Apparently, even electoral outcomes are doing little to squelch the pending civil war in the Iowa Republican Party:
News broke [last] Thursday that a meeting had occurred between [Bob] Vander Plaats and GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad. At that meeting, Vander Plaats, who finished second in the GOP gubernatorial primary, apparently asked for a spot on the ticket, an idea that was rejected. That rejection opened the door for a potential third-party run for governor this fall.
Several sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Iowa Independent this week that Vander Plaats is seriously considering a run, with the chances of him entering the race at about 50/50.
The fact that Vander Plaats is apparently seriously considering petitioning for an Independent line on the general election ballot, and that there are lots of folks who are warm to the idea, speaks to the nature of the ideological chasm in the GOP that is not endemic solely to the state of Iowa.
Right wing radio talker Steve Deace crystallized this schism last week, when he said that "Up until this point we have shown that we will ankle grab for these people over and over and over again...At some point you’re going to have to draw some blood from them before they’re actually going to believe your threats. That’s just simple human nature.”
Election junkies might recall that Vander Plaats did not take his defeat on June 8th particularly well. Clearly, the conservative insurgent felt his hand was strengthened by the narrow margin of victory (50-41) by Branstad, the former four-term Governor of the state.
In the immediate wake of his defeat, he made clear that any endorsement would be contingent on Branstad hitting the right notes with him.
"As the nominee, that responsibility is on the nominee's shoulders to meet with me and we need to do that [to] bring some things together here."
In a piece last week, conservative blogger Graham Gillette made the argument that VanderPlaats has nothing to lose:
If Vander Plaats walks away, he is a three time loser. If [he] runs as a independent candidate and Branstad wins, Vander Plaats gets to call himself a martyr for the cause. If he runs and Culver wins, Vander Plaats supporters will say that the wrong guy won in June and will continue to inveigle their way into the Party apparatus.
This definitely merits a "stay tuned". Especially if it becomes apparent that repeats of this phenomenon in the states that don't have the so-called "sore loser" laws.