In the past week three of Iowa’s top republicans said they won’t be running for senate in 2014. The Republican Party has a lot of catching up to do if they want a fair chance against democrats.
Last week Kim Reynolds issued a statement saying "her focus is on being Lieutenant Governor.”
On Thursday, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said he too wanted to continue his focus on his current job, "[I’ve] decided I want to stay in this position and this is what I’m called to do now."
Late Friday night, Representative Steve King said there would be too much at stake while holding one job and campaigning for another, "It would be a bit of a frustration to step away from those responsibilities and spend all my time campaigning and meanwhile watch things fall down.”
Does the Republican Party stand a chance against the democrats at this point?
"Republicans have a lot of opportunity to field a candidate who could end up being a very strong candidate but they are not people that are well known statewide," Des Moines political columnist Kathie Obradovich told Channel 13.
Representative Bruce Braley is the only democrat to announce he's running, meaning he has no competition for time or dollars.
"He has an advantage, he started off by raising money he's pretty well known and so he has an advantage," added Obradovich.
Obradovich estimates candidates may need to raise at least ten million dollars for their senate campaign but republicans may have to use some of their money competing with each other first.
"Once republicans settle on a candidate, they'll be able to raise a lot of money. There is a lot of national interest in this race," said Obradovich.
There’s a lot of interest in the state, too. People are eager to see which Iowa republican will be the first to announce a much awaited senate campaign
Representative Tom Latham said he would not run for senate two months ago but republicans predict he could change his mind later although Latham hasn’t said anything publicly to support that view.