IA-04: State Sen. Randy Feenstra is out with another poll of the June 2 GOP primary that shows him gaining ground, though still narrowly trailing, white supremacist Rep. Steve King. The new survey gives King a 39-36 edge over Feenstra, while the rest of the field takes a combined 9% of the vote. This is an improvement for Feenstra from the late April poll he released that showed the incumbent up 41-34.
The House GOP leadership stripped King of all of his committee assignments early last year after he mused to the New York Times, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” Both Feenstra and his allies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which recently went up with a $200,000 ad buy, have run ads portraying King as completely ineffective and unable to look out for his rural western Iowa seat now that he’s lost his posts, including his spot on the "vital" House Agriculture Committee. However, King has been arguing in recent weeks that his exile is only temporary.
In late April, King said that he and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had reached “an understanding.” He continued, “The only barrier in the way of putting back all my committees, perhaps incrementally as there are openings that can be created, is to get a formal meeting of the Steering Committee because they're officially the ones who make that decision.”
McCarthy didn’t say anything to confirm or deny this claim, and King made a similar one at a forum on Monday. “On April 20, Kevin McCarthy and I reached an agreement that he would advocate to the Steering Committee to put all of my committees back, all of my seniority.” Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, who serves on the Steering Committee that formally makes committee assignments, pushed back and said that King “will not be serving on any committee.” McCarthy, though, has remained silent through Wednesday afternoon.
While King is arguing he deserves to be rehabilitated, he characteristically isn’t showing the slightest bit of contrition for his pro-white supremacist comments. King has constantly argued that the Times misquoted him, and at a recent debate he said of his opponents, “They’re all here because they believe the New York Times.”