an extra month to fundraise without an opponent should the GOP have to pick its opponent. On Monday night, Spiker acquiesced.

The decision to move the date back means that if no candidate hits 35 percent in a primary — a distinct possibility because of the crowded GOP field to replace Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) — the party will choose its nominee a month earlier and give them most of the summer to coalesce Republicans and raise money against Braley.